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I'm Not Here For Your Presidential Candidates

I want things that disrupt the way that governments and societies operate, and so why would I be in favor of any presidential candidate?

I’m tired, and that exhaustion is going to follow me deep into the 2020 presidential election. I’m not looking forward to being yelled at about voting for “the right candidate”, I’m not excited about being told that our salvation supposedly lies with a politician who will most likely continue to exercise imperialist policies and enact violent positions against Black and Brown peoples around the globe. I’m not happy or hopeful about any of it because I don’t believe in the United States government, I don’t believe that it is legitimate because it was founded upon colonialist, white supremacist, patriarchal ideals and policies.

I’m certainly not looking forward to being told that representational politics are our salvation when I cannot trust anyone who thinks that working within a fundamentally white supremacist, imperialist and colonialist government is good for change and when those versions of incremental change are just forms of appeasement. I am not hopeful about Kamala Harris who as a prosecutor and senator harmed the poor, Black and brown folks, trans people, and sex workers. Her brown skin puts a slightly more pleasant and reassuring face on white supremacy and mass incarceration. She remains a neo-liberal, capitalist, imperialist who is paraded around as a representative of “the resistance” thanks to well-timed photos of her reactions and side-eyes at the more blatant fuckery of her republican colleagues.

I’m not excited about Elizabeth Warren who time and time again, despite being called-in and called-out by Indigenous people here in the U.S., has used blood quantum to claim Native American ancestry and position herself as a more “diverse” choice.

I’m not excited about any of it because I do not believe that any candidate is prepared to dismantle white supremacy, capitalism and the patriarchy. I’m not excited about the prospect of a woman candidate making the decisions to bomb, invade, maintain or create sanctions against other nations. There is no salvation in white feminism, carceral feminism, imperialist feminism. I want more than what governments are prepared to do: I want the dissolution of oppressions. I want all colonial powers to issue reparations and to return the lands and resources they stole. I want things that disrupt the way that governments and societies operate, and so why would I be in favor of any presidential candidate?

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The maintenance of power requires the oppression of marginalized people. There is no kinder version of the United States government. The foundation is rotten, the branches and the fruits that it bears are poison. We exist here, on stolen land, where government officials fight each other to sell off that land to rancid billionaires who exploit and harm the working class and poor.

So what am I hopeful about? I’m hopeful about us: the revolutionaries, anti-oppression writers, queer Black and Brown folks reclaiming our cultures, taking up more space and being unapologetic. I’m hopeful about those who have been working and continue to do the groundwork required for fundamental change and shifts in how humans perceive power and oppression so that we can create unity to overthrow the mega-wealthy, the oligarchs, the fascists. I am hopeful that the seeds we are planting will continue to grow the spirit of dissent, the wills of our ancestors against the weight of white supremacy and patriarchy. I am excited and hopeful that there may one day be justice for all those who have been wronged. But in the meantime, we continue to push against oppression, which means that no, I won’t be endorsing any presidential candidate and that will be that.

 

 

Lara Witt is an award-winning feminist writer who primarily writes about feminism, racism, pop-culture, mental health, and politics. Witt received her BA in Journalism from Temple University and interned for Philadelphia CityPaper’s arts and entertainment section and the Philadelphia Daily News covering local news, court stories, and crime. Following her graduation, she became increasingly committed to writing about gender, race, and queer identity by using Black and brown feminist theory to analyze current news and politics. Witt freelanced for national and local publications, which led to her working with Wear Your Voice Magazine eventually becoming their EIC and rebranding the site to focus primarily on using the analytical framework of Dr. Kimberlé Crenshaw’s theory of intersectionality. Witt’s goal is to provide platforms for marginalized voices with a focus on having other Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) writers tell their own stories and explore their own narratives. Witt has spoken at local Philadelphia events, such as the March to End Rape Culture (2017) and curated a yearly series of events called The Electric Lady Series. These events highlight women of color in Philadelphia by exploring gender, rape culture, entrepreneurship, art, self-care, sex, and culture.

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