Someone asked me was I going to vote today?
Was I going to vote?
Is that a trick question?
Hell yes I’m going to vote!!
Because despite holding self evident the truth that all men are created equal the right to vote wasn’t something that was always made available to my people.
When it was made available It wasn’t something that was accepted by all people.
When steps were taken to ensure that we would be allowed to vote, the blood of many who came before me was shed at the hands of those who would oppose all, one of the most basic tenets on which this country was founded.
And even today there are those who would stand in my path to the election booth if they could
So am I going to vote today?
Hell yes I’m going to vote!!! And so should you.
Quick and I mean a quick history below.
1789 The United States of America holds its first presidential election.
1870 The Fifteenth Amendment (Amendment XV) to the United States Constitution prohibits the federal and state governments from denying a citizen the right to vote based on that citizen’s “race, color, or previous condition of servitude”.
1896 Louisiana passes “grandfather clauses” to keep former slaves and their descendants from voting. As a result, registered black voters drops from 44.8% in 1896 to 4.0% four years later. Mississippi, South Carolina, Alabama and Virginia follow Louisiana’s lead by enacting their own grandfather clauses.
In 1965 more than 500 non-violent civil rights marchers are attacked by law enforcement officers while attempting to march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama to demand the need for African American voting rights.
1965 President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Voting Rights Act into law, permanently barring barriers to political participation by racial and ethnic minorities, prohibiting any election practice that denies the right to vote on account of race, and requiring jurisdictions with a history of discrimination in voting to get federal approval for changes in their election laws before they can take effect.