“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” -George Santayana (16 December 1863 in Madrid, Spain – 26 September 1952 in Rome, Italy) was a philosopher, essayist, poet and novelist.
On March 7, 1965, hundreds of brave unarmed nonviolent women and men dared to March for African Americans right to vote.
The fact is that less than 1% of eligible Blacks could vote or register to vote.
People organized a Peaceful Protest March from Selma to the state capitol in Montgomery. However, as these protesters crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge to Montgomery the police, some riding on horses had, looking back, a predetermined tactical intervention against protesters, police proceeded to engage in “excessive use of force” brutally beating protesters such as #RepJohnLewis some of these officers actually killed using their nightsticks, sprayed water cannons while others used tear gas. These kids had no weapons, they did NOT fight back, but showed courage and strength. We must never forget that some of our fellow Americans died for the right to vote in an adverse harmful environment, hastily retreated while journalists and photographers became witnesses to the violence and suffering .
The brutal reaction by the police was not only caught on tape it forced then President Johnson, who was once against civil rights programs as a Senator to call on Congress for equal voting rights for all on March 15.
The Voting Act of 1965 was signed into law on August 6; is a landmark piece of national legislation in the United States that outlawed discriminatory voting practices that had been responsible for the widespread disenfranchisement of African Americans in the U.S.
A day that started out peacefully quickly descended into an awful ugly March of death for the right to vote called ,”Bloody Sunday”.
Now, some 48 years later, a new “Jim Crow” era has emerged with a major step backward in the fight for civil and voting rights. There are conservative states targeting not only African Americans but also Senior citizens, first time voters, early voting, Students, low income, immigrants and the undocumented though Republicans call them (illegals) Dreamers. In addition, Governors from Republican controlled States are allowing election officials to purge voters, people without birth certificates were given limited or completely denied access to the voting booth failing to meet new voter ID regulations in time and were treated like possible (illegals). This is the 21st Century; we should be on a progressive path toward equality for all not one that will re-engage folks in the act of racism or exclusion leading to suppressing participation in the election process. This year, new stricter voter ID legislation is pending in thirty-one states. This includes, voter ID proposals in thirteen states with proposals to strengthen existing voter ID laws in ten states, and eight states that will amend the new voter ID laws passed in 2011.
We need to push back on all attempts to suppress the right to Vote.
With so much at stake, it is time to stop sitting on the sidelines. If we are going to succeed, Conservative lawmakers NEED to hear our Voices.
We cannot let the naysayers turn back the clock on Voting Rights or the next generation.
Thank You for Taking Action