Barack Obama took the stage for his farewell speech mere days after Donald Trump had been elected president of the United States in 2016. The 44th president tried his best to instill hope and faith in his followers who had been dealt a blow of fear and despair. He spoke about civil action and voicing our concerns when the government fails us. At one point, when Obama mentioned the future President Donald Trump, members of the crowd started to boo. His response was short, off-the-cuff and enlightening about the outgoing president’s ideals:
“Don’t boo, vote.”
This has been Obama’s doctrine for more than a decade, and to be fair, a go-to one-stop solution offered up mostly to minority populations as the ways to initiate change in America. This isn’t new. One of the pillars of the civil rights movement was making sure that African-Americans could secure the right to vote. An incalculable amount of men and women died for that right to cast ballots in elections. My father risked his life fighting for voting rights. I understand the vast importance of the changes that can occur in America if people have a passion for voting. But I also understand that acting like voting is the final solution to the problems poisoning America is an oversimplified dismissal of what Black people have had to endure to simply survive.