The Privilege Of Voting
I am a first generation citizen. I am the oldest child of five in an immigrant family. Unlike my younger siblings, I remember what it was like to tag along with my parents to important meetings to translate, I remember being fascinated by the abundance of fresh fruit year-round at the farmers market and grocery stores, I remember watching my parents, uneducated, struggle to provide for five children in a world unfamiliar and strange.
In middle school, while I was taking civics, my parents were practicing the 100 naturalization questions, over and over, anywhere and anytime they could, often times listening to the CD in the minivan we lovingly called “the golden turd”. They passed. Both of them, the first attempt, too. They were so proud. I became a citizen that day too, since I was under the age threshold.
The Pledge of Allegiance tasted different in my mouth after that day.
My parents rarely watch the news. On the occasion that they do, it’s about Moldova. They aren’t too involved in politics. In fact, they only vote for presidential elections. So did I, till this year. After stopping by Chapel of the Cross to cast my ballot, I called mom and asked her if she voted
“No, what does it matter anyway, it doesn’t make a difference,”
It saddened me. The excitement of being a citizen that was once so strong was gone, replaced with feeling.
It’s up to the community to break that cycle and speak up for those who feel voiceless. It is up to us to vote for own sake as well as our family’s, and the generations downstream. There is much more at stake than just voter turnout.
When I voted, I was speaking for my family. I was speaking for the children who cried in frustration when their parents couldn’t help them with their homework because they didn’t know english. I was speaking for the women who are trapped in tradition and patriarchy.
So I ask you to vote.
Vote for the voiceless. Vote for those who can’t. Vote for the sake of voting. Vote as a citizen of the United States.
Here is a link for voting in Chapel Hill and Carrboro, complete with locations, times, all you need to know about voting in this years elections: http://orangecountync.gov/1720/Elections
Townsend Bertram & Company knows Midterms Matter. We will be CLOSED November 6th to support our staff and the community voting!
Thank you for being an active participant in our community and democracy. Together we can make change!