By Cheryl Smith
Publisher of I Messenger Media
Texas Metro News
Well, if you were planning on voting and you haven’t checked to make sure all your paperwork is in order, you could find yourself stuck and out of luck, especially if you are among the many who have been stricken from lists across the country. Should you be concerned? Maybe. Should you care? Heck yes! But I understand. We don’t realize how painful a situation can be until we stub our toe or hit our funny bone.
Ain’t a darned thing funny then! Well, millions of dollars are being spent to either get you to vote a certain way or stay at home. Instead of waiting in a line to vote, you can go fishing, to a party or go shopping. You say you don’t want to have to choose between the “lesser of two evils.” Well, some might say that considering what is at stake, those who opt out of voting are the biggest evil.
Which brings me to my truth.
Too much is at stake. This year’s midterm election is about more than one issue, one individual or one community. Every election is important and there are consequences and repercussions for every action and inaction. You go out to the polls and cast a vote because of the way someone looks, talks or because of their party affiliation. And let’s not forget voting for someone because they played a sport. Makes me think about those folks who walk along us today and are confronted by reminders of the racist acts of their ancestors.
What goes through their heads? Are they embarrassed, apologetic or do they try to silence the messengers? As we prepare to view the movie, Till, how do the descendants of Carolyn Bryant feel? How does she feel about the actions that led to the brutal murder of young Emmett. When I visited with Mamie Till Mobley during her three-day visit to Dallas in 1995, we talked extensively about her son and the events 40 years prior.
To her credit, this beautiful, smart, resourceful and focused woman was not filled with hate. Instead she had a spirit of love and compassion, and so did other family members I talked to then and later. Will the families of vicious racists feel the same, once confronted with the evil acts of those whose blood flows through their veins?
Let’s come a little closer and think about your descendants. Will you be trying to stop stories from being told in the classrooms of your grands and great grands because you don’t want them to find out that your actions were just as detrimental, if not more than the Ku Klux Klan or others who savagely enacted their own laws or forms of justice to eventually find themselves in a position where the oppressed /downtrodden/disenfranchised became their biggest allies in the battle?
In other words, you’ll have some explaining to do and just like everyone didn’t march with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., everyone didn’t get up and exercise that basic right because they weren’t using the ballot or anything else. Whatever the case, we have to salute the Transformative Justice Coalition, the National Newspaper Publishers Association and others who are working on Get Out the Vote campaigns. We have come too far to Black down!