By Juanita Bratcher
In a last ditch effort appealing to voters to get to the polls and vote in the midterm election, President Barack Obama, in an email from the DNC, said â€œIf you don’t vote today, you’re letting someone else decide the future for you.
â€œYou’re letting someone else pick a reality that will shape your life for two years. Today is just that simple.
â€œSo don’t let it happen.â€
As the Publisher & CEO of CopyLine Magazine, I urge all voters, African American voters in particular, to make sure that their voices are heard in this election and in all elections in the spirit of our forefathers who went through some difficult and abusive times to get the right to vote in this country.
It is important that we exercise our right to vote especially in the wake of strong efforts by Republican governors and predominantly Republican legislatures to try and suppress our voting strength through Voter ID legislation and voter registration purges. We must be mindful of that, stay vigilant and continue our fight for voting rights through the courts to make certain that every voter has the right to participate in this countryâ€™s democratic process.
We should make certain that democracy is provided to every American citizen/voter, that they have a right to the ballot box without quick fixes put in place for political reasons to deny them that right and disenfranchise thousands of voters in the process.
In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: â€œWe cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.â€
Our forefathers fought every step of the way â€“ valiant and forthright â€“ in their efforts to overthrow bigotry and racism, and open up the ballot box to blacks. And they never thought about surrendering to those injustices being heaped upon them.
Our forefathers fought valiantly for political reform. There was a desire on their part to transform the political process, even though some could not read and write. And that set up roadblocks for them. And because of this, they were systematically being barred from the ballot box. Their voting rights were either denied or abridged. Yet, when it seemed to be creeping along somewhat toward the road to victory, literacy tests were used as roadblocks on the part of the establishment to further stop their efforts.
In his contributing introduction to my book, â€œLest We Never Forget: The Power of the Ballot Â©,â€ prominent Justice R. Eugene Pincham (now deceased), declared: â€œIt is glaringly apparent why the oppressive power structure, throughout the years in America, has gone to the extent that it has gone to prevent black participation in government and to deny the ballot to blacks â€“ physical violence and even death, intimidation, the poll tax, the literacy test, the Grandfather Clause, and other devious schemes.â€
It appears now that Pinchamâ€™s words are a definitive description of the so-called Voter ID laws that are now permeating in many state legislatures around the country. Thatâ€™s why we must fight back these atrocious legislations of injustice! Our efforts must be penetrating and remain intact.
If you didnâ€™t vote during Early Voting, today is your last chance to go to the polls and vote in this November 4th election. Please make a special effort to do so. Go to the polls today and vote so that your voices can be heard and make for a more democratic process.
Go out to vote! Let your voices be heard in this most critical election that will play an integral role in our countryâ€™s future agenda and democracy.
Juanita Bratcher is an Award-Winning Journalist, the Publisher of www.copylinemagazine.com and the author of several books, songwriter and poet. She has been a Journalist for more than 38 years covering politics, education and a wide-range of other topics.