I’ve spent years trying to teach young folks about why they should vote, which has often been frustrating, because many of them are getting strong messages that tell them why they shouldn’t be bothered. I’ve even dragged out the old Schoolhouse Rock video, “I’m Just a Bill” trying to explain how a bill becomes a law to young people who don’t seem to get civics in school.
I talked about this awhile back in Whatever happened to civics? and Rochaun Meadows Fernandez addressed last year in Voter suppression starts with a lack of civics education.
I jumped for joy when I saw the latest video from Tyheir Kindred, a Dayton, Ohio rapper who goes by the name of YelloPain. It’s called, “My Vote Dont Count.” Check him out, @YelloPain
Don’t let the title fool you.
Kindred switches from rapping in the introduction about why people are discouraged and why they think their votes don’t count, to why they have to vote. He breaks down the difference between the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches of government, and makes it clear that elections are not just about the President.
He has offered non-voters a better education about the power of voting in this short video than most young folks will ever get in school.
In all my years of years of teaching I never had a college student who knew the names of their state assembly person or state senator. I rarely had students who could name their DC congressional rep, or our two senators. I remember watching long lines of students on my campus, which lasted till the polls closed, voting for Obama in 2008. Two years later, I stood outside the campus polling place, and only about 11 students showed up during the three hours I watched. Midterm’s were just not important. Congressional elections were not important. YelloPain addresses this in his rap (see full lyrics here)
We gotta focus on the Legislative branch; yeah they the ones that make the Laws
Yeah they the ones that write how much food stamps money you get on the card
But when people that wanted to help us wanted the job
I know they probably lost
Cause we ain’t even know they name, we ain’t know they face, we ain’t know at all
So the Congress or the State House that’s the Legislative, they make Laws
So what we want from the President is what they do, okay y’all?
See they election every two years but we don’t ever even go to those
The Congress they could raise minimum wage but we ain’t even really know it though
So you know how back in ’08, when we all voted for Obama
We was all supposed to go back in 2010 and voted for the Congress
Cause they the ones that make child support laws
They the ones choose if your kids at school get to eat steak or corn dogs
The state house makes the courthouse
So if the country fail you can’t say it’s them, it’s your fault
Cause ya ain't know to know to vote for Congress members that was for y’all
And they don’t gotta leave at the four years and we just let ‘em sit
See, they don’t want to tell you this they want you to focus on the President
Here’s the full video:
I was glad to see his video garnering interest on Twitter.
It is also getting some local press:
Think your vote doesn’t count? Dayton native ‘schools’ non-voters with video with more than 4 million views and counting
A Dayton-born rapper breaks down the three branches of government in a recently released music video that has received more than 4 million views on Facebook alone.
Yes, you can dance to it.
No, it is nothing like “I’m just a Bill.”
At the beginning of the video filmed in downtown Dayton, the 25-year-old graduate of Ponitz Career Techology Center expresses the delusion many feel about the way elections work while strolling down the street. He then flips the script in a classroom setting to explain how power is distributed between the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government and why it is important to vote even when it is not a presidential election.
MUST WATCH: The Best Music Video of 2020 Sends a Clear Message: VOTE.
Musical Artist YelloPain teams up with Ohio Congressional candidate Desiree Tims to break down the importance of voting.
The significance of the presidency in the lives of everyday Americans is over-inflated. Congress is the body that makes the laws that impact our lives, health, economy & security. These are positions of great power, and the people who sit in them are elected by the people.
Only 58% of eligible voters even cast a ballot in 2016. People need to vote. Votes matter. Staying home only further enables those who seek to oppress.
This is the point driven home in YelloPain‘s inspiring video, which also features Democrat Desiree Tims – who is running to flip Ohio’s 10th Congressional District in 2020. This is an absolute must-watch
I’d like to see it get national media attention.
YelloPain closes with a powerful message.
Me and you, somebody told us that the government want to keep us broke
But the only reason why those people in the government ‘cause we ain’t vote
And I ain’t talking about the President
I’m talking about the ones we ain’t know
See they was gonna try keep it low but it’s gonna hurt ‘em
When they see them polls
Every time you stay home someone is making a decision about you
Making decisions about the air you breathe, the water you drink, the food your kids eat, and how much money you bring home very two weeks
So every time you sit out an election, every time you don’t show up because you think it doesn’t matter, someone else is happy that you didn’t show up. So they can make that decision for you. Vote!
Suggest you also follow Desiree Tims and help her rid us of a Republican in the House.
Spread the word.
Every vote counts. Especially in state and local elections.
YelloPain makes it very clear — it’s not just about the President.
Check him out on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.