XOTV WEEKLY: Grab 'Em By the Vote

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Everything XOTV

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Let me get straight to the point, I was shook. I remember what I was doing and where I was sitting in my political science class when Donald Trump was announced as the United States president in 2016. I remember looking around and seeing the different reactions on my college campus. I couldn’t fathom it at first but then as we discussed it more during the week and dissected how the election went down, I grew more and more disgusted because there were actions and rhetoric said by President Trump that I wasn’t cool with at all. As a woman, especially a woman of color, I don’t know how this country allowed someone who truthfully has no real respect for women at all despite what many conservatives believe, take a position in our country that matters a whole lot.  
 
He has no filter nor remorse for what he says or tweets for that matter. 
 
I remember seeing how sexual assault survivors on my campus felt and I heard their views and I couldn’t agree more. “Grab ‘em by the pussy” was a good catalyst for that, I think we can all agree. However, it didn’t stop there. This man showed so many more character traits and overall inhumane energy that I still didn’t see how any woman in America could feel comfortable standing behind someone with an integrity tank that runs on "E" constantly. Also, writing this in 2020, I think his whole tank has died out at this point. It’s not just a matter of sexist rhetoric, behavior, and enabling that plagues the legacy of the presidency in the United States with him in office. There is also bigotry, apathy, lack of tact, and the enabling, complacency, and lack of humanity in regards to racial injustice that we have seen rise up in the past four years. 
 
To be honest, and to just put it out there blatantly, this injustice has always been there and the complete systemic racism towards Black people, Latinos, the brown community has always existed; however, President Trump did something that has brought more of this issue into perspective. He paved way for the silent sexists to have more of a voice. He paved the way for the silent racists to have more freedom in their racist thoughts, actions and speech. He paved the way for intolerant rhetoric and xenophobia to have a louder platform than we have ever seen. 
 
One specific factor in all this I must highlight is the voting rate of women, specifically African American and Latina women during this time four years ago. I noticed something heart wrenching and compared it, proudly, to what we can see now. If you’re still following, help me break this down real quick. 
 
According to the Pew Research Center's article, “Black voter turnout fell in 2016, even as a record number of Americans cast ballots,” the black voter turnout rate declined tremendously in 2016 with a percentage difference of 59.6% compared to that of white people who stood at 65.3%. Following this, one can also see the Hispanic and Latino vote at 47.6%. 
 
They stated how it was the first time in 20 years that a percentage of the black vote fell in 2016 compared to their 66.6% in 2012. 
 
Nonetheless, millennials and Gen X voters increased in 2016 but Black millennials decreased. 
 
Let's move onto statistics that are even closer to home for me especially, in a Quartz article, “American women voted overwhelmingly for Clinton, except the white ones." Mohdin gave statistics that stated how non-college-educated women voted in 2016 which showed 3% of Black non-college-educated black women voted for President Trump, while Hispanic women stood at a surprising 25%. When compared to college-educated women, the Black vote stood at 6% and the Hispanic women’s vote stood at 28%. 
 
My question for this time around would be even in those numbers, which may not seem like a lot to some, do we see the effects of these votes now more clearly than before? Looking at the current day in 2020, four years later, should this man have even 1% of our vote at this point? 
 
Do we recognize now the power of what the Black vote can do? Do we recognize now the power of what the Hispanic/Latino vote can do? 
 
We need to realize what we are discussing here. If there wasn’t any palpable strength behind a decision like voting, politicians wouldn’t be trying to alter it or persuade us to do it. They win through it. We give them that platform. We gave him a platform. Not voting is voting, whether we want to accept it or not. 
 
Specifically, as women, do we see the power of vote as much as they do? 
 
As a political scientist, I am tired of trying to understand the Trump voter, I just want America to understand the Trump effect and what is happening to us right now. They have had their way to the point where lives at the border are still in unknown conditions, Black lives are being taken daily and there are people in this country who have experienced the trauma of having all of these factors brought to light. When will we show them who has more balls, them or us? 
 
 I can say for me, the difference between 2016 and 2020 was what I know now. I know that Trump is capable of being a leader. A leader for the white terrorists in this country, a leader for the complacent racists and sexists of this country, a leader for the white voice which speaks for the abuse, control, and silencing of Black and colored voices. He leads with hate, not with unity nor with integrity. When they see us vote, why does it shake the rooms in these campaigns and debates so much? Without us, they have nothing but a suit and an agenda. Without us, President Trump wouldn’t be anything but a white, ignorant man who uses his phone, words, thoughts and heart to lead us into more division and misdirection. 
 
What I am feeling at this moment as I write to you is if he is so comfortable saying what he has said, why can’t we as women be comfortable and empowered to remove a platform that will not mobilize equality and justice? 
 
He once said he can grab us by the pussy, but this time around we have the power to grab him by the vote. 
 
The Black women’s vote, the colored girls' vote, this generation's vote matters. 
 
As for Trump, his cabinet, the House of Representatives, Congress and all who is behind this major decision in history, they have messed with the wrong generation.

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About the Author:
Susej Mendoza

Susej Mendoza is a 21-year-old, Afro-Latina, cist-gendered woman from Bronx, NY and her passion is to educate the world on real issues related to race, economy, politics, and religion. Her writing is a component of that passion and her goal is to share that with the world while making people dig deep into who they are. 

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