home arrow OPINIONS arrow The right to vote is among the most sacred privileges we have in this country

AP Political Videos



Login Form






Lost Password?
No account yet? Register
DIGITAL EDITION
The right to vote is among the most sacred privileges we have in this country PDF Print E-mail
Written by Antonia Williams-Gary   
Thursday, 27 September 2012

antonia williams-gary.pngI live in two Americas. No, I’m not speaking about the haves and the have-nots, Republicans and Democrats or even the native-born versus the immigrant.

What I experienced this past week has made it clearer that we are divided in some very disturbing ways.

I have just returned from attending the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s 42nd annual legislative session.  It was a stellar event that drew politicians, pundits, playwrights, players and persons of every other stripe. First Lady Michele Obama was the keynote speaker at the gala.

Martin’s Space

One of the highlights for me was a visit to the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.  I was most favorably impressed.  Entering the space that has been appropriately designed to pay tribute to our own fallen hero was akin to entering a cathedral: majestic in scale, magnificent in scope, modern in architectural beauty and moving beyond words.

I got there on a glorious, bright morning, along with tour buses carrying folks from all over the world who no doubt understood the impact of MLK — and his words.

Only a few of his words for which he is most well-known were selected to be carved along a wall that anchored the space and  I selected one set in particular to memorialize on my cell phone camera:

Humanity

“Make a career of humanity; commit yourself to the noble struggle for equal rights.  You will make a greater person of yourself, a greater nation of your country, and a finer world to live in.” — District of Columbia, 1967.

I was particularly impressed by those words because of where I was, at the Legislative Black Caucus on the eve of a presidential election.

Yes, the parties were de rigueur and all the people in attendance were “beautiful” but we have a serious divide amongst us that was honed in by the message throughout the caucus sessions: We are a nation divided into those who cherish the struggle that has been long fought (and still not yet won) by those who have bought into it and have joined in the struggle, as MLK so eloquently defined, and those who have not.

Those who have not joined in the struggle are enjoying its fruits from the sidelines, sucking up the air that has been cleaned, sitting in the front of the bus, drinking from one water fountain spigot, living next-door to the entire Diaspora — and staying at home on election day.

I am outraged to know that this election may be won by those who chose to sit it out.

My stay in D.C. made clear that we are a divided nation and while the war must be continually fought on several fronts, our right to vote was won by blood and is the most sacred right we have in this country and to squander it is tantamount to being un-American.

During her brilliant speech, Michelle Obama reminded us of this fundamental issue facing the nation in the next few weeks and suggested that since we have won so many important battles along the way —and they are all good — this upcoming election is today’s “March,” this is our “Sit In” — turning out the vote.

You don’t have to go to Washington to know that we are living in a most critical time, that your vote is precious and that to exercise it is not just a right, it is a gift — a gift that was given to us to use, over and over, and yet only having been won so recently in our tenure in this country.

Better World

The last sight I saw before leaving my nation’s capital was the infrastructure of the African American History Museum immediately adjacent to the Washington Memorial, as it should be, and it spoke volumes to me. 

It said we are getting there but we’re still under construction.
Vote, vote, vote, and join in a most noble enterprise to make yourself, your country, the world, finer.

Antonia Williams-Gary is a consultant with Miami-based Savings and Grace Enterprise. She may be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
This content has been locked. You can no longer post any comments.

busy
Last Updated ( Saturday, 06 October 2012 )
 
< Prev   Next >
 
Microsoft reveals Siri-like Windows Phone featureMicrosoft reveals Siri-like Windows Phone feature
NEW YORK — Microsoft unveiled a new virtual assistant for Windows Phone devices last Wednesday as it seeks to gain tra...
Read more...
Google Glass, good for cooking, needs InternetGoogle Glass, good for cooking, needs Internet
NEW YORK — Google Glass is like a fickle friend. Surprises await, such as the time it took a photo of my ceiling while...
Read more...
FTC says operators of jerk.com deceived consumersFTC says operators of jerk.com deceived consumers
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Trade Commission says the operators of a website called Jerk.com are the ones behaving badl...
Read more...
‘Rio 2’ dazzling but overloaded ‘Rio 2’ dazzling but overloaded
A vivid and delightful animated spectacle, Rio 2 is chock-full of colorful 3-D wonder and jubilant musical numbers set ...
Read more...

News Article Comments

NRA-backed ‘warning-shot’ law on Scott’s desk
The proposed law changes deal with threatening to use deadly force, warning shots are the use of deadly force. The changes will actually water down the SYG law a bit like suggested by Taryvon Martin ...
Miami Gardens chief from North Miami
Congratulations and welcome to the City of Miami Gardens!
Doctors say prepare kids for summer camp
As a camp Director of Swift Nature Camp , I understand and see all the benefits of camp each and every summer. However, it is important to pick the right camp, especially in Fla. At this time they a...
Minority Groups defend Florida's Gay marriage ban
The kettle once called the pan black, the ignorance and arrogance of this group is mind blowing
National Civil Rights Museum reopens at site of King shooting
So happy to see this important museum reopen. Let's hope the politics stay out of the way of success.
Minority Groups defend Florida's Gay marriage ban
Can these groups not see the foolishness of their stance? Ignorance is not always bliss when you're so concerned with what other humans lives. Don't like gay marriage? Don't get gay married. DuH!
Workers to mark MLK assassination anniversary with rally
We cannot forget this important anniversary. Dr. King was murdered partly because of this strike.
Washington Park in need of improvement: OIC offering assistance
thanks for sharing this buon gi bay gio | may tinh de ban | tri ho |
Broward mayor’s success a tribute to late father
What a Great story! I stopped reading the article to say, "This is news that is Current, Local, about Living Legends and their descendants contributing to the African Diaspora. Keep Telling The Stor...
Minority Groups defend Florida's Gay marriage ban
Oh the shear hypocrisy of Blacks and Hispanics not supporting equal rights for all. We should be ashamed for using the same techniques used on us to deny rights to others which are guaranteed by the c...
Mall project a big break for 2 women
Congratulations are in Order! You BOTH Work Hard and Smart, and know how to have Fun while doing it. Your Intelligence and Hearts of Gold Will Pay off....GOD'S ABUNDANT BLESSINGS
Mall project a big break for 2 women
Your enthusiasm, drive and insight is truly inspiring. I wish you bot! many years of great achievements! Keep up the great work!
Mall project a big break for 2 women
What an awesome job ladies! This is the type is professionalism and success that motivates me and my business venture. I'm truly proud of you both. Keep up the fantastic work!
Broward mayor’s success a tribute to late father
Good story, anyone should be applauded for turning around their situation. But sometimes people don't act like they know where they came from and have not done anything for their community except to a...
Mall project a big break for 2 women
Congrats Ladies! Job well done!
Mall project a big break for 2 women
Congratulations Ann Marie!!! I'm so proud of you!!! Way to go! Keep your passion, and God will do the rest! Love you!
Mall project a big break for 2 women
I am so proud of both of you ladies! What a great example and a great job! I am most proud of Ann for defying the stereotypes and proving awesome things do come from the muck! Much continued success!
Miami Gardens: Don’t cut us out
If I were Ross I would move the team and dump the stadium. It is obvious Miami Gardens no longer appreciates what the Dolphins bring to the area but rather collect that guaranteed check. Great example...
Clinton says she's still considering future plans
Mushtaq Dean In this interview session, a woman showed her desire that Hillary should try to win the highest position and represent female population. She was single in her physical appearance but was...
The young are trapped by obsession with wealth
This is a well-conceived and well-written article and does, indeed, express my observations as well as my sentiments. In July, I will be on a panel at The Futurist Conference in Orlando discussing the...

The most influential African American weekly newspaper in South Florida

Beatty Media LLC