It doesn’t matter what side of the fence we’re on, we need to keep a close watch over what is happening on the other side.
I’ve been the subject of unwanted attention and it creeped me out. I once had a stalker. Saying it that way gives me the power and takes it away from the NUT (I mean NUT in the most socially unacceptable terms- NUT as in lunatic, crazed, warped, individual) who stalked me. I worked at a bank in Florida and the NUT happened to mention to a co-worker that he would kill me. Accounts were closed and cops descended, like drones on a neighborhood. It freaked me out to have to be that attentive to my, previously, dull life. I am hopeful that care was taken because my employer was proactive, as well as being mindful of the risk for liability if I had been harmed by, their customer, the NUT. He was a bank customer and that’s the only context I knew him in. I didn’t know the NUT any better than Trayvon Martin knew George Zimmerman.
I watched Attorney General, Eric Holder tell the NAACP that he had to have “the talk” with his 15 year old son, after the Zimmerman verdict came in. “The talk” being how a young black man must conduct himself in public lest he is unfairly incarcerated or murdered. Tears rolled down my face last night and they’re pooling in my eyes right now. I am ashamed that government, that is supposed to be representative of the People, has made it acceptable to profile and persecute people of color. When I was a young girl, one of my favorite songs was an old Three Dog Night tune, Black and White. I remember singing at the the top of my lungs at the playground at Hilltop school- “The ink is black, the page is white, together we learn to read and write. A child is black a child is white, the whole world looks upon the sight, a beautiful sight. And now a child can understand that this is the law of all the land, all the land.”
Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act has been invalidated. The VRA was written to protect voters from discrimination. At the time that it was passed, it protected voters from racial discrimination, specifically African American voters. I prefer the ethnic description black. Black, as the popular vernacular of my youth, is a good substantial word that implies unified strength, rather than the gentrified term African, Asian, Cuban, Irish, Spanish, fill in the blank, American.
I’ve never been denied the right to vote or anything else that I wanted to do. I’m a white woman. Pretty soon, sooner than I like to think, I will be an elderly woman. I’ll be an elderly woman who has never had a driver’s license. More than likely, I will be an elderly woman who is not especially prompt in having her government issued ID updated and renewed. It may be that I will be a sweet little old gray haired lady who can’t afford to have her ID renewed or updated. I hate to think what kind of hell a militant little old gray haired lady would raise if she were denied her right to vote. It makes my bones, of a certain age, ache to imagine my future little old gray haired lady carcass sitting on the uncomfortable accommodations they have at the county pokey because I couldn’t be subdued by the simpering nitwit who tried to keep me from voting. It could happen.
Don’t think you’re safe because you’re part of a certain demographic. No matter what your ethnicity, if you’re lucky, you’ll grow old. You may forget to bring your ID to the polls; maybe you won’t be able to vote. There are many reasons that you could be denied the right to vote, being old is just one of them.
If we accept that government has condoned vigilante justice and the Supreme Court has overturned a basic protection in the democratic process, then we are acquiescent to injustice. We are as guilty as government because we are government.
Please contact your congressmen and senators to demand the protections of Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act be restored in accordance with the provisions of Amendment 15 of the Constitution. We must work diligently to put this country back together.