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Worth The Vote . . . Worth The Wait

coverAcross America, during this election season, phones are ringing off the hook as people are asking one key question.

That question is, "Can this really be happening?"

Can it really be happening after Blacks were beaten at the steps of Alabama courthouse and across the Edmund Petus Bridge, all for the right to vote?

Can it be that the children of those who were always privileged to vote are acting out their legacy to deprive the children of those who had no right to get the vote, or their rights?

The answer comes back a resounding 'Yes' in 2012.

Some are acting out the legacy of 1912 to prevent African Americans the right to vote.

But just as in times past when Blacks waited until the change came, they will wait, while fighting to remove all barriers to the creed that "All men are created equal."

This election pits a Black President against the practices of the past which would eliminate him because of his color.

Now Blacks, especially in the southern United States, like in South Africa, wait with the creed that says, "If it's worth voting, it's worth waiting."

But waiting does not mean that we will accept the denial of our rights.

We have had to fight devious and cunning methods used in the past to deny us the vote and voting protections of the 14th and 15th Amendments against nearly a dozen separate devices to prevent Blacks from voting, which include:

  • Poll taxes;
  • Literacy tests;
  • "Grandfather" clauses (you can only vote if your great-grandfather voted);
  • Suppressive election procedures (a strategy to influence the outcome of an election by discouraging or preventing people from exercising their right to vote);
  • Black codes and enforced segregation (restricting the civil rights and civil liberties of African Americans);
  • Bizarre gerrymandering (a practice that attempts to establish a political advantage);
  • White-only primaries (primary elections in the Southern States in which any non-White voter was prohibited);
  • Physical intimidation and violence (Ku Klux Klan);
  • Restrictive eligibility requirements; and,
  • Rewriting of State constitutions.

Waiting in lines to vote just means knowing the battle is still on and new tactics must be joined with old ones to overcome oppression. We must vow to keep fighting until justice is done.

 

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