Have you ever wondered why there are so many Civil Rights Acts in the United States? There is the Civil Rights Act of 1866 (CRA) then there is CRA 1870 and 1871! Subsequent acts were passed in 1875, 1957, 1960 and in the 1960s came the big ones CRA 1964 and 1968! In 1965 they had to pass the Voting Rights Act which was not made permanent but had to be renewed ever so often! Our vote cannot be taken for granted, vote for freedom and posterity
It’s like members of the privileged Caste see freedom and opportunity as part of a fixed pie. The more freedoms and opportunities others get the less privileged they become! And so every generation of black people and the oppressed would have to fight the system to gain more equality!
The death of George Floyd ushered in an era where people of all shades, colours and creeds marched for equal treatment from the police. The marchers sought to end systemic racism! And although the majority of the protests were peaceful it did not take long for members of the privileged caste to grow sour on the protests. They loathed the support for Black Lives Matter (BLM) because of the violence that accompanied some of the protests!
It did not take long however for their hypocrisy to be exposed. As it turns out, they were not worried about the violence. Their concern was rather on who was at the receiving end of the violence! How else can one explain why millions of dollars have been raised in legal fees for a vigilante 18-year-olds boy who shot and killed 2 protesters in Kenosha? How are we to explain why they would applaud at a rally when the Great Patriot makes fun of a journalist who was shot in the leg whilst reporting a story?
The fact of the matter is violence in the American body politic is not a new thing! Thousands of people have been lynched just for doing what other normal humans did! And those lynchings were a spectacle that attracted prominent individuals who even posed for pictures with the lynched Victims and sent them out as postcards to relatives!
On Election Day in 1920, in a small town called Ocoee in Florida, some sixty black people were massacred. That was not enough, their homes were burnt and businesses mowed to the ground. All this, because a black man tried to vote! Yes, you read that right, people lost their lives just for trying to vote! Yes, for these unfortunate individuals being a good citizen carried a mortal risk!
Interview a live witness of the Occoee Massacre
This brings me to Maceo Snipes a black WW II veteran who returned home to Butler a town in Western Georgia with “honourable discharge and a determination to exercise his rights as a citizen to vote.” The day after Maceo Snipes voted, four white shot him outside his home! He was taken to the hospital where a white doctor watched him exsanguinate to death because there was no “black blood” to be transfused! One of the many lives lost for our civil rights; vote for freedom and posterity.
The opportunity to exercise your franchise was not handed down to black people on a silver platter! Many many people lost their lives and limbs (RIP John Lewis) for us to get this right in modern times! The least I, a mere Shithole, can do to honour the men and women who sacrificed so much, is for me is to vote for progress and change!
James Baldwin once said “Not everything that is faced can be changed but nothing can be changed until it’s faced! So on Nov 3 vote for change! Vote for progress! Vote for science and truth! And although they have packed the courts to suppress your vote, posterity will remember you for doing your bit to advance righteousness! Do your duty vote for freedom and posterity
Change may be slow to come but surely it will come. We may not live to see the change we yearn for but our children might experience it!
Martin Luther King once said, “the moral arc of the Universe is long but it bends towards justice.” “Change takes a long time but it surely happens, each of us who works for social change is part of the mosaic of all who work for justice, together we can accomplish multitudes.”
By Dr. Yaw Berko a physician who practices internal medicine in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin