[Editor apologizes for the extended delay in publishing this article]
By Chasity Pierna
“I’m not going to vote.”
A passionate opening statement by 20-year-old Jabari Johnson, when he described himself as an “educated young black man in America.” He said that “to vote in this year’s election is a joke.”
“Given the history of America, my voting in this election is not beneficial to the black community,” said Johnson who described himself as rebellious. He spends his down time at campus playing an acoustic guitar in the hallways at random. One of his soulful stroked melodies caught the attention of this reporter who decided to interview him.
Johnson, who lives in Upper Manhattan and was dressed in a casual T-shirt, vintage paisley headband and khakis, said, “Politics are fickle, being that they are not set in stone; the past proves that there is always a loophole to gain more power.”
With Hillary Clinton an obvious supporter of the big corporations that fund her crusade, and Donald Trump relaying heavily on bandwagon campaigning and his own investments, one might understand the mass pessimism about America’s future if either is elected.
Steven Webb, a 22-year-old math major, said, “It is important to vote because of the polarization of the candidates. Although it is admirable to not vote, by doing so we risk putting our future in the hands of Trump.” Webb said he was disappointed. “Our country has been co-opted by dangerous rhetoric and lack of media coverage. But what really disappoints me is that the country isn’t taking the office of the president seriously.”
Webb, wearing a pair of denim jeans, a blue and red flannel, and a casual pair of comfortable boat shoes and sporting a bright green Greenwich cap, and sitting at a desk under the florescent lights of Room C108, said, “There were way better candidates, but Trump is popular.”
One would think the arrogance that the candidates display would be regarded as distasteful. But many, according to numerous polls, would also like to believe that pervasive racism does not exist or may even imagine that rain is made from gumdrops that fall from cotton candy cumulus. How many can really imagine America led by a man who wanted to copyright, “You’re Fired”, and who blusters that the country needs a giant wall on the border between Texas and Mexico and will be paid by Mexico. Some may think it better to vote for a woman who is notorious for her deception, lack of transparency and never-ending-scandals.
As Johnson said, “Politicians are just word smiths that say anything to benefit their own agenda.”
Dennis Dontov, 21, who prowls the Hunter hallways with a fair haired partner looking for students to register and vote, is a philosophy major who also minors in political science and public policy. “I won’t vote because neither are really good candidates who both play off of irrational fears,” he said.
Dontov is a Brooklyn native who lives in Sheepshead Bay. With piercing blue eyes, baby blue shirt, and ripped jeans, he held his clipboard whilst pitching to a flood of Hunter students transitioning college hallways and byways.
He also said that if he had to vote, it would be for Hillary because his friends and family are supporting her.
Chasity Pierna can be reached at Chasity.firstname.lastname@example.org