Afterword: On Voting

October 27, 2012

Over this past week, TFW Collective members and guest writers have had their say about electoral politics, generally, and voting, specifically. Over and over again, we returned to the significance of history, specifically the obligations that some of us feel towards our political forbearers.

It is striking that each contributor to this Forum embodies statuses that would have excluded us from voting at one time or another in US history. In light of this fact, our critical analyses, personal reflections, and truth telling are significant. These works speak to TFW’s commitment to making room for subjugated voices and narratives excluded from dominant spheres.

Importantly, this Forum reflected upon but was not subsumed under party allegiance or political ideology. While the majority of contributors explicate their votes for President Barack Obama, every piece wrestles with elements of what might be described as  “progressive” or “liberal” politics. Voicing conscience especially in the days before an election is risky. There is an unspoken (and sometimes spoken) sentiment from the Left that it is dangerous to criticize Obama. But let us not forget that it is dangerous not to.

As activist and social critic Ruby Sales reminds us:

“It is clear that we must support the President to hold back the crush of corporate fascism and racism. However, this does not mean that we must give up our right to critique. Nor should we get angry when others do. Blind obedience is dangerous and leads to group think that is disaster for the President because push from the outside enlarges his reach and analysis and moves us toward a deeper democracy. He does not need star gazers or sycophants who bask in his power rather than think of ways to help him talk about race and poverty.”

Especially for those readers searching for a critical lens in the process of deciding how to approach the coming days, we offer you these words…

Introduction to TFW Voting Forum
October 23, 2012
Heather Laine Talley
Because Women Matter
October 23, 2012
Monica J. Casper
Princess Sofia and Barack Obama: Why I Must Choose Accordingly
October 23, 2012
Nicole Guidotti-Hernández
What Does Democracy Look Like?
October 24, 2012
Theresa Runstedtler
Queer the Vote
October 24, 2012
Samuel “Basil” Soper
My First Vote
October 25, 2012
Dylan McCann
Voting as a Radical Act
October 25, 2012
Isaiah M. Wooden and Darnell L. Moore
A Response to “Voting as a Radical Act”: A Word on the Shade of Shade…
October 25, 2012
Jakeya Caruthers
Voting as an Act of Reckoning with Communal Obligations
October 26, 2012
Rosa-Linda Fregoso
He’s Not the One We’ve Been Waiting For: Thoughts on Collective Effervescence, Stockholm Syndrome, Reluctant Voting, and Reclaiming “We”
October 26, 2012
Heather Laine Talley
White Rage, Black Obama
October 27, 2012
Omar Ricks


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