In the sea of books out about the today's
political situation, few if any ask anything substantial of
their readers and many leave a person feeling more cynical and
helpless than before they started reading. At first glance, I
threw How to Get stupid White Men Out of Office: The
Anti-Politics, Un-Boring Guide to Power into that pile.
However, I soon realized that this book offers something to its
audience and asks something from its audience that isn't found
success stories found in this book offer examples of ways that
young people from all areas of the country turned their anger
into action and created change in their communities. That gives
this book the potential to speak to an audience that is all too
often ignored by politicians and lobbyists: real live young
people. It has the potential also to speak to a wide range of
brown, black, white, suburban, urban, and even rural youth who
have been turned off by politics. From those who have never
thought they could become involved in changing their community
to those who through years of being tuned out by those in power
have become cynical about the electoral system.
"Increasingly, the Greens are realizing that
local elections provide the best opportunities to build up their
base and mount a real challenge to the two party system.
Progressive people across the country are parlaying activist
energy into electoral victories." (p 48)
Miram Markowitz, in her article
titled, "Two Greens," tells the story of how two young
made into office. This story, like many in the book focuses on
local elections and brings to light the idea that working
locally is the best and possibly only way to build a strong base
of progressive voters in this country.
The only thing Stupid White Men doesn't
do is provide an actual "guide to power. While the potential for
waking up many young and not so young people across the country
is great, it isn't particularly radical to say, "Get off your
ass and get out the vote." P. Diddy did that.
Maybe thatís a good thing though; every
community has different needs and every person has a different
set of abilities. What this book does offer is the message that
whatever you decide to do, do what you can and do it
Kari Kunst (20) is a student at
The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. She
has been involved in several activist campaigns in Olympia and
Vancouver, Washington, and was The Freechild Project Education
Coordinator from 2002-2005.
Title: How to Get Stupid
White Men Out of Office: The Anti-Politics, Un-Boring Guide to
Upski Wimsatt and Adrienne Brown
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