Good Morning Everybody,
It’s voting season.
And I don’t know if I can recall another time in my life where more was at stake, all over the country, than right now. You are going to hear me talking about voting almost every day over these next few months – in part because I don’t just want you to vote, I want you to be an informed voter. I want you to know who’s who. I want you to understand who the heroes and villains are. I want you to understand who you need to vote out and who you need vote in. I don’t just want you to vote, I want everybody you know to vote.
Because here’s the thing – the United States has one of the lowest voter turnouts of any nation in the world. We hover right around 50% of eligible voting age adults who show up to vote. Now I’m not even talking about people who’ve lost their rights to vote – only about half of all adults in this country who have the right to vote show up.
In most countries it’s about 75%.
If we could get that number up from 50% to 60%, we’d never lose another election again.
If we got it up to 75% we’d transform this nation from the inside out. If Atlanta votes, and I mean votes like London or Paris, Stacey Abrams will be Governor. If Baltimore votes, if PG County votes, Ben Jealous will be Governor, if Miami, Tallahassee, Orlando, and Tampa vote – Andrew Gillum will be elected Governor. We have that power.
And today is Boston’s day to vote. Because Boston is a city dominated by Democrats, the Democratic primary often serves as the de facto general election. And for just a few moments I want to unpack what Boston has a chance to do today, because thousands of other cities will have their chance to do this as well.
Today Boston, for the first time in generations, gets to elect a brand new District Attorney. My good friend Rachael Rollins, a brilliant Black woman, with the right policies, character, and experience to change the entire justice system in Boston, is running to be the new DA – and she can win, but it will take everybody in Boston showing up to make it happen. Even though it’s a Democratic primary, a conservative white man who’s backed by all of the police unions, is currently in first place in the polls. Rachael was endorsed by the Boston Globe and 30 other different leading organizations around the country, she campaigned her heart out all over Boston, but today is still going to be an uphill battle. We’re hoping hard for an upset, but let me say this – because I wanna also talk about the new ad from Nike featuring Colin Kaepernick.
We say we want to change the justice system. We say we hate how unfair it is, but we need to embrace the idea that we have the power to change it by electing better women and men to oversee and transform it. If we don’t show up for those elections, we damn near lose our right to complain about it.
As you may know, the NFL season begins in just a few days, and last night, before I went to bed, 3 of the Top 5 nationwide trending topics on Twitter were all about Colin Kaepernick and the new ad campaign they’ve launched featuring him. Nike has actually maintained their endorsement of Colin all along, but this is their first new ad featuring him since he first took a knee during the National Anthem over two years ago.
It’s a simple ad, featuring Colin’s face, and the words “Believe in something – even if it means sacrificing everything” – and is a part of Nike’s 30th anniversary celebration of their phrase “Just Do It.”
In less than 24 hours the ad has been shared millions and millions of times across the Internet, and viewed more than any single image ad from Nike in 24 hours than other single image ad they’ve released all year.
I’ll close with this thought.
The NFL thought they could take this man’s career from him over a peaceful protest and that we’d be quiet about it. They thought all of this was going to go away, but it isn’t. Colin’s case against them for how they mistreated him isn’t going away and our support of Colin is not dying out. The people are in his corner.
Listen to me – I have dozens of friends in the NFL, and I support them, and their right to earn a living, I send them encouraging messages and I hope they do well on the field, but I’m not watching a single game. I can’t. I respect myself too much.
For 552 days, the NFL has kept Colin Kaepernick out of the league and now they are doing the same thing to his right hand man, Eric Reid. It’s gross. And if those men can make the sacrifice they’ve made, they deserve our support.
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