Today is the 54th anniversary of the historic Voting Rights Act, signed into law on August 6, 1965 by President Lyndon B. Johnson. On this day, as voters in Wayne County and throughout the country go to the polls to cast their vote, and as we approach the 2020 presidential election, which may well be one of the most consequential election of any of our lifetimes, we should all take time to reflect on the extreme significance of this legislation that changed America forever.
Prior to the Voting Rights Act becoming law, African Americans faced numerous obstacles to voting, including harassment, physical violence, economic reprisals, literacy tests, poll taxes, and other racist barriers designed to prevent them from being counted.
Today, as we face issues such as gerrymandering and the return of voter intimidation through a number of means, we need to be mindful that freedom is never free, nor is it forever once it has been won. The only thing that maintains the light of freedom is eternal vigilance. The moment we become complacent is when freedom goes dark.
Your voice is your vote and your vote is your voice. Always use it wisely.