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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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I believe what the system tells me about itself. I have full faith in its capabilities to replicate, uphold, and enact violence here and globally, which is all it has ever sworn to do since its inception.

by Briana L. Ureña Ravelo This midterm season I have seen a lot of speculation about the cynicism of young (potential) voters, why it is, who is to blame, and what to do about it. Among younger progressives especially, there’s even more discourse that sympathizes with the cynicism, addressing issues such as voter suppression and purges, historic and current barriers to voting including the barring of those with felonies from representation, and the shit-show of the past two years and the inability for us to ameliorate the gap between how communities of color vote, especially Black communities, and how white people vote. But that isn’t me. I am not recently made cynical, tired, or exhausted by the political system of the United States, nor am I apathetic. I am harmed and disenfranchised by the electoral system, yes, and I am also a part of it. I am from groups historically kept from electoral politics and other realms of civil, political, and social spaces. However, my heart was never broken by it because it was never placed in such a precarious and dangerous place, in the thicket of oppressor harm and statist hegemony. Chalk it up to being a middle schooler and teenager of color in the Midwest during the Bush years, through 9/11 and the beginning of the War on Terror. By the time I was 14, I had gone to my first anti-war protest and was more regularly organizing and going to protests throughout the next year. By the time I was 18, when Obama was running in the first election I could vote in, I was ranting with a friend about our annoyance with people assuming we would, as two young Black girls, would be voting for the Black man. We knew about what his positions were on gay marriage and the war, and I had already made my decision to be a conscientious non-voter. There’s nothing that could conceivably ever inspire me to vote, much less ignite a vigor or faith that was simply never there. There’s no way to mobilize me to an end goal that I never saw as a solution to the issues I see and experience daily. This is not so as to attack other QT/BIPOC people's cynicism or sense of defeat, and the real hurt, sadness, or anger there, or to belittle them for their demands and expectations. And if anyone feels that way, it is the system’s fault, not their own. It is oversimplification to view all non-voters, especially those conscientiously choosing to not, as injured, sad, and hurt. As only waiting to be consoled and woo’d so we can fall back in love with electoral politics and the US system overall. A system that does not love me. Quite the opposite to deflated or cynical, in fact, my belief in the system’s history, role, apparatus, and intended results are fully enthusiastic. I understand what will happen. I know full well! I trust it entirely when it tells me about itself, day in day out, regardless of the bent of its participants, politicians, and moneymakers. Thus, I refuse to engage or invest in the fallacy of electoral politics as its own act.
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