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October 2004
The Young, the Pissed Off and the Political

Book Review by Kymberlie Adams Matthews


How to Get Stupid White Men Out Of Office: the Anti-Politics, Un-Boring Guide to Power by Davy D, Annie Koh, Malia Lazu, Jackie Bray, Aya de León, Mattie Weiss, Marisol Enyart, Piper Anderson, Bouapha Toommaly, Alma Rosa Silva-Bañuelos; edited by Adrienne Maree Brown and William Upski Wimsatt (Brooklyn: Soft Skull Press, 2004). $12.95 paperback. 206 pages.

Young adults represent a surprisingly large bloc of potential voters. According to the most recent U.S. Census figures, 15 percent of the voting age population is between 18 and 24 years old, and approximately 25 percent is under the age of 30. In addition, young adults are swing voters, more independent in their party choice and often willing to cross party lines, making them ideal for candidates looking to attract new supporters.

Though conventional wisdom says that young voters are hard to reach and unlikely to vote, recent surveys and studies are challenging that thinking. In fact, young Americans have begun clamoring to tell the country exactly what they think of George W. Bush and what they would like their fellow citizens to do about him in November.

A new book How to Get Stupid White Men Out Of Office is aiding youth as an emergency response to the current political climate. Created by 12 of the most brilliant young political artists and organizers and with an initial first printing of 50,000, it very well may revolutionize attitudes so that young people who don’t “do” electoral politics do electoral politics. Anyone can rant against the current state of American democracy, talk trash about politicians, or deplore the apathy of the electorate. We all have ideas that the world doesn’t go just how we’d like, and we tend to think that we’re such a small part of the equation that there’s never any way that we can actually make a discernable difference in our communities. How to Get Stupid White Men Out of Office is a guide to getting off one’s cynical tush and actually accomplishing positive change through the electoral process.

This book tells the stories of how these marginalized voters, such as gays, punks, blacks, and Latinos, organized to make the winning difference in contested initiatives and electoral races across the country. To add potatoes to the stew, all 12 co-authors also have pretty normal lives in contrast to so many previous books on political activism that make it look as though you have to dedicate your entire life to politics.

To prepare readers for the 2004 election, this book lists potentially close races, provides maps of key swing states and districts, lists 800 people under 35 in office, and examines youth voter turnout and impact. How to Get Stupid White Men Out Of Office is also responsible for a groundbreaking political network. The political novice can access the web-page (, click on a map and start checking out and planning local events, meet like-minded people, organize voter blocs, create voter guides, exchange resources and self-educate on issues and the electoral process to support desirable candidates.

From potlucks and book clubs in your living room, to coalition-building across communities, How to Get Stupid White Men Out Of Office illustrates tactics to establish a long term progressive power base. It engages the resources and social networks of young people and provides them with the training they need to become effective voter organizers. With a commitment to open dialogue, diversity, and cross pollination, local organizers are forming voter blocs in key swing districts, endorsing candidates on a progressive slate, and building political power that could swing close elections.

To learn more about how you can inspire pissed off voters, attend the How to Get Stupid White Men Out Of Office book tour coming to your city, or to coordinate a book release event, please contact Marisol Enyart at


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