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You gotta get up, get out and get something!

Casey Thomas | 10/14/2013, 10:58 a.m.
Casey Thomas

The Dallas Examiner

There was a popular rap group by the name of Outkast, who was very popular during the early ‘90s. They were from the ATL, or I should say Atlanta, and brought the hip-hop market in that area out into the mainstream. Outkast, known by its two members Andre 3000 and Big Boi, would rap about life growing up in Atlanta, and also about issues that were important to mainstream Black America during this time.

A song by Outkast that quickly spread in popularity across the country with my generation was Get Up and Get Somethin’. The song was about growing into adulthood after graduating from high school and not just sitting around in momma’s living room all day. Going off to college or getting a job so one day young brothers would be able to have their own place and take care of their own responsibilities.

I write about this because we are seeing across America, and across Southern states in particular, an effort to undo the progress that has been made over the past half-century. Many of the gains from homeownership to wealth building to voting and human rights are being destroyed at the state level.

We can sit back and allow this to be done or we can do like the song says, “get up, get out and get something.” The first thing we can do is we can educate ourselves. We can learn what is in the new Texas voter ID law and we can make sure that we have the proper identification to go and vote. We can also make sure everyone that we know is informed as well. We can check to make sure our loved ones are registered to vote. Once we know that they are registered, we can make sure they have the proper form of identification. Once that is done, we can go out and tell others the same thing.

We live in a democracy here in America and the way things change in a democracy is by voting. You can’t win if you don’t participate and you can’t participate if you are not registered to vote.

Later in the song, Outkast uses a popular phrase from reggae great, Bob Marley. It says, “get up, stand up, stand up for your rights. Get up, stand up, don’t give up the fight.” If we want to make sure the rights that we enjoy today are available for the next generation, we have got to get up, get out and do something!