In less than 50 days, we will vote. Some of us will vote. Some of us will choose not to vote. Some won’t be able to vote—they might not get work off, or by the time work is over they have to pick up kids, make dinner, take care of their elderly parents - who knows, but why do we still vote on a Tuesday? Some might not vote because it is not safe to vote where they live or some might not have the transportation to get to the polling place because it is far from where they live. Some might not vote because they are too fragile to vote or too at-risk to vote during COVID. Some might be torn on who to vote for and some might not like the options and therefore not vote either.
Many of us won’t know how to talk about voting. We might join in the IG chatter but won’t know how to talk to one another about issues that are so deeply human it seems odd that we don’t talk about them.
I feel somewhat numb to all of this and all that is happening in the world because I can be. I don’t wake up and wonder if my loved ones will be taken away from me, or whether or not I have healthcare for my kids or myself. I don’t worry that the color of my skin will make me or my children more or less targeted. I do worry about my gender and the vulnerability of being a woman, sure, I do, but for the most part, even with fires right now surrounding me, I still wake up knowing that I am ok, regardless. I know there is food on the table, clothes in our drawers, lights to turn on and off, air to breathe, air conditioning to cool us down and clean water to drink from the tap. I don’t wake up and think, should I risk my family’s life today and cross a border to give my children a chance at a safe life? I don’t walk into CVS and wonder if I have enough money to buy my kids their medications.
Instead, I wake up and think, I want a latte. It’s shallow, I know, but so terrifyingly true. Oh and that latte that I want, it’s not just a latte, it has to be a Half Caff Oat Vanilla Latte and only from one place that if you throw in a bagel it costs more than most make on minimum wage. This is how disconnected and naive I am and maybe you too. But, how many of us drop our kids at school and think, could today be the day there is a shooting and then go and get our Half Caff Oat Vanilla Latte’s? Maybe it is getting closer and closer to me and maybe to you.
I think this election is really a moment of standing up for what is right for all people, not just a group of people. It is a moment for women, for people of color, for all people, for the LGBTQ+ community, for all of us who are immigrants, it is a moment for the safety and freedom for all people and it is for sure a moment for the environment, for our farmers, our soil, our oceans and all that inhabit this Earth. And while again, many of us are not affected by this because we live in wealthy places with plastic bottles being given to us everywhere we go and travel, endless fuel to drive, plane rides upon plane rides, but it does affect the millions of people who will no longer have water to drink, be washed out by floods and don’t even get me started on the animals that will die and the food chains that will be ruined. Forever. Sigh and cry. And if you think you don’t care about that, go follow @paulnicklen and then let’s talk about global warming, the climate crisis and the polar bears.
So what does any of this have to do with my tiny shop in my tiny town? I think it has to do with coming together and giving a damn. My mom will tell me that it was not a smart business decision to write such a political email, but I will argue that we can’t be silent. I think more of us need to care and to speak up. If you don’t like me or my politics, that is ok. I can’t just say go vote, I have to say go vote for the peacemakers, the best option that will protect people, our environment, women, people of color, for the LGBTQ+ community that my best friend and family are part of and all the brave immigrants who risk their lives past and present for a chance at freedom—my family did.
And if you are still reading, we made a t-shirt, because when I was a kid and you loved something or believed in it, you put it on a t-shirt. We collaborated with @weltpocket to make these chain stitched “VOTE” tee shirts.
If you have no idea how to vote, or have not registered, don’t worry, there are plenty of people to help you:
I also highly recommend reading Untamed, by Gelnnon Doyle. I cried through the chapter when they reunited a 6 year old with his family after being separated at the border.