On March 7, 1965, about 600 civil rights activists, led by a young SNCC organizer named John Lewis, began marching on Selma, Alabama, on Route 80 of the US. When they passed Pira Edmund Pettus, they were greeted by the wall of the state army and a county district with tear gas, firecrackers and ill intentions.
By the time it was all over at least 50 passengers had been injured and 17 others were taken to hospital, including Lewis whose skull had been broken by a shrapnel wound to the head. Videos and photos of the senseless incident of violence have been posted around the world Read Sunday in the pages of history many of these activists who were there that day to protest against the new voting bans were immortal.
I am rapidly moving towards today and I swear that history repeats itself.
Don’t get me wrong, the intimidation and laws that keep Black voters out of the ballot box have been waiting for us for years. Generations of men and women like John Lewis (and I) have faced financial ruin, physical violence, and the full power of law enforcement if they dare to exercise their most basic American right – the right to vote.
We saw this happen in 2008 when Participation in African America a blue flag driven only to watch Republicans respond to the new Electoral Identity laws and now, we see it again today, but this time it is worse. This time a Republican State Steering Committee and GOP-leading assemblies across the country are using the big lie of voter fraud, the same big lie that led to the Capitol uprising on January 6, as the capital of an unprecedented attack on voting rights.
Let it be clear, despite the evidence that The 2020 election was the safest election in American history, The Republicans 253 invoices in 43 states to restrict American voting rights.
This can only be the answer to the record of voters who have rejected the GOP agenda across the United States and the only way they can fight it is to try to prevent Americans, especially colored voters, from seeing the chance to vote again.
In Georgia, where 1.2 million Black voters helped the state grow, President of the Republican Senate Majority Mike Dugan the bill introduced a law to abolish the vote of no confidence. “How many Georgians used the excuse of no voting in 2020 to cast their ballots?” 1.3 million.
It’s easy, though there are many important issues, but by far the most pressing issue of our day, as it was 56 years ago, is voting rights.
In section three of Examination documents of six new sections of BET, “Boiling Point,” Lynda Blackmon-Lowery, tells her story about growing up in a secluded Selma where she says that at the age of 7, she knew white people hated her. When she was 13, Lynda heard it Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. preaches the gospel for the first time and it was enough to activate her heart and mind to fight for change in the country.
“In his speech, [Dr. King] said that you can do anything to anyone with a constant encounter with love. The second time he said that in that speech, I clearly heard him call my name and said, Lynda, you can do anything with a person with a constant loving encounter. I remember getting up on my own and saying, ‘Yeah, how am I going to do that?’
On the 14th, Lynda took part in a young freedom struggle on March 7, 1965 on the Edmund Pettus Bridge and did everything in her power to prove that they too had full citizenship rights.
Lynda recounts Bloody Sunday trauma, a psychological trauma that has left her so deep she still can’t just walk on the bridge. She was pulled by her neck, her tears pounded, slapped on his forehead, and shouting at words that do not repeat.
There is nothing in itself more than the right to vote. Denying this right, these Republicans today say we are just Blacks, not Americans. In 1905, an African-American boy named him George Elmore was born in the heart of Jim Crow South Carolina. The future did not offer many options for a black man like George, but he worked hard and had big dreams and, slowly, he changed his life.
George moved from the village of Lowcountry to Columbia Ninth Camp, which is a business oasis in the state capital of South Carolina and an African-American opportunity, a small and thriving oasis, George began to build a family and a life.
As a taxi driver and photographer, he built many small businesses from scratch including a small shopping mall that quickly became a commercial and cultural cornerstone of the community. By any measure, George had achieved the American dream- then he tried to vote.
Initially there was no problem. George had enough light skin that the county officer really thought he was white and, almost so, he was recorded. However where the problem arose he made a noise.
Simply said: He tried… denied them… he sued. And he succeeded.
Indeed, the United States District Judge Waites Waring’s 1947 li Elmore v Rice, not only endorsed Elmore’s suffrage, but when it was used in South Carolina and across the nation, it abolished the closed beginning. It was a huge victory for the Civil Rights case, but it was not without its costs.
The reaction to his case and the outcome decision did everything in George’s interest. He lost his businesses and thus the success he had achieved with endless threats and burning crosses near his home. The trauma caused his wife to have an emotional breakdown that left her feeling institutionalized for the rest of her life.
George had the courage to think that he would be treated like any other American. Towards the end of his life in 1959, George, who was once a man full of life, hope and the excitement of success, remained a poor and broken man.
This is our story – our American story – written by Lynda Blackmon-Lowerys, George Elmores and countless other brave individuals who believe that they too are Americans who deserve the right to vote.
The lesson for all of us is to remember that we can not let their victims be meaningless. Let the blood shed on Blood Sunday not be meaningless. Let the Republican State Leadership Committee not tell us our heroes were wrong. It is up to all of us to be sure that the legacy that was created that day has both eternal meaning and impact.
Antjuan Seawright is a Democratic political strategist, founder and CEO Blueprint Strategy LLC, a political contributor to CBS News, and a high-profile visiting friend The Third Way. Follow him on Twitter @antjuansea.