Don’t let prejudices determine who your election votes favor

There is a lot in life I have come to realize I don’t understand. I think that’s what education is supposed to do: teach you how much you don’t know. And, while I can respect the opinions of others, I have a more difficult time when these opinions are based on, well, prejudices. Am I na’ve to think we have come further than this? I am beginning to think so.

Working in a bookstore has made me somewhat of a liberal, tree-hugging hippie. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but I do think that it forces me out of my normal surroundings and makes me think about affairs outside of myself.

Most recently, I read Barack Obama’s “The Audacity of Hope.” If people our age would read this book, I have no doubt that it would give them hope for what is possible in our time and a place from which to start changing the world.

Why do you vote for someone? What qualifications do you think are necessary? If you listed white and male, I am disappointed.

I have heard many people of both sexes say they will vote for Hillary Clinton and many more who say they will not.

Whether or not it was in jest, they cited the fact that she is a woman as their deciding factor. As much as I would love for a woman to be president, and I think we are behind the times in not having had one, I must urge you to look again at what the candidate does and not his or her name or reproductive capacity.

Forget classifications, forget labels and look at what these candidates want to do about things that matter to you. Cutting student loan interest rates, the global economy, women’s rights, men’s rights, the environment and many other issues will be important in this election, as well they should be.

I have to wonder if we are ready to understand this great responsibility that we have: to vote. Some people say if you’re old enough to go to war, you’re old enough to vote, indicating you need only be 18. As residents of Texas, or mere visitors, we saw how much of a difference the “college-age” vote can make, considering we were the ones who voted for Kinky – and why the hell not?

But then I met a man who questioned my minor obsession with Barack Obama because his named sounded like Osama. What’s in a name and does it matter?

Whether you’re a Democrat, Republican or you fall somewhere in between, you have an obligation to exercise your right to vote responsibly. We cannot forget it is not who you are or what you look like, it is what you do.

How are our prejudices of today different from the ones we have held in years past, or did we ever fully give them up? Do we still question a person’s moral character based on the color of his or her skin or sex, or do we see a person in light of his or her potential? I cannot help but wonder where we would be if we didn’t have our prejudices.

JoHannah Hamilton is a senior anthropology major from Burleson.