Election results are pretty much in. As usual, voter turnout is extremely low. As of 2012, Texas had 13,000,000+ people registered to vote (and certainly many more in the recent pushes to get more people registered) out of an eligible population of around 19,000,000. Less than 5,000,000 of these people actually used the number one way to use their political voice. In total, as usual, around 25 percent of those qualified/eligible to vote, voted.
This is offensive. Offensive especially to the many Women and Blacks who fought so hard for everyone to have the franchise. Offensive to our zealous proclamations of Democracy. Leaves one speechless and frustrated.
With the results of this evening’s election, Texas–in a very real way–is a more dangerous place to live unless you are a Protestant White cis-Male. In ways, I would not be surprised in another Great Migration occurs–a mass exodus of people from Red states to beckons of home and life. For Black Men especially, Texas is a dangerous place.
Today’s election and the promises of the GOP speak to a very specific set of hopes and fears and a very specific demographic. The GOP’s and Tea Party’s rhetoric focuses on “how dangerous the world is” and practices exclusionary/selective politics. And they more or less admit this, as indicated with all of their messages of “Take Texas Back” and “Family Values.” History teaches us that such slogans are coded language for a much deeper and different kind of fear, one in response to a world knocking at the door of change, change demanded by those who refuse to be silent. We all need to carefully watch politics in Texas, more so than ever before, especially since the most powerful person in the state, the Lt. Governor, is supported by the Tea Party. And as you watch the politics, compare it with the History of the geopolitical area called Texas.
Both parties continue to say Texas (and the United States) are the best in the entire world. Consider the (wrong) message this sends to children, yourself, the nation, and the World. Ethnocentrism has never accomplished anything.
Finally, I am reminded of a quotation that basically goes: if voting made any difference, it would be illegal by now. Voting can, but often doesn’t, make real differences. Beyond voting, we must be vigorously involved in everyday live, politics, and history. Grassroots activism–people in the street—-that makes differences.