We lose when you don't VOTE! We win when you do.
It's Not an Option...It's a Necessity!
Jonathan Daniels, 26, from Keene, NH
Andrew Goodman, 21, New York, NY
Viola Liuzzo, 39 year Detroit, MI
William Lewis Moore, 36, Binghamton, N.Y.,
James Reeb, 38, Wichita KN
Michael Schwerner, 24, New York, NY
What do these six individuals have in common? It is not state of residence nor gender. Perhaps it might be that none is over 39. The sparse identifying factors do not readily reveal that all six were whites, not merely whites but whites who died martyrs giving their lives for a greater than themselves, The cause: fighting in the South for Black voting rights. Each murdered by either Klansmen and/or white supremacists who were never found guilty.
Why bring this up, you may ask?
If individuals, living lives that did not rationally require their intervention in seeking voting rights for Blacks, opted to leave home, spouse, children, profession, and future to go into harm’s way to insure rights for people they did not know nor looked like them should require something from the beneficiaries.
The depth of sacrifice these valiant individuals gave is what President Lincoln called “the last full measure of devotion” should inspire and motivate all citizens to vote; but for us, Blacks, particularly, it should necessitate us to vote. If our brothers and sisters, of another mother, left safer lives for our right to vote, ii should spur us to rush to the polls or to get absentee ballots and vote, no matter the obstacles to suppress or block our vote.
The martyrdom of our white counterparts require that we recognize the depth of their sacrifice by casting our vote. As we honor them by voting, we also memorialize with honor and respect our martyr iconic brothers and sisters of the same mothers. These include Medgar Evers, Pastor George Lee, Lamar Smith, Herbert Lee, Jimmie Lee Jackson, James Chaney, and so many more not the least are 14 year old Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson and Addie Mae Collins, and 11-year-old Denise McNair, victims of Birmingham’s 16th Street Baptist Church bombing)
We encounter multiple options daily. The career path to take is an option, so is the attire to wear on a first date, as is faith or fear. In this season of Covid-19, far too many say to wear a mask in public spaces is an option. We must realize every option has consequences. The wise carefully weigh consequences.
In the 2020 election, the wise will weigh consequences. It is a time wherein sacrifices for voting rights in the past are intersecting at the point of the fierce urgency of now. The wise will evaluate the situation, suspend voting as an option by elevating it to the level of necessity.