Editor: Tef Poe is an artist from St. Louis city. Through powerful imagery and complicated honesty, he has earned a reputation as one of the best rappers telling the story of St. Louis, which is about much more than one place. Poe has been featured in music publications such as XXL and Urb Magazine. His project The Hero Killer was released on January 21 and will be followed up by a full-length with DJ Burn One entitled Cheer For the Villain. Follow him on twitter @tefpoe. Get The Hero Killer here.
Well, the Affordable Care Act is now in effect and tons of artists such as myself now have access to healthcare. I attended a meeting last week about pursuing a personalized artist grant on behalf of the Regional Arts Commission. During the course of this meeting I sat in a room full of artists from different parts of the city. We were all black, white, Latino, Asian, man, woman, etc. All of us were artists of some sort, but we weren't all musicians. During the course of this meeting we each obtained a flyer that advertised the fact that healthcare is now available to the artistic community via the ACA, which is commonly known as "Obamacare."
The Republicans ignorantly named this bill "Obamacare" as a means of turning it into the boogie-man, hiding underneath our beds and lurking in our closets. We were all supposed to live in fear of this thing passing; it would push us closer to living in Nazi Germany. Instead these idiots actually branded the healthcare act with a name that is more recognizable and easier to remember. Now that the general public has embraced the term "Obamacare" the Republicans will more than likely attempt to start calling the bill by its actual name. I'm drifting (as I often do in my blogs) but walk with me and I promise you all of my points will eventually connect.
So I sat in this meeting and I read the flyer distributed to us upon entry. And as I read, it really hit me. Hate it or love it, we're living in historical times. I'm an artist and I now no longer have to worry about whats happens when I get sick. As artists, we are members of a occupational field that doesn't offer us benefits. We don't typically have a 401k or a life insurance plan. We have freedom that other people lack in their daily occupation, but we frankly do not have access to the stability supplied by a "normal" job. This is a lonely, desolate lifestyle choice. We give it our all and get very little in return. Our futures are uncertain in many regards and we usually don't share the comfort originally described in the manual of the American dream. I'm an artist and I'm proud of it. I'm speaking from the lens of a person that was born with a certain gift and has decided to use it for the betterment of the world.
I exist to utilize every ounce of my creative instincts for the good of our society. I am not special. I am not superhuman; I have flaws and imperfections, and through my talents I share them with you. I believe we deserve more credit. By "we" I mean each and every true artist on this planet deserves more credit. Art separates us, as humans, from the rest of the animal kingdom. For many years throughout the centuries we have been robbed of the basic necessities that are enjoyed by humans in other occupations. Now we can remain self-employed and self-reliant while finding a small sense of normality within the fact that the Affordable Care Act has made the distant dream of being an artist with ready-made healthcare a reality.
This is the true spirit of the American dream being realized in our modern day. All of the world's problems are not solved, and I don't totally support either party, but if the shoe fits, put it on and walk a mile in it. The Republicans look like the old people fighting the tide of change on this issue. We had an election, the country voted and the Democrats won.
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