I have been slacking on my Almost Tuesday posts, but you should definitely check us out weekly on 104.3FM on Monday nights. In this episode from 9th November, I discuss Houston's problem.
CHRIS: It’s a hodgepodge this week, Woody! I want to talk about voting, #Lives that matter, and #Occupying things.
WOODY: Oh yeah! There was an election last week! But what does that have to do with #BlackLivesMatter and #OccupyWallStreet?
CHRIS: Well…not necessarily those hashtags…Let me explain. As you know, Election day was last week. But it was an odd-year election, so turnout was pathetic.
WOODY: I hear it was only 20% in Monroe County and only 15% in Rochester City!
CHRIS: The election officials were so bored they were making origami swans at my poll! That’s pathetic.
WOODY: Well, that’s the status quo for odd year elections. Not much turnout.
CHRIS: Yes, and that has to change, because that is when the most insidious things happen. You know Alabama closed down 31 DMVs in key areas, and people couldn’t get the proper ID to register to vote?
WOODY: That sounds pretty suspect…
CHRIS: Oh, it’s very suspect. Those DMVs that were closed were in areas where most people vote for the opposition party, and the incumbent party nearly swept the elections.
WOODY: How is this legal?
CHRIS: Because not enough people voted, and the wrong legislators got in office, and now they’re trying to hold onto that power, even if that means disenfranchising people.
WOODY: Man, that’s pretty dark.
CHRIS: Yeah. So were the citizens who lost their DMVs.
CHRIS: What? #BlackVotesMatter.
WOODY: Yeah, that’s true.
CHRIS: You know what else matters? #TransLivesMatter, but not in Houston, Texas.
WOODY: What do you mean? Houston has a lesbian mayor, don’t they?
CHRIS: Yes, but they have an uneducated public that fell for a bunch of lies. There was an anti-discrimination ordinance on their ballot. It would have protected against bias in public places different groups, including race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, even genetic makeup and gender-identification.
WOODY: That’s a lot of people! How did that not pass?
CHRIS: Two reasons: The first one is that this ballot measure was placed on an odd-year ballot, when voter turnout is the lowest. PEOPLE DIDN’T VOTE. The second one is that the opposition clung to the gender identity part of the law and started a disingenuous ad campaign, insinuating that it would allow men claim that they’re women and go into women’s bathrooms and locker rooms.
WOODY: Wait, what guy would dress like a woman, risk losing his job, his family, his life, and inject himself with hormones daily for years that will LITERALLY change his physiology, all to watch a woman pee?
CHRIS: Surprise! There are no reports of trans women attacking any woman in women’s spaces. There are plenty of reports about men attacking women in women’s spaces, though.
WOODY: Yeah, and there are plenty of reports of trans WOMEN being attacked and even killed in men’s spaces, though.
CHRIS: Yeah. Trans is the new Black. First it was women and black people and gays, but now it looks like trans people are the newest target for legal subjugation.
WOODY: That is messed up. So the law didn’t pass based on a bunch of fearmongering and lies. What kind of country do we live in?
CHRIS: Oh, we’ve been making laws based on lies for years. Remember the Iraq War?
WOODY: TOO SOON!
CHRIS: Sorry. Remember the Chinese Immigration Act?
CHRIS: Well, there is not much beyond education that will debunk the lies put out there about trans people, but there is definitely something we can do before the next election. We need to restart the Vote or Die campaign, but make the stakes higher.
WOODY: How so?
CHRIS: If you don’t vote, YOU DIE. I’m not playing any more games! Do you know how many people died so that we can have the right to vote? If it weren’t so important, people wouldn’t have tried to make it so hard for certain citizens to vote. So come 2016, You Get in that booth and VOTE, or we will find you.
WOODY: Wouldn’t it make more sense to have elections every two years instead of every year and consolidate the ballot?
CHRIS: Nope. Vote or die, fool.
WOODY: How about making voting compulsory like in some countries, or taxing people who don’t vote?
CHRIS: Vote or die. I’m about that life now.
WOODY: But if you kill everyone who doesn’t vote, and the same people who voted continue to vote, wouldn’t all these bad ideas stay in effect?
CHRIS: Um…VOTE OR DIE!