First-time voter woes

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Photography freshman Mikquel John

Photography freshman Mikquel John

Viewpoint by Mikquel John

This year will be my first time voting, and I’m terrified because I can’t take this election seriously. I feel like my world is going to change and I am not going to have a say in that change.

See, here’s my issue with everything that is going on around me: For one thing, I am a Hurricane Katrina survivor. I lost my home, material things, and I had to move to a whole new environment. I was 7 years old and was a very shy girl who had problems with my speech, so, of course, I got picked on.

I’m not going to say my life was horrible, but it was hard starting at a new school and discovering a new world.

I suffered from depression, and I couldn’t open up about it because I didn’t have a full understanding of what was wrong with me.

I struggled with fitting in because of the way I wore my hair and the color of my skin. That’s the main reason why I was picked on as a kid. I was bullied verbally and physically simply over my appearance. Just by dealing with that at a young age, I see the world differently.

I see racism every day, and it hurts me that after all these years, people of color are still looked at as criminals and threats to society. I am scared to vote, and I’ve been thinking about not voting because my people and others of color will continue to suffer under white man’s world.

Yes, we have improved since slavery but really how much? I mean, I see how people act at political rallies and all I can do is cry. What is our world coming to?

I fear for my nieces’ and nephews’ future because they’re our future. I don’t want them seeing color; I want them to believe that maybe one day they could be president of the United States.

I know I should be more realistic, but it’s great to have dream and goals. I wish I was old enough when President Obama ran for office because, of course, I would vote for him. He’s half African-American. Why not?

It’s sad that people suggest that, “oh, because he’s ‘black.’ That’s why blacks vote for him.” Well, yeah, we needed a change and we needed our first black president.

I just want this election to benefit the people who matter, I want a president who is for the people. I’m not suggesting we have good choices, but maybe, just maybe, whoever wins will not think only about themselves.

Voting should be important for everyone, we shouldn’t vote based on if we like the person or not. We should vote because we feel as though that person will do right by us when they get into office.

I can continue to complain and continue to be afraid to have my voice heard, but it needs to be. I am just as important as rich people who don’t know my struggles as a young African-American female. I want people to understand we are all the same in some ways so we don’t need to hate each other. Hatred should not rule this world.

All lives matter.

 

Mikquel John

Photography freshman

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