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Victoria #VoteBlue Brownworth @VABVOX
, 14 tweets, 9 min read Read on Twitter
It's #ElectionEve and I want to tell you why I #vote.
My parents were Socialists.
They grew up dirt poor.
They believed in creating change in their lifetimes.
They raised us to believe the same.
When we were small, they were Civil Rights workers.
My dad was a Freedom Rider.
Our early childhood was framed within & by the #CRM.
My mother wasn't well, but she did everything she knew how, to ensure that black Americans had the right to vote, a right she cherished because her mother had been a baby #suffragist and had fought for that right for women.
The fallout for my parents was minor compared to their black friends, but it was violent and hate-strewn and they worried about their children being hurt.

And we were hurt. I got beaten up a lot because then as now I refused silence. I got in a lot of fist fights.
We do things at 7, 8, 9 that we don't do as adults.
I slapped a nun across the face for saying the N word when #MLK was killed because my mother had slapped me when I had asked what the word meant.
I knew it was not to be spoken.

I almost wasn't allowed back to school.
My parents were co-founders of the Philadelphia-to-Philadelphia Project, a #CRM program linking North & South activists. Black people from #Mississippi were always staying in our little rowhouse in Philly. It was an education for which I shall always be grateful.
One of my mother's friends was a tall, elegant black woman who I just adored. Whenever she came to stay, she slept in my bed and I slept in a sleeping bag on the floor.
We had to put our cat in the basement when she visited, because my mother said she was afraid of cats.
One night, in the dark with the blue light of moonlight on snow I asked her from the floor how she could be afraid of cats. She was so big, they were so small, I said, with the wisdom of an 8yr old.

I remember the intake of breath as she decided what to tell this white child.
And then she told me how when she was not much older than I was, some white boys had decided to play a prank. They grabbed her, put a sack over her head and spun her around, laughing.

She was not alone in the sack.
There was a cat in there, too.
A cat desperate to get out.
She was screaming as they laughed & kicked at her.
When she & the cat were finally free, both were bloody.
She still had the fine lines of scars across her beautiful face.
I remember how angry I was when she told me.
How much I wanted to fight back for her--for the child her.
I #vote for her--the child her and the adult her--who faced down #racism every day.
I #vote for my teenaged #suffragist grandmother who wanted to be a chemist but whose father said no.
I #vote for my other grandmother who was illiterate & took in washing to pay the bills.

I #vote for my parents, the young Socialist Civil Rights workers with a couple of little kids who wanted the world to be a better place for their kids and the kids of their black friends in Philly and Mississippi.

I #vote for my #lesbian family, my #Jewish family.
I #vote for prisoners I taught when serving this country in the domestic Peace Corps.
I #vote for women in #homeless shelters I taught, who were illiterate & deserved better than they'd been given.
I #vote for every victim of #gunviolence I have ever interv'd as a reporter.
I #vote for all my friends who died of #AIDS in the 1980s and 90s because #AIDS isn't over and I don't want anyone else to die.
I #vote for the 131M Americans with chronic illnesses and #PreExistingCondtions whose #healthcare will be cut if Trump maintains the House.
I #vote because everyone I have ever loved has deserved to have her/his/their voice heard & unless I vote, that won't happen.
I #vote because I don't want to hear this president use the words I knew as a child to slap out of the mouths of #racists.

I #vote for all of us.
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