In Case You’re Wondering, This Republican Is With…

My friends, this election is going to be great! Believe me awesome, the greatest we’ve ever seen!

We will see the highest turnout in the modern day era.  Believe me, it’s going to be great seeing so many people, of all walks of life, rural and urban come vote!   It reminds me of the images of South Africans once disenfranchised, standing in line for hours to vote for Nelson Mandela in 1994.  We and the world may we see that this year in America. A lot of people who usually stay home, will come out to vote!  That doesn’t mean we will all agree on who to vote for.  Our nation is split right down the middle.  Nevertheless, we all need to vote!

No one can stand on the sidelines for this one.  No one should.  Why, because this election is going to be great and all votes will matter.  I promise you, they will really matter. Remember the 2000 voter debacle in Florida?  If you think there were issues then, wait til you get a load out of November 2016.  There will be voter issues, so know your rights!

On one side we have Donald Trump who has energized his base.  A reality television celebrity, he’s got a solid base. On the other, we have Hillary Clinton.  A woman in the public eye over forty years running an historic campaign as the first woman of a major political party to win her Party’s nomination.

Trump has fired a wall of division into the air.  That’s made some friends on the Republican side nervous and they haven’t embraced him.  They also find it hard to back Clinton.   Then there are my friends who despite his wall of division are embracing Trump. These are not just White, uneducated voters as some on the other side seem to think.  These friends are of all races and very educated.  And they’ve taught me a lot.  One is to accept their choice. Know what, they’re right!  I’m okay with it. I love them even if I disagree with them.  That’s what makes America great!  We can agree to disagree.

That’s why, my friends who don’t like politics, I’m not asking you to change and like politics.  I am asking you to be engaged.  If you don’t stay engaged, if you don’t vote, a narcissistic, pompous bigot is going to occupy the White House and destroy years of progress.  After years of gridlock in politics, maybe that’s what America deserves! I don’t believe that, but if people don’t vote, that is what we are going to get.

Believe me, I promise you, it’s going to get nastier when the debates begin.  My fear is Hillary will not do well in those debates.  Not against Trump.  This man believes any lie he makes up.  How do you combat that? One person can’t, but many can.

This election is about American values. How do we ensure everyone has equal access to education, healthcare and jobs. I’ve been on this soapbox for years. When we don’t vote, we get politicians who take us into an economic recession, fiscal cliff and government shutdowns!

Heard the saying, We get the politicians we deserve. That’s why Congress is mired in gridlock and state legislatures battle over ObamaCare and education funding. We get what we deserve when we don’t vote.

We get them when the Kardashians, Honey Boo Boo and sports programming takes our attention away from the real reality television show – politics, where politicians decision impact each and every one of us.

Do we deserve Trump? If we don’t vote and stay informed, unfortunately, yes we do. We’ve seen what happens when we can’t  vote.  Isn’t that what we saw in slavery when Blacks and women were not allowed to vote?  And through segregation, when Blacks died for the right to vote?

I know, its not easy, but I promise you, believe me, the alternative, not staying engaged and voting  is a lot worse. If we all vote, those for and against Trump, it will be great for America.  A Clash of Titans!

Who will win? I don’t know. I believe, the diversity of our nation, the merging of our cultures, the fabric of our values are intact.  For that, I have hope that Hillary Clinton will win.

As a descendant of slaves and slave masters, I am inextricably linked to the origins of our nation once mired in slavery.  That origin evolved into segregation and from there other issues emerged like immigration, women’s right to choose, sexual orientation and identity.   More of us are on the side that recognizes #BlackLivesMatter.  And we know that #BlueLivesMatter because by extension we all believe #AllLivesMatter.  But right now, we need a leader that understands why this is important today.

I’m with her because, for whatever mistakes she made or decisions she made in the past, she’s consistently chosen to be on the side of the majority in good and bad times. There are more of us together on these issues than ever before.  And we need a leader who has the courage to address and change when the times call for it, because she listens to the people.

For that, I believe if we stick together on both sides, what will emerge is a referendum on our past, and a signal to all of us that CHANGE happened in 2008. And when it’s all said and done, she’s the best leader for all.  Despite the gridlock in Congress and our state legislatures, as a nation we are moving FORWARD in the right direction. That’s why it’s up to all of us to VOTE!

And it’s why I’m with Her!  Whether you are with her or not, will you please, Vote?


How NOT Voting is Still Voting: Electoral Systems With Atiba Madyun By Sibongile Khumalo


In conversation with Atiba Madyun President/CEO of The Madyun Group (TMG) on the US and South African electoral systems I learned many things, but the few that stood out were; one, you will never find the perfect candidate for presidency, unless the candidate is you of course and two; not voting is still voting for the gal or guy you like the least.

Truthfully speaking, the beauty of democracies is having an alternative. The only problem with this is that sometimes the options presented on the ballot paper are never quite perfect for you. They tend to vary from your least favorite individual to the one you hate the most. It is no wonder that so many people are just refusing to vote. I get it!

Nevertheless, and this is where living and prospering in a democracy becomes tricky; whether you decide to vote or not, you are gearing the course of your entire life!

The drawback about remaining neutral is that it is still making a statement. This gets even worse when it comes to voting because by not voting, the individual you hate the absolute most on the ballot paper, gets your vote. By not making an X next to anyone, it increases the chances of your most despised candidate to control many aspects of your life, even the most intimate of them, like who you can and cannot have a relationship with or where and when you can buy a house. Yes, it is that deep.

What is important to remember in voting or not voting for the individual or party who will essentially direct the course of your life, is what direction they are planning on leading it into. Try to understand their policies, politics and principles – are they progressive for the whole nation or only to some? What are they saying about YOUR future in the said democracy? What do they have to say about your neighbor’s future? Do you like what they have to say, or at least some of what they have to say? Are you okay with the direction they have planned for you, for your country? Are they cognizant about your life, your way of life and is this reflected in their policies, politics and principles?

Do note: in the ideal world an ideal party will check all the right boxes. However, because we live in a world where you are not running for president, not all of your boxes will be checked. Remember, the parties on these ballot papers consist of a group of PEOPLE, all wired differently and have differing ideas on what progress looks like. What is important to think about, I think, is which party checks most of your boxes, because remember; there is always room for progress.

So vote or don’t vote, just know who you are voting for.

About the  Author

BongiSibongile Khumalo, is currently pursuing an M.A in Environmental Literacy. She has a B.A. degree in Sociology and Communications, and an Honour’s degree in English Literature from the University of the Western Cape. She serves as the academic and transformation officer for the UWC graduate house committee (2015/2016). She is also a copy editor at Clarity Editorial and has worked on joint research projects with the World Health Organization and the UWC HIV/AIDS unit. Sibongile has demonstrated her passion for youth empowerment through co-founding My Sister My Keeper (NGO) which is directed at the development of young women in and around the Northern Cape region.

We Have to Talk About It!

Our POTUS signed into legislation in May the “Blue Alert” bill (God Bless those 11 victims, DART officers and 5 officers murdered, 7/7/16) and later that month decreed Transgender bathroom access. These topics were both important to our communities and our country. The administration felt so adamant about mandating the acceptance of the Transgender bathroom access in schools that they would withhold state funding for those states who refused to accept the decree/directive …I’ve been blessed to have within my personal community of friends and family a potpourri of cultures, gender preference, races and religions. My personal community of associates, friends and family who are both police officers and of the transgender community. So, please understand I say this with all due respect; why has that same action stated above not been taken by our government and/or administration. The lives lost this year alone among African-Americans killed by police officers has held in comparison to the two points shared above. Action must happen immediately, as it did for the “Blue Alert Bill” and the Transgender community…. There is No exception. #YouMustVote
To my personal community of associates, friends and family I heard all of your voices loud and clear, When:*France – was attacked: screen savers were changed and the outcry was moving and supported.

*Miami, FL. – nightclub was attacked and the senseless killings of All Americans screen savers were displayed and again the outcry was immediate by All-Americans.

*Istanbul – Airport attacked again senseless killings and lives lost 

*Yemen – Suicide Car Bomb killing 42 people killed, lives lost and families impacted again the outcry was heard. 

*Atlanta, Georgia- A black man was found hung from a tree, just yesterday in Piedmont Park. Very little mentioned and (Oh, NO Screen Savers available to place on our FB pages).  

…this is just to name a few! 

I am an American who’s of African decent and other nationalities, cultures, and who’s very proud to be one! 

Racism is real and no matter how much you want to ignore the subject we must discuss and get beyond the fear and the hate. 

Thank you for indulging me and again #WeAreOnePeople

Kwame Browner is happily married, a father of two and living in his native Washington, DC where he is a realtor.