I voted for Obama in 2008. I voted for him for a variety of reasons that made complete sense to me at the time. I voted for Obama because I believed that a tangible socio-psychological evolution was occurring that needed my support. People other than white men needed to know they could be leaders in the United States and Obama seemed to be a "safe" and "viable" candidate to assist in making this goal attainable. I say safe because he was not a Republican. I say viable because he was a Democrat. And after having endured 8 years of W, I voted out of fear of more of the same.
The truth is the 2008 Green Party's presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney and her running mate Rosa Clemente, completely represented my belief system and ran on a platform that was just and reasonable. Their only problem was that they were not viable, due to their lack of exposure and money. This is where my fear for more of the same Republican warring ultimately decided my rationalization to vote for Obama over McKinney.
Now here I am in 2012. Obama I am betting this time will be safely ushered back into the oval office with or without my vote. I am not going to vote out of fear this November I am going to vote out of strength. I was privileged to meet Rosa Clemente in 2008 not too long after she had been chosen as the Green Party VP candidate. We were in Biloxi, MS at the The Hip Hop Congress National Conference. She was brutally honest about her personal feelings and she laid out a very compelling case against the two mainstream candidates. She was received by conference attendees with mixed emotions. She was one of our own within the Hip Hop community, a leader, however, she was looked at as challenging "our guy" Obama. And for this she was dissed and dismissed on many levels. I hope that one day she writes a book based solely on that time of her life and reiterates what she told the crowd that day in Biloxi regarding sexism, hip hop, and politics.
Also, at this same conference was Cheri Honkala, the bad ass National Coordinator for the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign, whom when I was serving as Executive Administrator for Hip Hop Congress I had met via phone conferencing prior to in person. She presented the conference with this awesome documentary about protesting the RNC in New York City and marching without a permit from the United Nations to Madison Square Garden. Today I learned that Cheri Honkala was chosen to be the Green Party VP candidate and this action sent me a direct message that the Green Party is not playing around. They will choose the person that they believe most represents their beliefs and whom they believe will put those beliefs into motion. While I have never had the pleasure of meeting Jill Stein nor Cynthia McKinney, I have met their running mates chosen for their tickets and these women represent honest revolutionary strength in a way that far surpasses any other woman I can think of with more public exposure.
I went to some various feminist websites just knowing that they would be fully bragging about such an awesome presidential ticket (or at least covering the event) and was sorely disappointed with what I saw. Searches on websites such as Bitch Media, Feministing and Jezebel all had nothing celebrating, examining or even just announcing this Green Party ticket. But yet other mainstream websites such as the Wall Street Journal and Time Magazine had pieces announcing the ticket and examining the platform. I find it disheartening that feminist websites with such exposure as the ones I listed would choose to ignore such a powerful event. Maybe tomorrow they'll have some coverage...hopefully.
I don't want to turn my love filled piece into sour grapes but I pray that these leading men and women of the progressive/radical/revolutionary activist world will come up out the privileged haze and see that true change will come with a mass movement that does not embrace anything current but instead reaches for the future by breaking the box, smashing the glass ceiling and raising our fists in unity for a better world.
So as of now I will be voting for the Green Party ticket in November because they have a platform and a focus that has been created for the people of the United States and not the corporations.