author – activist – faculty – mom
I couldn’t find parking in uptown Oakland this morning. I drove around for 45 minutes with no luck. The metered spaces were full. The parking lots were full, even the multi-level structures. What was going on?
About 45 minutes into my search, I saw a huge crowd walking down the main drag. They were waving tiny US flags, and had bouquets of flowers wrapped in stars-and-stripes cellophane.
Apparently, there had been a citizenship swearing-in ceremony this morning. And throngs of newly minted citizens were strolling proudly down Broadway.
Now, I’m not the kind of patriot who gets feels at the sight of the flag. But I am the kind of patriot who’s getting pretty misty eyed these days at the idea of one person one vote. And here come scores of new eligible voters. Everyone I saw was brown. Some in suits, some in sarees, some in hijab. Some African, some Latinx, some Arab, some Asian. These are eligible voters who will not be pleased with Muslim bans and border walls and horrifying GOP tax bills.
Steve Phillips, author of BROWN IS THE NEW WHITE: How the Demographic Revolution Has Created a New American Majority has been mighty clear lately. Democrats need to stop pandering to racist/sexist white voters, and reach out to people of color.
I hope there were some folks registering voters outside the ceremony. And if not, there should be. We, as people of color, are unstoppable in this country. This is our country. From first nation people whose land was stolen, to black people whose labor built it, to immigrants who keep this country running. It’s our time. Let’s build the movements to powerfully challenge white supremacy (and white nationalism). And as part of that strategy, let’s VOTE.