Cynicism is not an option

It is always important to exercise our right to vote. However, in light of all that has happened in just this year, it is more imperative than ever. The pandemic has opened the eyes of many to the various inequities that have always existed in our society; they have now been brought into the light. It is not only the national offices that are important, but the local offices are just as important because they affect our day to day existence (school board, city council, etc.).  There is a power in casting a ballot for the candidate(s) and ballot measures that are of concern to each of us. If it were not important, those in power would not be working so diligently to make voting difficult.

Recently we lost Rep. John Lewis. This is a quote from the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. “Almost 50 years ago, I gave a little blood on that bridge in Selma, Alabama, for the right to vote. I am not going to stand by and let the Supreme Court take the right to vote away from us. … You must get out there and push and pull and make America what America should be for all of us. We must say to the Congress, ‘Fix the Voting Rights Act!’” Much blood has been shed over the years in obtaining the basic right to vote.  Two of the martyrs in that effort were Harry and Harriette Moore.

(The following is excerpted from the NAACP website)

“In 1934, Harry Moore started the Brevard County NAACP, and steadily built it into a formidable organization. By 1941, NAACP work had become Moore’s driving obsession. In 1941, he organized the Florida State Conference of the NAACP, and soon became its unpaid executive secretary. In 1943, he moved into an even more dangerous arena: lynching and police brutality. At first, his protests were confined to letters to the governor, but he quickly threw himself directly into lynching cases, taking sworn affidavits from the victims’ families and even launching his own investigations. From that point until his death, Moore investigated every single lynching in Florida.  In June 1946, he and Harriette were both fired from their teaching jobs. Realizing that he would be blacklisted from teaching, Moore took a bold step: he became a full-time, paid organizer for the Florida NAACP.”

“On Christmas Day 1951, Moore was killed when a bomb was placed beneath the floor joists directly under his bed. Moore died on the way to the hospital; his wife, Harriette, died nine days later. The protests over the Moore’s deaths rocked the nation, with dozens of rallies and memorial meetings around the country. President Truman and Florida Governor Fuller Warren were inundated with telegrams and protest letters. In 1952 the FBI launched a massive investigation of their deaths and Ku Klux Klan activity in Central Florida. The investigation pointed toward three Klan members, one of whom committed suicide the day after a FBI interview. The investigation slowed down Klan activity, but led to no arrests. Four dead Klansmen were implicated in the murders. After three investigations, the most recent review having been closed August 2006, the case is closed but remains unsolved.”

“The Ballad of Harry Moore” was written by Langston Hughes in honor and memory of Harry and Harriette Moore. Access to the privilege of voting has come at too high a price to be ignored or taken for granted.

“Freedom is people realizing they are their own leader.” – Diane Nash, Coordinator of the Freedom Riders.

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