“Franky, our ancestors don’t seem much to brag about. I mean, look at the state they left us in, with the wars and the broken planet. Clearly, they didn’t care about what would happen to the people who came after them.” – Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Mockingjay is book #3 of The Hunger Games trilogy – a series I am completely engrossed in at the moment!! So many of my friends have been raving about the book, and are eagerly anticipating the adapted film‘s debut, I jumped on THG bandwagon along with them.Though Initially, however, it took some convincing, since I immediately lost interest upon hearing the series takes place during a post-apocalyptic era. Eh, no thanks. But then I read the book’s description – “In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.”
Hook, line and sinker.
You see, this nation of Panem is ruled by a totalitarian government, regulating both public and private life, who force children – CHILDREN – to kill each other for entertainment and as a way of keeping the people in check, living in fear. Sounds horrible!!! Thank God we (Americans) live in a democracy right? Right?!
Well, the more I watch the GOP debates and elections, the more I ponder on just how much it would take for the USA to become Panem. It seems extreme to compare the two – one reality, one fantasy. Yet, every time I turn around, it seems as if certain political entities are pushing to take away more and more rights of American citizens. They want to control a woman’s womb and control who people can and cannot marry. You know, in the name of “small government.” (o_O)
In case you didn’t know, these very same political entities who want to control people’s private lives are also out to control who can vote. Sure, you may have thought we crossed all those pesky voting hurdles with the 15th and 18th amendments to the Constitution that now [supposedly] allow EVERYONE to vote in this country. But apparently, we’re regressing. There are 32 states who have passed1 or pending legislation that will require new photo ID laws2. These laws target and would disenfranchise some 5 million voters – namely the elderly, the poor, and students. The timing for this legislation is uncanny, right before the upcoming presidential election, as many of these voters are potential Obama supporters. #GoFigure. Based on the timing and supporters of these laws, it’s pretty clear that these laws are intended to suppress a very particular vote, not to ensure voting security.
I won’t go on a long tirade and get on my high horse to berate you into caring about the importance of voter right or the ridiculousness of these voter ID laws (and the idea that they are combating “voter fraud” – give me a break!). I could, I want to, I already kind of did on twitter, but I won’t. Instead, I urge you to educate yourself on the issues and take a stand against legislation that picks away at our rights, rights that our ancestors literally killed themselves over to gain. No, we aren’t in the post-Civil War, Jim Crow era, but these new tactics are eerily reminiscent.3
What happens if we think something like this is no big deal and do nothing? What happens if we allow the rich and powerful to dictate who can do what, and how? What other rights are we going to compromise on? What will it take for us to say, “enough is enough”? If we’re not vigilant, and willing to fight, our descendants may be saying the very thing in the above passage. That we left them neglected, impoverished, and broken, with no say in their governance.
I want to give the future more. I want my country to have better. I care about the people who come after me. I’m not ready to give up. I won’t let anyone take my rights from up under me. Not without a fight.
Both angry and sad,
1 Pennsylvania’s senate just passed the legislation today. *sigh* I kind of wish I was still going to be living in PA come November, so I can help mobilize voters in Pittsburgh. Oregon won’t be dealing with this nonsense.
2 To find out if YOUR state is on some f&%k s#!t, you can go to NAACP‘s site – they list each state’s Voter ID requirements and legislation. #thankmelater
3 Here is a great article that highlights our voting history in this country.