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Saturday, December 10, 2022

Opinion

Performative activism kills, there needs to be more pressure to vote


A teenage holding up a sign that says "Am I next?"

Cindy Rivas Alfaro/The Cougar

Performative activism continues to hinder the possibility of change when people show up to rallies yet fail to vote in elections.

Thousands of Houstonians gathered at Discovery Green on Friday to protest against the National Rifle Association convention held at George R. Brown Convention Center

The protests arose from the uproar of frustrations over the lack of gun laws that led to the massacre of 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary school. 

People of all races, gender and ages showed up with signs and shouts of indignation over the inaction of Texas politicians. 

However, those signs and screams will devastatingly lead to nothing if people do not stay consistent with their rage and head to the polls in November. 

In the 2022 Texas midterm primary elections, only around 6 percent of Democratic voters showed up to the polls with around 11 percent of Republican voters taking the lead. 

This means that our politicians are elected by a minority. Around 82 percent of eligible voters stay home. 

While thousands gathered at Discovery Green, many immediately left after Beto O’Rourke, a Democratic nominee for governor, finished his speech despite young speakers from March For Our Lives taking the stage right after him. 

“Children matter,” said Kandice Webber, lead organizer of Black Lives Matter. “Black children matter, brown children matter, just like these white babies matter. My babies matter so much to me that I will hold your f—ing governor hostage. So if you came out here today to hear Beto and you’re done (with your activism), guess what? I’m f—king done with you.” 

The crowd continued to leave which is the harsh reality of what happens every November. 

Thousands of people show up to protest, rally or march yet only a few keep that energy until election day. 

This is something that needs to change. 

Although participating in a protest is important, a lot of it is performative activism

Many of the people will go home, make a social media post about their involvement and forget about the elections in November. 

There is probably no ill-intent from these people regarding their surface-level actions but the damage continues to be done to the hundreds of children lost to gun violence. 

The number of children and adolescents dying from gun-related deaths has increased by 30 percent since 2020. 

In order to prevent any more children from having their lives taken by guns, eligible voters need to put more effort into showing up for elections and voting for representatives that will keep children safe. 

The lives of American children depend on those votes.

Cindy Rivas Alfaro is a journalism sophomore who can be reached at [email protected]

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