WHEN I TALK TO YOUNG PEOPLE ABOUT THE STRUGGLE AND HOW BLACKS WERE BEATEN AND DIED TO PROTECT THEIR RIGHT TO VOTE, in addition to protesting White American Racism, I invariably get the reply, “Mr. Hurst, they would not have done that to me” or “my one vote does not count” or “they are going to do what they want to do anyway.” When you respond like that, Racist White America have you right in the palm of their hands.
In the meantime, What part of “they would not have done that to me” do you mean? Racist White America initiated the poll tax (Blacks only) ...literacy tests (Blacks only-No right answers and ALL answers were subject to interpretation) ...“the grandfather clause” (Blacks only)....found the Klan and “nightriders” to terrorize and intimidate Blacks because of the color of their skin, while beating and even killing Blacks who REGISTERED to vote, let alone voting.
Vernon Dahmer, Harry T. Moore and Harriette Moore, Isaiah Nixon (the father of Dorothy Nixon Williams of Jacksonville, who had dared to vote in the 1948 Democratic Primary in Montgomery County, Georgia, was gunned down by two white men that evening on the front porch of their home. Dorothy was just six years old), Rev. George Lee, Lamar Smith, Herbert Lee, Louis Allen, James Earl Chaney, Andrew Goodman, Michael Henry Schwerner, John Lewis...all were brutally beaten, or killed for either voting or registering Blacks to vote.
You say “they” would not have done that to me, yet “they” do that to you everyday and YOU let them. You did not vote, and you could have. Blacks are no longer subjected to poll taxes et al but they are subjected to various kinds of Racist voter suppression and as we have recently seen, vote theft, illegally purging Black voters from the Registered rolls, sending notices to the wrong address, changing and reducing the number of early voting days, changing precincts and not letting Black voters know about their new precincts until election day, and much much more, as we read about every day, just to keep you from voting. Incarcerated persons cannot vote, yet they are still American citizens. Why can’t you vote in prison?
And even when the voting public speaks, like they did with Amendment 4 in Florida which will allow convicted felons to vote, White Racist Republicants under the direction and Pathological Racist malaise of the trump Republicant Party, find a way to keep you from voting.
YOU, my young Black friend, can do something about it. And leave the, “My one vote does not count” someplace else. Pure Logic, if your one vote does not count, why do Racists spend their every waking moment trying to keep you from voting? Because they know WHEN Blacks finally see Racism for the evil it is, they will do something about it. The sadness is, You and other Black folks have not recognized Voting Racism for the evil it is.
When you do not vote, like in 2016, the net results is donald trump. And don’t get angry about the Racist and Sexist and Xenophobe that he is, and the Racist and Sexist and Xenophobic things he and his party have done and continue to do to you individually and collectively, because YOU, my Young Millennial non-voting Friend could have done something about it, and you chose to stand on the sidelines, doing nothing. GET READY FOR NEXT YEAR!
Voting and registering to vote is not as “sexy” as a march or other protests where we can put an exclamation on fighting Racism, but arguably IT IS even “sexier” and more important. Voting Can reduce some of the reasons... obviously not all...to protest. Not voting and doing nothing about voting, does not get your "Stand Up, Sit Down or Kneel" Protest Card punched.
The Struggle Continues.
Rodney. L. Hurst, Sr.