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Staine: Thank God Diddy Told Me To Vote

This story was written by Susan Staine, Daily Northwestern

It's been said that now, at the tail end of the most important election in history, is the time for you to get hit over the head with yet another preachy 500+ words telling you what you should think or do concerning global and national politics.

Gee whiz. Goodness forbid I give you guys a break from that mess (honestly, it's not enough on Mondays and Fridays, not to mention every other editorial written this past month?). You want to hear me harp about politics as well? Fine, but let it be known I tried to spare you the political inclinations of a taco-loving stereotypical Latina.

I was recently involved in an earnest discussion of global politics with my good friend Snugglez regarding the apparent lack of commitment some Latin people have regarding human rights.

She's a member of those Northwestern acronyms that deal with global concerns: ESW, NUDAC, NUCHR. And she tried to get the Latin community mobilized about Darfur.

Disenchanted with the lack of support, she despaired that NU Latinos only care about human rights in Latin America.

In order to pull boo boo out of her downward spiral, I attempted to allay her humanitarian conscience with a small personal revelation. Contrary to her despondent beliefs, I --a NU Latina --care a great deal about human rights, regardless of the country concerned, provided a celebrity tells me to.

I looked at her materials and saw that among the preachy flyers and the alarming statistics, there was a photo of Don Cheadle and George Clooney speaking about the Darfur genocide at a conference. I was an automatic convert to the Darfur cause.

Celebrity photos make me care. I know, you can label me a selfish little thing for only caring about AIDS because Bono told me to (that's right, I was one of those people who bought his ONE bracelets online), or because I only care about the rain forest and our ever dwindling breathable air thanks to a tree replenishing project Coldplay sponsored a few years back.

But seriously, half of America didn't think global warming was real until Al Gore lent his voice, time and, yes, celebrity to "An Inconvenient Truth." And it's not only your common "Joe the Plumbers" and Susie Taco-eaters who are susceptible to the effect of celebrity. Our very own President Bush didn't care about black people until Kanye West told him to (we all saw the video -- it's true).

Now before you all write me off as the most inconceivable idiot and glutton in the known world, I have an excuse: There are simply too many wrongs out there to right, and I'm overwhelmed.

Honestly, sometimes it takes the cause showing up on for me to even be aware it's a cause, so when celebrities lend their notoriety, it helps. So, sorry Loren and Bentley, and the rest of you; you're just not famous enough to make me care.

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