As the election of a lifetime approaches, Virgil Abloh, Ashnikko, Drakeo, Shea Couleé, and more discuss what’s at stake, what they’d do in the White House, and the state of the American dream
On November 3, Americans will get themselves to the polls and send either Joe Biden or Donald Trump to the White House. Millions have already exercised their right via mail in record numbers. On Dazed this week, we’ve heard from teenagers across the states – both disillusioned and galvanised, but ready for a fight – who stand for a generation that’s turning out in their droves, spurred on by issues from climate change to Black Lives Matter and reproductive rights. We’re also heard from the most marginalised, the incarcerated who won’t get their say, and the state of affairs in the election linchpin states.
Figures from across culture, fashion, politics, activism, and enclaves of the internet today on Dazed tell us what they would do if they were president for a day. What issues are impacting their choice at the ballot box? What, do they believe, is the state of the American dream in a world marred by pandemic, racial inequality, and political polarisation? Brooke Candy speaks on sex work decriminalisation and Shea Couleé would sort reparations, while Aminé would arrest the cops that killed Breonna Taylor. La’Shaunae would make “WeDontBelieveYou” by Seshollowaterboyz the national anthem, and Jordan Firstman would drug the country and see how that goes, naturally. Can we have a presidential candidate reset?
Ashnikko: If I was only president for that ONE DAY, and then it went straight back to the orange fascist again, I would eat all the spiciest foods I could think of, then take an absolutely disgusting explosive shit all over his desk. I would follow that up by abolishing the police and changing the public school US history curriculum to reflect the actual history, rather than that candy-coated, whitewashed bullshit that we’re taught.
Brooke Candy: I would nominate Bernie Sanders as VP and Oprah as speaker of the house. Then I’d unlock the country’s top secret classified information and share it with the public (specifically alien contact/Area 51); abolish the class system and redistribute all money in the federal reserve to BIPOC and disenfranchised communities; decriminalise sex work and all drugs; eradicate the education system and eliminate all student debt; and maybe, depending on my mood, dose the water supply with DMT to truly elevate this shit.
Drakeo: I would get a task force to find all the racist laws, like 182.5 and California Gang laws, then sign an executive order to rewrite them – like, overturn my people’s convictions, bring back Activis pints, make education free, provide free healthcare, close down men’s central Jail for real, give every family that is descendants of slaves a reparations stimulus, throw a party in the White House with exotic dancers.
Detox: If I were president for a day I would hit the restart button on the simulation! In all seriousness though, being of minimal political knowledge and experience (not so dissimilar to our current Commander in Cheese), I’d immediately appoint an array of diverse, experienced, thoughtful, and progressive-minded individuals. People whose mission would not be to appeal to the favour of the consistently oppressive powers that be, but to dismantle them. I would do everything in my power to support, protect, and uplift the disenfranchised communities of this nation so that they too could set their sights on The American Dream and have a fighting chance to attain their goals.
I would redistribute the funding of police on a national level and take away power from and make examples of the dirty and corrupt; Overturn drug charges; Make it impossible for men to have any say on what women can or can’t do with their own bodies; Set up funding for the arts in case another catastrophe like the one we’re witnessing now strikes again; And last but not least, I’d establish a connection with extraterrestrial life… and beg them for help!
And Mugler for everyone.
HANK WILLIS THOMAS
Hank Willis Thomas: It appears that one American’s dream is another American’s nightmare. In fact, I sometimes wake up wondering if I’m trapped in someone else’s dream. ‘America‘, after all, was someone else’s dream, nightmarishly built on someone else’s home, with other peoples’ people, and suspect ideas. So much of our time here is spent alone and asleep, daydreaming. Instead of waking dreams, I dream of waking up. Once I awaken, I won’t have any use for dreams. I will not be alone, I will be wide awake to all the things that make this life a gift.
HILLARY TAYMOUR, COLLINA STRADA
Hillary Taymour: I would eliminate fracking, all plastic use, stop fossil fuel dependency, and elect Bernie (as president) with AOC as VP because I am not qualified to be president.
La’Shaunae: If I were president for a day, all my underground favourites would perform in my city. I’d make therapy completely free and more accessible, both online and offline; I’d free Tay-K and paint the White House black; My vice presidents would be the millionaires and America’s national anthem would be “WeDontBelieveYou” by Seshollowaterboyz.
Quil Lemons: If I was president for a day... All the caucasians to the back. Immediately, immediately. Honestly, thank you. Looks better already.
Shea Coulee: If I were president for the day, I would literally spend it carving out like three trillion dollars in the budget to disperse to Black people for reparations. And I’d be like, ‘alright, I’m good, we got reparations – 400 years too late, but we got them. Thanks, bye!’
Virgil Abloh: My American dream is to see a pure eradication of all injustices effecting Black people, people of colour, and LGTBQ+ communities.