The 14th Amendment, which gave citizenship and voting rights to former slaves and their descendants, was passed in 1868.
The 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote was ratified in 1920.
Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Equal Rights Act in 1964 and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission was created. Now the EEOC enforces laws that prohibit discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or age in hiring, promoting, firing, setting wages, testing, training, apprenticeship, and all other terms and conditions of employment. Race, color, sex, creed, and age are now protected classes.
In 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated five weeks prior to my birth.
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) reports that “With only weeks left before Election Day, and Donald Trump refusing to say if he will accept the legitimacy of the vote, the radical right is warning of civil war and violence if Hillary Clinton wins. “
“Racists have fretted that the deck is stacked against Trump, and ultimately them. And after last night’s debate, the festering worry boiled over into forecasts of violence.
“’Either way the wind blows this election something’s gonna break,’ a user called ‘StanLeMan’ wrote in August. Another Daily Stormer user identified as ‘AryanUprising,’ offered a less-nuanced message: ‘They want violence? Just let the [sic] try declaring Hillary winner.'”
For most in my generation or younger, this Presidential election presents the first opportunity for us in our adult lifetimes to take a united stand against racial and gender based oppression — to send the message to everyone in this country and abroad, that the majority of our people are still striving to maintain the ideals laid out at the founding of our country for us to eventually attain — that all are created equal and all have the unalienable Rights, to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness and all the other rights granted by our Constitution and Bill of Rights.
We can say, in no uncertain terms, that we support the women and men of our nation, regardless of their nationality, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, sexuality, or skin color simply by showing up en masse to vote against Donald Trump and every politician at every level of government that has not openly and aggressively denounced him and his rhetoric of misogyny, racial and religious discord and calls for sedition.
We must not only make sure that he does not win this election, but that he loses by such a staggering margin that the signal is sent to all those like him that it is time for our country to take our next great step forward on the path to becoming the nation we were created to be.
One where we do not define or attain our own success by the failure and defeat of others, but instead by our combined achievements together to lift our nation and all its people higher and carry us forward into the future.
So if you know someone that is a disenfranchised voter, please share this closing thought with them:
You may not like the choices we have. I have never wanted to vote less, nor needed to more. But for the sake of everyone you care about now and in the future, it is imperative that we vote. And that we vote at every level of the ballot, from National through State and County down to City elections.
If we don’t, the next oligarch dynasty to rule over the United States won’t be the Bush and Clinton families of the last 35 years, but the Trumps of the next 16 to 24. Consider that both Donald Jr and Eric will be eligible to run by 2020, and if this election, this year, is anything but a stunning and crushing defeat, one of them will.
For our modern civil rights movement we don’t need to congregate in one state or one place to march together. We just need to all march to our nearest polling station. Be brave. Be undeterred. Send the message. Together.