Now is not the time for complacency we must vote in November
caines | 9/13/2012, 5:30 a.m.
The Democratic Convention made me realize that I am not alone, that I am not strange, and that something is not wrong with me, because I believe that discrimination against women, immigrants, minorities and homosexuals is wrong. I am not alone in believing that our government should help the poor, starving children and the elderly. It seems that the conservatives and Republicans have been dominating television, radio and the internet with negativity, hatred, anti-immigrant animus, anti-diversity animus and homophobia. I began to feel that something was wrong with me because I am a Christian, but dont feel positive about a Republican platform that wants to tell women what contraceptives they can or cannot use. There were many great speeches from Julian Castro, Michelle Obama, former President Clinton and of course President Obama. It was an emotional roller coaster with Gabrielle Giffords reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, a tribute to Teddy Kennedy and Caroline Kennedy reminding us that the young have to keep pushing this country forward. However, the most important speech was given by Representative John Lewis of Georgia, one of the original 13 freedom riders, who was beaten and nearly killed fighting against segregation. His speech was important, because he reminded us as a person of living history that people struggled, fought, bled and died for our right to vote. He sounded the alarm about the efforts to suppress the vote in states like Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, South Carolina and many others. He spoke of the history of this country when Blacks were prevented from voting by literacy tests, poll taxes, and ludicrous questions like how many jelly beans were in a jar and how many bubbles came from a bar of soap. Most important, he said we must vote. We must go to the polls to save this country from the dark forces that would prefer we move backwards. These dark forces are so against a Black man running this country that they would rather sabotage the economy, so that he will not be reelected. These people have actually plotted and planned to prevent American citizens from exercising their most important right the right to vote. We see the blatant suppression of the vote by our own governor, who wants to limit the number of early voting days. I am afraid that if good people stay home out of apathy or laziness we will lose President Obama and Senator Nelson and face four years of Mitt Romney. The State of Florida is a battleground. President Bush won this state by 800 votes and some hanging chads. In the recent elections in August, only 19 percent of Black voters bothered to go to the polls. If we follow the same dont give a damn attitude in November, we will surely suffer for the next four or perhaps eight years. So run, walk or even crawl to register to vote. Get your absentee ballots. Take your grandmother, neighbor and church members to the polls. If everybody brings 10 people to the polls with them, then President Obama will be re-elected. It is that simple. By Reginald J. Clyne, Esq.,Miami Times columnist, firstname.lastname@example.org