I received the essay below from a friend. It deserves to be distributed widely. It reminded me of the long road African Americans and women travelled to secure the right to vote. I grew up in Mississippi. Many African Americans like myself waged a hard battle to register to vote. I was so naive as to believe that once I got the right to vote, I would have it permanently. That is not the case. Each generation of disfranchised Americans must fight the same battle as others find ways to suppress the votes of entire groups, whether they be ex-convicts, the elderly, African American poor people, Hispanic poor voters, and the like. This does not include the long inventory of deception, lies, and the like such as distributing leaflets that attempt to convince the poor and the elderly that the date for voting has been changed. We must remain vigilant and keep fighting to hold onto those rights we once thought we had!! Also, please send the message below to your friends.
African Americans seeking the right to vote in the sixties.
The first vote cast by an African American after slavery ended.
The exclusion of women from voting finally came to an end in 1920 with the passage of the 19th Amendment.
October 20, 2008
I'm a middle-class white guy living in Jacksonville , Florida I've got a wife and two kids. Because the kids had no school today,
I took a vacation day from work, and took the kids downtown to vote early. Fifty-nine minutes later, two smiling children and I proudly
sported "I Voted" stickers.
But I didn't vote for Obama.
I voted for my ancestors, who believed in the promise of this country and came with nothing as immigrants.
I voted for my parents, who taught in the public schools for decades.
I voted for Steve, an acquaintance of mine from Kentucky. (Killed by an IED two years ago in Iraq ).
I voted for Shawn, another who's been to Iraq twice, and Afghanistan once, and who'll be going back to Afghanistan again soon -- and whose family earned eleven bucks a month too much to qualify for food stamps when the war started.
I voted for April, the only African-American girl in my high school -- it was years before it occurred to me how different her experience of our school must have been.
I voted for my college friends who are Christian, Jewish, Mormon, and yes -- Muslim.
I voted for my grandfathers, who worked hard in factories and died too young.
I voted for the plumber who worked on my house, because I want him to get a REAL tax break.
I voted for four little angels from Birmingham .
I voted for a bunch of dead white men who, although personally flawed, were willing to pledge their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor, and used a time of great crisis to expand freedom rather than suspend it.
I voted for all those people and more, and I voted for all of you, too. But mostly, I voted selfishly.
I voted for two little kids, one who has ballet in an hour, and once who has baseball practice at the same time.
I voted for a world where they can be confident that their government will represent the best that is in this country, and that will in turn demand the best of them.
I voted for a government that will be respected in the world.
I voted for an economy that will reward work above guile.
I voted for everything I believe in.
Sure, I filled in the circle next to the name Obama, but it wasn't him I was voting for -- it was every single one of us, and those I love most of all.
Who else is there to vote for?
Vote like it's about a better America . ....Because it is....