by Roy D. Malonson
Franklin D. Roosevelt once stated that, “Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American peoplethemselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting.”
I wholeheartedly agree with the 32nd president of the United States.
There was a time in the United States, whereas citizens were proud of their right to vote and the opportunity to decide how the government would work. Finally, after the Civil War, the Constitution was changed to make sure that Black men had the right to vote.
For twelve years after the Civil War, soldiers of the Union Army helped make sure that Blacks would get to vote in the South. However, when the soldiers left, Whites in the South invented many ways to hinder Blacks from voting. They were successful in this avenue for nearly a decade.
There was a reason why hundreds of our ancestors lost their lives, were imprisoned, beaten and suffered various other humiliations on the road to freedom and civil liberty. They realized the power that was held by simply one vote.
Therefore, I encourage our African-American News & Issues audience not to stay at home and think that one person and one vote cannot and will not change the world. As a member of the Black community, one of the most powerful tools that we have to offer society is our vote.
Yet, it never ceases to amaze me how so many people sit and complain about the things that go on within the political world but they never utilize the one resource that they can. The voice of voting!
The irony about our nation is that we operate under a democracy. Webster defines a democracy as, “A government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections.”
There are countries where its’ residents and citizens would love to have the right to a voice in how their country is governed. Nevertheless, the privilege and right to vote that we have is taken for granted far too often.
Ultimately, I have to agree with Rev. Jesse Jackson who informed that, “Those who don’t vote lose the right to complain. If you don’t vote, you’ve given up the right to complain.” This is a true statement, because when one refuses or rather relinquishes his or her right to vote in essence what he or she is saying is that they don’t give a damn!