Can you hold elected officals acountable?
Can someone define “holding elected officials accountable” because the more I see that phrase used the emptier I’m realizing it is. What does it look like to hold someone accountable for the migrant children lost by Homeland Security? How do we hold someone accountable for neglecting the healthcare needs of trans people? Who was held accountable and is continuing to be held accountable for genocide against Black people in this country? Asking for myself because I’m really starting to think this idea of electoral accountability is a delusion we’re all holding on to because it allows us to feel like we have agency under our government rather than being victims of it.
What good is voter outreach?
While y’all celebrate the election results, I’ll continue grieving the fact that rather than using our resources, time, and talents to fortify local mutual aid networks that can sustain and protect us regardless of who the elected officials are, we instead put that energy and effort into elections, pamphlets, yard signs, social media tech company coffers, Halloween candy and snacks for the sake of “voter outreach”.
6 Things to do instead of voter outreach to increase community resiliency
- Erect community fridges.
- Devise systems to deliver fresh and nutrituous food to our people.
- Free Black and Brown folks from cages using community bail oranization.
- Get houseless people off the streets by winter.
- Create and support funds for emergency medical procedures and unexpected circumstances.
- Advocate for climate and environmental equity. (Small Rant: Or are we turning a blind eye to the collossal amount of materials waste? What about fossil fuels when volunteers are driving across states to knock on doors? We excuse everything in the name of supporting our elected officials. I’m sure campaigns were some of the biggest plastic water bottle pushers this year.)
What are we doing?
All of this is to say, I am really confused about what are we actually doing… What is it we actually want?
Because impact > intent and we seem collectively committed to the wrong solutions. And though I do see people that are critical of electoral politics few seem ready to talk about what we really need to do here…
Divest from electoral politics all together.
For more information,
On Migrant Children in the United States:
Why Homeland Security lost track of kids it separated at the border, Fedreal Times, December 2019
On Healthcare for Transpeople:
Transgender discrimination in healthcare: What families should know, Boston Children’s Hospital, July 2020
Barriers to Health Care fpr Trangender Individuals, US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, April 2017
On Black Genocide in America:
In 1951, the Civil Rights Congress, affiliated with the Communist Party, engaged in a campaign to hold the United States acountable for genocide against African Americans, they used 152 incidents in support of the campaign. The incidents involved were killings of unarmed Black men and women by police and lynch mobs between 1945 and 1951. Imani is arguing the Black genocide continues on similar terms today. It was also an attempt by an organization of Black people to hold American elected officals accountable.
“We Charge Genocide” The 1951 Black Lives Matter Campaign, University of Washington Mapping American Social Movements Project