“Those who do not 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.
A group of people organized a Peaceful Protest: The March would start in Selma then move on to the state capitol in Montgomery. However, as these peaceful protesters crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge to Montgomery the police, some riding on horses had, looking back, a predetermined tactical intervention plan against protesters, mostly African Americans and as police proceeded to try and control the protesters they quickly engaged in “excessive use of force.” It became clear as protesters continued to march on that the excessive force was now an active use of police brutally; like the grotesque beating of a young black leader of nonviolent protesting #RepJohnLewis who had his skull cracked open among other injuries; some of these officers actually surrounded and knocked out young protesters using their night sticks, sprayed water cannons while others used tear gas. These kids had no weapons; they did NOT fight back, but showed courage and strength in the face of absolute brutal violence by an adversarial organization we are expected to respect or trust who are supposed to serve and protect citizens but that clearly was NOT the case. We must never forget that some of our fellow Americans died for our right to vote! In what was now an adverse harmful environment, students and those who believed voting was a right, quickly 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, 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 50 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 Senior citizens, first time voters, early voting, Students, low income, immigrants and the undocumented though Republicans call them (illegals) Dreamers;some born or brought to the US as youngsters all victims of circumstance now voting age. 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. In 2017, Republicans tried to pass and or enforce new, even stricter voter ID legislation or influence their districts with strange redistricting rules and regulations. While some judges … have struck down some of these bills that ultimately suppress the vote, it is clear the effort to shut people of colour out of the election process sadly continues.
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 turn back the clock on Voting Rights or the next generation.
Thank You for Taking Action