An American Voting While Overseas

Following the posting of last week’s video, I’ve received amazing feedback from the community on social media. Sharing my feelings and emotions online is extremely terrifying. Everyone has an opinion and I often worry that I’m going to get bombarded with hate for having my own; that wasn’t the case here. The video is on track to being one of my most watched videos on YouTube.

This past week, I updated my information to vote via absentee ballot.

I’ve been voting via absentee ballet for nearly ten years. For me, receiving my ballot in the mail is like a ritualistic reminder of my citizenship. I don’t vote along party lines. I think the binary nature of American politics is the reason why the country is in the mess that it is today. I google every name and try to dig as much information as I can on the candidates running up and down the ticket.

Make no mistake, I’m all about protesting, but voting just as important to me.

As much as I want to give up and say that it doesn’t matter, I’ll continue to vote. I’ll continue to make the best decisions I can at the time of determination. This week, I came across this amazing video that thinks outside the box. Hasan Minhaj speaks with such conviction, because just like me, he’s fed up.

So what else can I do to help?

In the Marine Corps we have a concept called small unit leadership. The concept is simple. While I cannot affect change for the entirety of the Corps, I can influence the squad. It’s a war-fighting concept that can be applied to grassroots campaigns. Maintaining accountability and excellence within our social groups. That’s why I plan on doing what I can to assist my friends who live in Japan with their voting. No excuses. Hell, I’ll help anyone. You need a printer? A scanner? Contact me and we can make it work.

In Naples, Italy, they had an event on the military base where they assisted with voting for the Americans stationed there.
I wish to do the same.

I think I was misunderstood in my previous posting. On Youtube, a user commented on my video to mention that George Floyd had a criminal past; as if to excuse his extra-judicial killing. Time after time, after a killing like this is publicized, folks relay information to justify the heinous action. I’m reminded of a scene in the Prince of Egypt, where Moses finds out that that the Egyptians were tossing Hebrew babies into the sea.

“They were only slaves (criminals)”

I don’t care about George Floyd’s past. I don’t care if the man who killed him was racist or not. I care about fixing the system perpetuates these killings in America.

There’s a video of man in Buffalo, New York, where an elderly man is pushed onto the floor; his head slamming against at the pavement. He bled out of his ear and for some time, no one came to his aid. That’s pretty bad. But for years I’ve also seen videos of officers shooting Americans with the outcome being exactly the same, a body on the floor bleeding out.

We don’t have these problems in Japan. We didn’t have these problems in Italy. But in America, thousands of people (mostly black) die by the hands of the police. Under circumstances that would’ve been non-lethal elsewhere.

A debate about good or bad police officers simplified into a good and bad apple analogy doesn’t address the systemic issues that are at the core of what’s wrong with American policing.

Consider this, The United States Congress is having trouble passing a bill that would designate lynching as a federal crime.

People aren’t lynched in America anymore, at least not in the literal sense. Passing this bill would be a symbolic gesture, and we can’t even do that.

Find the conviction to see the issues of America and vote to fix it, onegaishimasu.

2 thoughts on “An American Voting While Overseas

  1. Thanks for another articulate, passionate post.
    We have to keep voting, we have to keep up that ‘civic discourse’ even as we saw it fail in the case of Colin K. BTW my friends and acquaintances from other countries saw nothing wrong in the taking a knee protests at NFL and other events.
    People from the UK, Canada, Australia and NZ said that it was a respectful way of protesting, what is it about the US that we have to ‘honor’ a flag? Michelle Obama said it secretly to President Obama at a parade ‘All this for a damn flag’.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So the flag thing is a delicate subject for me. When I was active duty I was a member of my unit’s color guard, so I’m someone who values the symbology of the American flag, or any nation’s flag. These symbols are important to a country. But I don’t see anything wrong with how Kaepernick protested by taking a knee. I think the narrative was hijacked by the media in a way to vilify him for bringing attention to a definitive issue in America.
      And the concept of kneeling was suggested to him by a veteran. It’s something that we’ve commonly done to honor the fallen. I’m not a fan of sharing CNN videos, but this one here is from 2012 when Marines died in Camp Bastion Afghanistan. Take note the men kneeling in the imagery.


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