Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Lesley-Ann Brandt shares her experience of SA’s 1994 elections to inspire US voters: ‘It’s sacred’ | Channel

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Lesley-Ann Brandt


Lesley-Ann Brandt

Photo: Rodin Eckenroth/WireImage/Getty Images)

  • Lesley-Ann Brandt has urged Americans to vote in the upcoming midterm elections.
  • The South African-born actor shared the story of when her parents voted in the first Democratic election in SA in 1994.
  • “I grew up knowing how crucial elections are. Why a functioning democracy is sacred. So please, vote,” Brandt said in a Twitter thread.

South African-born actor Lesley-Ann Brandt urged Americans to vote by sharing the story of when her parents voted in the first Democratic election in SA in 1994.

“Going to tell you a little story,” she wrote in a thread on Twitter. “In 2016, my husband was visiting me in Vancouver while I was filming. He is American. He is white. I was pregnant at the time. I was feeling very anxious about the general election. I couldn’t vote myself, I wasn’t a citizen at the time.”

Brandt’s husband, Chris Payne Gilbert, is a white American. The couple tied the knot in 2015 and welcomed their son, Kingston, in 2017.

In a second tweet, Brandt continued, “I asked him, ‘When are you voting?’ He said, ‘Well, Hillary is going [to] win California, so I don’t really need to’, or something like that. Cue my deadpan, Capetonian ‘what the fuck did you just say’ look.”

The Lucifer star added that she then told her husband to sit down so she could explain the importance of voting, given her background as a person of colour.

“I watched my parents get up at 4 am as a child to go stand in long lines as South Africans celebrated their first Democratic election where it seemed EVERY single South African showed up to say ‘NO MORE’. They were in their 30s & had only just had the right to vote.”

The 1994 elections were the first in which SA citizens of all races were allowed to participate and were, therefore, the first held with universal suffrage. Nelson Mandela was elected president, making him the country’s first black chief executive.

“You, as a straight white man, you have always had more rights than anyone. You could be born in any country, in any century, and you would be able to vote,” Brandt continued. 

“You’re married to someone who can’t vote in this country yet but who hasn’t always had that right. It’s sacred. People have died and bled. I saw it. I saw what people did so that I could vote. How dare you be so flippant about it.”

Brandt shared her husband’s response: “He said, ‘I guess I’d never really thought about it that way. I’ve taken for granted that I’ve always been able to vote’.”

In her final tweet, Brandt said: “I grew up knowing how crucial elections are. Why a functioning democracy is sacred. So please, vote.”

Read the full thread HERE.

The US midterm elections take place on Tuesday, 8 November.





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