*A Houston mother filmed a video for Tik Tok showing off her tips for folks forced to stand on long lines to vote.
Belinda Varnado said neither heat, hunger nor illness was going to stop her from voting. “I’m going to vote and ain’t s**t gonna stop me, she said.”
In the now-viral TikTok video shared more than 9,400 times, Varnado begins, “I got my grown folks hair on. I got my savage clothes on, I’m ready for this heat, and I’m ready for these people.”
Showing off her wares, she continued, “I’m ready. They can stand out there for 15 hours, I got my chair. They can stand out there for 24 hours, I got my snacks. I’m going to vote, and I suggest you go vote too.”
Watch her viral TikTok video below:
Varnado said she waited for an hour and a half to vote, which she felt wasn’t too bad. In Harris County alone, the clerk’s office said that when polls closed on Monday, the number of in-person votes and mail-in ballots surpassed 700,000 voters.
Using Vernon Jones As An Example: How Much Should We Let Party Affiliation Define Us?
*Vernon Jones, a Democratic member of the Georgia House of Representatives has quickly become a household name.
Jones rose to the national spotlight in April 2020 after publicly criticizing his own Party and endorsed Trump for reelection. He later spoke at the Republican National Convention, garnering both criticism and adulation from amongst his peers and the public.
Now once again Jones is catching the eyes of the public as his actions in recent weeks have left many people in repudiation or admiration of him. Jones has busied himself with peddling the false narrative of the U.S Presidential Election being hijacked by those on the “left.”
Speaking to a crowd of Trump supporters in Georgia a few days after the election, the state representative shared his false and misguided view of the election being manipulated, specifically focusing on ballots cast and counted in the state which he believed to be illegitimate.
However, wide consensus states that no voter fraud took place and that the allegations currently being pushed by Mr. Jones and even the White House are simply unsubstantiated. But I digress, the point of me writing this piece is to say that Jones’ actions are an enigma to Democratic leaders and to everyday affiliates of the party.
Nikema Williams, Chairman of the Democratic Party of Georgia called him: “An embarrassment” who fails at representing the values of the party.
Jones has frequently stated in interviews and public speeches that his advocacy on the part of Trump stems from what he views as the President’s championing of Black issues. Arguing that Trump’s work in the areas of education and criminal justice reform is admirable and should incentivize Blacks to vote Republican. Such work includes permanent annual funding for HBCUs and school choice, along with the First Step Act.
Like Mrs. Williams, I also do not agree with Jones’ political views or his support for Trump, but I challenge her (and others) when it comes to a party-by-ideology characterization of him. I believe the displeasure Democrats hold towards Jones lies solely not in his misguided support of an incompetent President and conspiracy theories, but rather in that he identifies as a Democrat while heavily advocating for Republicans and their platform along with him possibly being Black. However, people need to realize that political affiliation and race do not always coincide with beliefs and opinions.
It is possible to be both a Democrat and a pro-life supporter just as much as it is to be a Republican and a pro-choice defender. It’s also possible to be Black and anti-police reform or White and for police-reform. You cannot attach expectations onto people due to a label. Left, Right, Liberal, and Conservative are just pointless classifications used to categorize people in order to simplify their sometimes-unique beliefs and opinions. While, people’s association with Democrats and Republicans is merely based on what party they feel at a point in time is more closely aligned with their personal beliefs and doctrines. In other words, people’s connection to such labels can change at a moment’s whim.
In any case, Jones has done nothing of significance to earn widespread attention. Frankly, he would not even be a topic of conversation if he was registered as a Republican supporting Donald Trump or White. Therefore, it’s hard not to assume that Jones has largely only been given media attention due to his labels: Democrat, Black, and a Trump supporter. With the latter two labels possibly playing a substantial role in his given attention due to: 1) There not being a high volume of Black Trump supporters and 2) Confusion as to why a Black politician would back a President who repeatedly indulges White Supremacists.
Jones is an example of why Democrats and Republicans need to accept the fact that ideologies differ amongst their members because if they do not, they risk a lifetime of alienating people based on assumption.
So, do not take this piece as me saying, “You can’t be mad at Jones for his political views and the policies he supports.” After all, if you voted him into office and he changed his agenda after elected you have every right to be angry with him. But, if you strictly dislike him because he is a registered Democrat and or a Black guy siding with Republicans, then you need to rethink how you approach politics because something tells me Jones did not just start leaning to the “right.” He was probably always there, and you simply voted for him with the assumption that his associated party affiliation or race would determine his thinking on political matters.
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David Anthony is a new graduate of Grand Canyon University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government. A self-designated history buff and random fact finder, David could rattle your ear for hours with information. Born and raised in the City of Angels he is a huge fan of the city’s culture and hometown NBA team, the L.A. Clippers. A future attorney, businessman, and civil servant, he hopes to be an impactful individual in life. Contact David: [email protected]
The Journal of Steffanie Rivers: Clyburn and Black People Mad At Biden Already / WATCH
*For a man who was born in the Jim Crow south, lived most of his 80 years in South Carolina and has spent the last 27 years as a U.S. Congressman, James Clyburn should have realized one thing: You don’t get what you deserve. You get what you can negotiate or what you demand. And while there are plenty of disappointments one could list about Joe Biden‘s pending presidency, with all his experience in life and politics Clyburn should be the last person voicing disappointments with President-elect Biden’s cabinet picks so far.
Yet in recent interviews, Clyburn claimed Black people are feeling like the middle of a donut – left out – when it comes to cabinet appointments and leadership positions in the pending Biden administration. It’s surprising that Clyburn feels that way after all he did to revive Biden’s dying presidential campaign during the primaries in South Carolina.
When Clyburn endorsed Biden and urged voters in his state to support him they did. During the general election campaign season, the octogenarian risked his health during a pandemic to campaign for Biden, whom he’s known since Biden was a U.S. Senator.
Even though President Donald Trump won South Carolina in the general election it wasn’t for Clyburn’s lack of support for Biden. So the least the future president can do to show gratitude would be to appoint more Black cabinet members and choose more Black young Democrats for leadership roles in his administration. But expecting a politician to do the right thing – just because – is like Nate Robinson expecting to never see another meme of him getting knocked the f*ck out in that boxing match: It’s unrealistic!
The issue becomes what did Clyburn – with all his life experience and political savvy – negotiate or demand of Biden before the votes were tallied? Did he negotiate for Black political appointees and White House positions before the votes were counted? Did he demand Biden create federal funds to incentivize community policing programs to undo what his 1994 Crime Bill tore down in mostly Black households? Or did Clyburn merely hope, wish and pray that Biden would do the right thing?
Although police departments are funded on the local level, Biden’s crime bill was the national catalyst that criminalized Black men and led to mass hiring of law enforcement around the country, and mass incarceration of Black men and women. These are some of the bully, liar, killer cops that commit legalized genocide of Black people today. I want to know if Clyburn demanded that Biden put a stop to what he started decades ago!
This is the same Clyburn who opposes reparations for ADOS/African Descendants of Slaves. How does an old Black man who grew up in the Jim Crow south and witness first-hand the political scheming that mishandles billions of tax-payer dollars not support reparations? If he doesn’t support that how can Black America trust him to support us on any other front with fervor and conviction?
Instead of continuing to beg the same old politicians for reciprocity we should start a new FUBU political party whereby we hand-pick our politicians, create our own political agenda and push it on the local, state-wide and national levels. Let’s ensure our own quid-pro-quo success.
Those who oppose this third-party idea claim doing so would dilute the vote and stifle progress. Only voters who get something in exchange for their support want things to stay the way they are. That’s not Black people. We shouldn’t remain loyal to a system that for 400 years never has been loyal to us. I don’t want to wait another 400 years hoping and wishing for political power and economic wealth. I’m willing to wait just four more years, as long as we start the FUBU party now.
Steffanie Rivers is a freelance journalist living in the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex. Email her at [email protected] with your questions, comments and speaking inquiries. Follow her @TCBStef on Twitter and Instagram.
Barack Obama Says Rapper Drake Has ‘Stamp of Approval’ to Play Him in Biopic
*Barack Obama has given former actor Drake his approval to play him in a potential biopic about the former president.
“I will say this, Drake seems to be able to do anything he wants. I mean, that is a talented, talented brother. So, if the time comes and he’s ready…,” said Obama during a recent interview on Complex’s 360 With Speedy Morman.
“Drake has, more importantly I think, my household’s stamp of approval,” he added. “I suspect Malia and Sasha would be just fine with it.”
Drake’s acting career began on the Canadian teen drama “Degrassi,” before he transitioned into a hip-hop artist. According to PEOPLE, the rapper first expressed interest in playing Obama in an interview with Paper in 2010.
“I hope somebody makes a movie about Obama’s life soon because I could play him,” he said during Obama’s first term in office. “I watch all the addresses. Anytime I see him on TV, I don’t change the channel, I definitely pay attention and listen to the inflections of his voice.”
Drake continued, “If you ask anyone who knows me, I’m pretty good at impressions. Slowly but surely, I’m not in the study mode because nobody’s called me about anything, but I just pay attention so when the day comes I’m not scrambling to learn how to speak like him.”
In related news, Obama is currently on his book tour promoting his new memoir “A Promised Land,” and during a recent interview with Breakfast Club, he addressed criticism that he didn’t do enough for Black Americans while he was in the White House.
“I understand it because when I got elected, there was so much excitement and hope. And I also think that we generally view the presidency as almost like a monarchy. In the sense of, ‘once the President is there he can just do whatever he needs to get done and if he’s not doing it then it must be because he didn’t want to do it,’” Obama told the hosts.
He then said he “had the statistics” to prove his accomplishments.
“By the time I left office, you had seen three million African Americans have health care that didn’t have it before. You had seen the incarceration rate, the number of Black folks in prison, drop for the first time in years… You had seen Black poverty drop to its lowest level since 1968. You had seen Black businesses rise, you had seen Black income go up,” Obama said, adding that “millions of Black folks were better off” when he left office.
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