Late last week, New York–based artist Carrie Mae Weems shared a link on Facebook to a new YouTube video, titled The Power of Your Vote, that shows footage shot in the Queens neighborhood of Jackson Heights, one of the country’s most diverse communities, while President Obama’s address to the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation at its annual dinner last month plays. According to Hillary Clinton’s website, “Weems had been preparing her own script for the piece, but when she heard Obama’s recent address to the Congressional Black Caucus, she thought there was no better message.” In his speech, Obama reminds the audience of the power of one vote:
All the progress we’ve made is at stake in this election. My name may not be on the ballot, but our progress is on the ballot. Tolerance is on the ballot. Democracy is on the ballot. Justice is on the ballot. Good schools are on the ballot. Ending mass incarceration—that’s on the ballot right now!
And there is one candidate who will advance those things. And there’s another candidate whose defining principle, the central theme of his candidacy is opposition to all that we’ve done.
There’s no such thing as a vote that doesn’t matter.It all matters. And after we have achieved historic turnout in 2008 and 2012, especially in the African-American community, I will consider it a personal insult, an insult to my legacy, if this community lets down its guard and fails to activate itself in this election. You want to give me a good sendoff? Go vote.