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Sunday, March 7, 1965
|Posted Monday, March 09, 2015
Filed under Commentary
|This entry was posted Monday, March 9, 2015; filed under Keeba’s Commentary.
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|Keeba Smith is a published writer and desired screenplay artist. She is the author of “Shades of Bright Pale” and many other
unacquainted writings. Please visit www.Keeba.org to find out more about Keeba Smith, read additional critiques and her
unpublished autobiography, “Spirit in the Dark.”
|While I was not alive, it was not until much later in life did I learn what happened on Sunday,
March 7, 1965. Because of the preserved narratives, I am glad to know a little about the history
of Bloody Sunday. Because of the courageousness of those present and dedicated participation
in the fight I am allowed to avidly vote in each election.
The 50th Anniversary of the "Bloody Sunday" in Selma, Alabama made me appreciate the
movement and a desire to canonize "Bloody Sunday" and what the Southern Christian
Leadership Conference (SCLC) and Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) did
for people such as me. Everyone should thank the participants and appreciate their hard work,
dedication and life-sacrificing actions!
Let us commemorate "Bloody Sunday", the activist's actions and their endurance for our right
Today we remembering them...
|On Tuesday, June 25, 2013, the Supreme Court Justices John Roberts, Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence
Thomas and Samuel Alito voted to end Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act. The provision in Section 4 decides which
parts of the Country must have changes to their voting laws cleared by the federal government or in federal court. The
Justices has said that their decision was based on the idea that "things have changed dramatically" in the South in the
nearly 50 years since the Voting Rights Act was signed in 1965. Hence, they feel that racial discrimination is no longer a
problem. It is as if they believe that every American is always treated fairly.
The court’s opinion said it did not strike down the act of Congress "lightly," saying that it "took care to avoid ruling on
the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act" in a separate case back in 2009. The Justices declared, "Congress
could have updated the coverage formula at that time, but did not do so. Its failure to act leaves us today with no
choice but to declare [Section 4] unconstitutional. The formula in that section can no longer be used as a basis
for subjecting jurisdictions to pre-clearance."
"Our country has changed, and while any racial discrimination in voting is too much, Congress must ensure that
the legislation it passes to remedy that problem speaks to current conditions," Chief Justice Roberts wrote. He
added, "There is no doubt that these improvements are in large part because of the Voting Rights Act. The Act has
proved immensely successful at redressing racial discrimination and integrating the voting process."
In his bench statement, Roberts said that Congress had extended a 40-year-old coverage formula based on "obsolete
statistics and that the coverage formula "violates the constitution."
Because of the ruling, Section 4 heeds minority turnout, and moves us backward instead of making progress in America.
The Voting Rights Act has recently been used to block a voter ID law in Texas and delay the implementation of another
in South Carolina. Both States are no longer subject to the pre-clearance requirement because of the Supreme Court's
ruling. The ruling covers the Southern States of Alabama, Alaska Arizona Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South
Carolina, Texas, Virginia and parts of seven other States. It requires them to receive "pre-clearance" from the U.S.
attorney general or federal judges before making any changes to election or voting laws.
Because the Supreme Court has ruled that Congress must act first, then it is our job to encourage our congressional
politicians to act and to act now!
It is our responsibility to call and reach out to those politicians that do not support us - The People!
It is our responsibility to call our House Representatives and demand that they hold a hearing in regards to our voting
rights and how those rights have been obstructed. Congress needs to hear the facts about our experiences and why the
1965 Voting Rights, Act is still needed!
Note: Let us remember activist Jimmy Lee Jackson and the others that died to help us have our right to vote.
Some politicians attended this year's "Bloody Sunday" march, yet they will not agree to hold a hearing! What does that
say about them! What does it say about us - The People - that allow them to get away with their hypocrisy?
I believe that people everywhere are responsible in spreading the word about how politics effect all of us -
We may not always agree with our politicians but we are RESPONSIBLE in making sure they do their job. And if they
fail to work in favor of The People, then it is The People's jobs to vote them out. However, we cannot vote them out if
our right to vote is obstructed.
Today is the day to remind yourself how important it is to vote and the power it holds.
Today, remind yourself that you would not have this right had it not been for those that struggled and died for the sake of
Civil Rights for ALL Americans.
Today, remind yourself that you can and should repay those who fought, struggled and died by making sure you have the
right to vote.
Oh, and when you vote, remind yourself that you are not just voting in remembrance of the struggle, the brutality or the
deaths, but that you are voting for yourself! You are voting for the continued fight for your family's future and the future
of your family's equal and civil rights. Vote for me. But most importantly, vote for yourself!
Today, remember "Bloody Sunday".
It has been fifty years since "Blood Sunday" and we are still fighting for our right to vote! That
is exactly the history behind "Bloody Sunday": a sacrifice so that we could vote.
On Sunday, March 7, 1965, now Georgia Congressman John Lewis, Civil Rights Leader Hosea
Williams and more than 600 other civil rights activists planned to march cross the Edmund
Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama for our right to vote. However, on that crucial and memorable
day, Alabama State troopers told the marches that they were not allowed to cross. The
Commander Officer said that either they go home or to their church but they would not be
allowed to cross the bridge.
When Williams asked the troopers if it were okay if they took a moment to pray, the State
troopers began to beat the marchers with their nightsticks. Many of the marchers were
knocked to the ground with their hands remaining in their pockets, as proof that they were not
violent but wanted a peaceful march for the right to vote.
Many of the marches were knocked to the ground and were sprayed with tear gas while
troopers on horseback, charged the crowd.
It should be noted that before the march, the Sheriff had called for all White men in the County
over the age of 21 to be deputized so one can imagine that the mass of law enforcement was
plentiful. On Sunday, March 7, 1965, the cruelty on the nonviolent marchers was severe, as
they were brutally beaten by the officers.
Many activists and nonviolent protesters were beaten badly. Some were beaten unconsciously.
John Lewis' skull was fractured and he said, "I thought I was going to die."
In all, over 16 people were hospitalized and that day has always been remembered as "Bloody
Some may say 'So what!? That was then and this is now'. However, that is hardly true.
Today, fifty years later, and we are still fighting for our right to vote. We have the legal right to
do so but Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act has been stripped away; thus, our rights are being