February, the month of love, Black History, the Superbowl, Fashion Week, the Grammy’s and the Oscars! Usually, I’m all googly eyed during this month, but this year I find February to be a month of battle. Black History Month is a time of reflection, a time to remember the battles and the triumphs of African-American’s in this country. Ironically, this month the world has watched the battle in Egypt for Democracy unfold and today their cry for change is just the beginning.
From VOANEWS.COM on Friday, Feb. 11th: “President Barack Obama said the people of Egypt have inspired the American people through their peaceful 18-day campaign for democracy. Obama said Friday that “today” belongs to Egypt’s people, after the resignation of their longtime president, Hosni Mubara. The president said the entire world has taken note of the history taking place in Cairo. “The people of Egypt have spoken, their voices have been heard, and Egypt will never be the same.”
Watching the battle for the Superbowl, the news, and even going to the Black History events/plays this month, something is profoundly happening with me. I’m being impacted by the “battle” in a whole new way.
In my personal life when I am faced with adversity or a battle, I’ve found that I complain about it. (Many of us do.) We complain about how messed up the world is, or how the government sucks or even how our lives aren’t where we want them to be yet what are WE doing? In one of my earlier posts, Growth is Hard I began to just touch the surface on what it REALLY means to grow up.
It’s time to find the LOVE in the BATTLE. Hard work is what is required. Those students in Egypt who have rose to the occasion have had an uphill battle and will continue to do so. Change in the system, change in your life is a process and when it doesn’t happen as fast or the way you want it to, it does not call for a time to run. It takes courage and some growing up to make those choices to bring about real change. It takes courage to recognize that although I graduated from college with honors I am still not as intelligent as the rest of the world. It took me some time to allow myself to see that I was angry. Deep down I was upset that I thought if I just went to college and got a good education I would make it “out”. That hasn’t quite happened yet, and in order to do something about it I needed to acknowledge what emotions were there. I now see the importance of asking questions and not being afraid to say- “I don’t know, Can you help me?” I am on a track to develop, emotionally and politically. I hope that through creative expression I can give life to that.
On Saturday, Feb.12th I attended an amazing conference hosted by independentvoting.org – CAN INDEPENDENTS REFORM AMERICA? Thousands of independents from over 39 states came together Saturday morning to discuss the importance of the independent movement in this partisan dominated political system. As a young political independent continuing to find my way, this confrence really shed light to the inequalities in the poltical system in this country. I heard amazing stories from independents around the country fighting for the issue of a non-partisan elections. It gave me chills and tears to hear how thousands of Americans are fighting for this, it is truly inspirational.
Jackie Salit, the President of Independentvoting.org gave a wonderful presentation that summed up the history of the independent movement, where we are now, and where we are going. As I sat there, I thought, this is the time of change. There are so many issues on the social agenda but what all of us need to see is what we call Democracy now, is not Democracy. Fred Newman, a leader in the independent movement said, “There is something very profound happening in the world. There’s a shift in the paradigm. The way we think about the world is being transformed.” He also stated that “Democracy is a fundamental human value.It’s a very big issue, an important issue although it is not popular.”
There were so many quotes that I was scribbling down on my note pad during the conference. I wish I could of jotted them all down. Thankfully a DVD will be out soon and I can share with my friends where I am politically and the importance of this issue. In the meantime here are some quotes:
“The rights of the people should take preference over the privileges of the political parties.” -Jackie Salit
“Every political movement needs forward thinkers.” -Omar Ali( Spokesperson for Independentvoting.org)
“New ways of thinking, new ways of solving problems, new ways of governing, that’s what the indpendent’s want.” -Jackie Salit
Now I know that things here are not as bad as in Egypt, but people we need to WAKE UP. We know that our system is messed up yet it is easier to do nothing.
On this Valentine’s Day, I wanted to spread the love and hopefully educate and inspire some folks. Go on http://www.independentvoting.org to learn more about the movement.