Updated: Feb 10, 2022
This book was awe-inspiring. I love how Stacy Abrams addresses the topic of voter suppression. Not only does she address it, but she offers insights into where the problem lies and how to fix it. If voting weren't so important, there wouldn't be so many individuals trying to control it, trying to control the access to a vote, nor access to who gets to decide upon the future leadership roles. There is prevalent power in voting and even more power in who can create the changes. Stacy Abrams brings awareness to the call to action. Our time is now! If not now, then when? So many decisions are being made that require a vote. Demanding a choice be made that can shape the lives of a friend, a family member, a neighbor, and most importantly you.
Voter suppression has a target area, and it's the disadvantage. It seems to be an inconvenience to inconvenience others. There are many ways a person's registration to vote can get lost or denied. The system makes it appear it is the individual's fault. Stacey Abrams mentions how voting is a fundamental key to economic and political change, and I conquer. As of March 24, legislators have introduced 361 bills with restrictive provisions in 47 states" (Brennan Center for Justice, 2021). The power of the recent Black and Brown votes has caused politicians to create bills that will place stricter restrictions on absentee voting. Recently on March 25, Gov. Brian Kemp signed into law SB 202, which criminalizes the act of giving snacks or water to voters waiting in line at polling places. The audacity of some people, right? Can't even quench our thirst without being penalized, which further reiterates the importance of voting. "Power is the right to be seen, the right to be heard, and the right to direct the course of history and benefit from the future" (Stacey Abrams, 2020). To understand where we should be going, we must understand the significance of where we've been.
For some odd reason, voting is being treated as a privilege and not a fundamental right. Systematic racism is busy around the clock, and I love how Stacey Abram's address barriers surrounding voting rights because one side should not prevent the other from accessing their right to cast a vote. When we opt not to use our voice, we are allowing others the opportunity to choose for us. There are already political tactics being put into play to eliminate how we vote. We hit obstacles before we even get the chance to confirm our identity. It truly is a collective team effort that can create progressive movements that make a difference. The more dialogue we create surrounding the topic of voter access is vital for our present and future. Creating engagement changes how we listen and relate to others. Understanding the person and the stories they have to share can help us creates plans that make a difference for the better.
Our Time Is Now, helped me to understand the need to use our power in fighting back. It created more than empathy but the action inside me to make a difference while educating myself and others along the way. I was unaware of different issues going on until I read along with her book. The quicker we can acknowledge a problem, the faster our efforts can resolve it. The continued issue at hand is voter restriction laws and voter suppression laws. Why are these even matters to begin with? Why are we still needing to restrict how to vote and who can vote? Stacey Abrams reminds us through her grandparent's experience of the struggle they went through to vote. The intimidation and fear at the thought of what would happen if you voted. Dogs and water hoses were used against people in the black community to remind them to stay in their place. That's the power of control they seek to get is by having us ultimately remain in our place. Our place is alongside all the other Americans using their voice and platform to be included in the decision-making process. The policymakers can make decisions for us, but we cant make decisions upon the leaders who represent us.
What I Didn't Like About The Book
I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book, and sometimes there may be moments where the author misses the mark. This isn't one of those cases. Stacey Abrams does a great job addressing and expanding upon a sensitive topic. I will say I don't like how often this same narrative is being brought up, considering it's the 21st century. I believe we are all tired of being tired at this point. In the past, people of color had to take a literacy test to qualify to vote to prove we were comprehensive. Move forward to the present; some Republicans want to make it harder to vote through the mail and in-person, attacking all voting phases. There is an increased effort to mitigate the black and brown vote, and that's what I can't comprehend. Voting rights is a top priority because it sets a precedent for all other rights, such as equal opportunity, woman rights, civil rights, LGBTQ rights, etc.
"Democrats value as many people as possible voting and they're willing to risk fraud. Republicans are more concerned about fraud, so we don't mind putting security measures in that won't let everybody vote—but everybody shouldn't be voting. Not everybody wants to vote and, if somebody is uninterested in voting, that probably means that they're totally uninformed on the issues," he added. "Quantity is important, but we have to look at the quality of votes as well."
Arizona State Rep. John Kavanagh's, 2021
First off, he tried it. The words coming out of his mouth are disrespectful and belittling to voters, specifically the black and brown community. Our people have made many sacrifices to place a check in a box, be seen and heard, and be equals under the law. They were risking their lives not to remain discriminated against. Stacy Abrams mentions the importance of understanding where we've been and where we are now demands a fair fight. A leader shouldn't make others feel like voting comes with a price. An effective leader has the power to rewrite the broken narratives and encourage others to follow suit. People who have never been through trials and tribulations always have the most time to offer unsolicited advice. Chyle, bye.
Would I Recommend This Book
Absolutely, yes. For starters, representation matters. Seeing someone of color speaking for other individuals whose voices so often get lost in our democracy means more than I can type into words. I've enjoyed sitting in on a zoom session and listening to Stacey Abrams talk about fundamental values and how voter suppression does target people of color. She is not afraid of using her platform to educate others surrounding the infrastructures that continue to hold us back. She is very adamant about bringing awareness to the nation on what is going on in their communities and country. She provides a playbook that will add to litigation measures, understand stories and the people behind them. She is so passionate about the right to vote. She founded an organization called Fair Fight, which promotes fair elections, educates voters about the elections and rights, and encourages voter participation. On top of being a political leader, voting rights activist, New York Times bestselling author, Sister, Daughter, Sagittarius, and Governor of Georgia. We see you, Governor. This was a phenomenal book written by an extra phenomenal person.
(2020, September 18). Fair Fight. https://fairfight.com/
Brennan Center for Justice. (2021, April 1). Voting laws roundup: March 2021. https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/research-reports/voting-laws-roundup-march-2021
(n.d.). Join Stacey Abrams. https://staceyabrams.com/
Our time is now: Power, purpose, and the fight for a fair America: Abrams, Stacey: 9781250257703: Amazon.com: Books. (n.d.). Amazon.com: Online Shopping for Electronics, Apparel, Computers, Books, DVDs & more. https://www.amazon.com/Our-Time-Now-Purpose-America/dp/1250257700
Palmer, E. (2021, March 12). Don lemon says GOP Arizona rep. said "quiet part out loud" with voting restriction comment. Newsweek. https://www.newsweek.com/arizona-gop-don-lemon-john-kavanagh-1575642