Monday, October 20, 2008

Raise your voice

This post is because of Kojo, who requested I blog about this topic.

There is only one week left before what will be considered the most changing election in American history. For the first time ever, we will have either an African-American President or a woman as a Vice President. As Election Day approaches, Americans are growing more vocal and pro-active about their choice for the next US President. This election has brought to surface the cultural divide existing in today's society. With a spectrum of issues to consider when electing a President, it is expected that differences in perception, thought, reaction and response will arise. Essentially, this cultural divide refers to the unseen barriers caused by those differences. What emerged during exploration as we encountered new languages, customs, and values, has transcended into modern times. In today's context, cultural divide pertains to: individuals' stance on war, globalization, abortion, education, medical assistance, gay marriage, and of course--the economy. It seems like things are getting a bit out of hand. Local news stories report acts of theft and vandalism as a result of differing political party beliefs. One woman had the siding on her house etched with the words "Obama" in permanent marker because she had a McCain/Palin sign in her window (KMBC TV9). A man reported him and his neighbors had their Obama signs stolen off their property while all the McCain signs on their street were left alone. In my opinion, the kinds of verbal attacks each candidate is giving and receiving has gotten a bit out of hand. On the local level, one city's political candidate was caught on tape lingering around his opponents house where he proceeded to remove all of his opponent's signs from his front lawn. (KCTV 5) Whatever happened to agreeing to disagree? Or at least handle your differences with dignity and class. I feel like the cultural divide we witness today is due to the fact that so many of us, myself included, are often too stubborn. We need to strive toward being more open-minded. I know that I have a hard time keeping religion out of politics, but I am always open to hearing opinions of those who believe in separation of church and state. In my opinion, religion is a big factor in shaping one's culture. We are also influenced largely by what we see and hear through the media, human interaction, and personal experiences. I won't profess to know what we can do about this evident cultural divide. People have been disagreeing since the beginning of society, and I don't see it coming to a halt anytime soon. Bringing it back to the current election. I don't think we should focus so much on political parties, because there will always be individuals that we disagree with on one side or the other. There is no such thing as a perfect candidate, but we should consider whomever will best suit America's needs and address the issues you find important.

As someone who is Asian, I fall into the category as one of the races that historically vote the least. I know a lot of my Asian-American friends are afraid to voice their political views at the risk of falling into a debate and having to face controntation. We are an educated people, with 50% of the Asian population having a college degree, compared to 25% of the entire US population. I haven't located voting stats on the Asian-American population just yet, but based on college enrollment numbers, I think it is probably an even higher percentage. If there is any truth in the studies showing educated people as more likely to vote, I expect to see more Asians at the polls or sending in their votes. It is good to know this election is already bringing more Asians out from our passive past, and I hope this election will rid us of the "silent minority" stereotype (The Associated Press). [APIA Vote represents a national, nonpartisan and nonprofit organization that encourages Asian Pacific Islander Americans to vote at the national, state, and local levels.]

It all boils down to voting. I've already voted, so I know my opinion will be counted. Make sure yours will be too. NOVEMBER 4, 2008...Vote or Die! (Thank you, Diddy.) Regardless of who you support, PLEASE PLEASE vote smart. EDUCATE yourself on current issues and where each candidate stands. Please be KNOWLEDGABLE about who you vote for. I feel like too many young adults/college students are bandwagon voters, which is not cool. No matter what the outcome, I trust that God's hand is over this election, and more importantly, the future of our country.


Between 3 jobs, I currently work about 58 hours a week. That leaves me pretty tired most days, so sleep is crucial. For 2 months, I have put up with my upstairs neighbor's large and LOUD dogs. I've tried to ignore the barking without voicing my complaint. Two Saturdays ago, I broke the silence. It was barely 7am and the dogs had been barking like half an hour. I found myself laying there, noticing the pattern. Fifteen minutes of STRAIGHT barking, a 2 minute break, then resumed barking. I threw on a hoodie and ran upstairs to knock on my neighbor's door. I wasn't sure what I was going to say in my state of frustration, so it came as somewhat of a relief when no one answered the door. What did I do next? I called my landlord. I really didn't want to be that neighbor, but I needed quiet. It was quite amazing, though...moments after I hung up, the barking stopped! And it didn't least not that day.

I really hate coming-and-goings. You know, when you enter someone's life briefly and then you or they part ways indefinitely. And this is often someone whom you feel a connection with...either one of potential lasting friendship or romantic possibilities. It's often open-ended, when it doesn't need to be. We should stop being so afraid of saying what we really think and want at the risk of being rejected. Fear holds us back. Fear causes us to miss out. I've been known to have body-mind conflicts. My body wants to act differently than what my mind knows is right. It is a battle that my mind has come close to losing.