|As I See It 8-16
Monday, August 31, 2009
I remember my first time vividly. I was giddy with anticipation. I did not know what to expect but I was excited to finally have the experience. I was very nervous too. No one told me what would happen once I was in the room. I had always thought it to be some private secret that I would just have to figure out on my own. I tried to ask my parents about it and they were not very forthcoming. That was very frustrating for me seeing that I was looking to them for some guidance, at least some insight. By the time I was of age to do it I did not know of anyone else that spoke on it. Even so, somehow I felt it to be very important and something that I needed to do for myself even if it separated me from others that I knew.
I remember exactly where my first time was. Although I do not know the address I could take you there without giving it a second thought. It was at a church on Martin Luther King Ave. just South of West Saginaw Street going East-bound. Actually at the time there was still a little controversy as to what the name of the avenue was. There were some people that were doing everything they could to keep the Logan name to the street. That was not my concern. As I approached the church I could feel my heart race. My palms felt sweaty. Even though my cousin, Chris, was with me I still felt a little apprehensive. I do not think we said a word to each other as we approached the entrance of the church.
After months of confusing media political madness I had made up my mind who I wanted to throw my support behind. I was no expert on the political process. I had almost no former knowledge other than what was taught in grade school, which had nothing to do with the current candidates. I was caught in the excitement of the smooth guy that could play the saxophone and made appearances on MTV and the Arsenio Hall Show. It was an exciting time that came from frustration and indifference. It felt exhilarating to be part of something that seemed fresh that might lead to the betterment of the world we lived in. There was no way I was not going to be involved politically. This was the first time for me. I knew others had done a lot of work, and even given their lives so that I could do it without prejudice. They wanted to make sure that I had a voice or vote in what happens in the world around me. Even though I was kind of ignorant of how the political process works, I felt very compelled to exercise my hard fought right.
A lot has changed since the days of slick Willy and a 300 billion dollar budget surplus. I have voted in every election since. I know a lot of people that do not. People of all races, religions, ages and political ignorance included. I have learned more recently of the struggle people of color went through to get the right to vote. For Medgar Evers to get shot in the back by some coward and for people to not take the time to learn what is on a ballot so they can be an informed voter, I feel is deplorable. Freedom is not free. A lot of men and women have paid the cost so that you can casually, without fear of a bomb going off, walk into a school or a church or other community building and make your mark.
I wonder what would happen if someone came into your house and told you what you could eat, drink, sleep on, or watch on television. Would you allow another person to discipline your child? I have seen how a very vocal and active minority have been able to make policy happen that affects a disgruntled majority. However that same majority seems to only be able to grumble and not participate in their own destiny. To me it almost seems a waste to even bother to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr’s Birthday if a person is not going to take advantage of the changes for which he gave his life. People have been complaining about taxes for at least two thousand years. I say do not complain if you are not going to participate in the process. Please, I implore you; cast your ballot every time there is an opportunity to do so. Your future depends on it. Thanks for your time.
~Melik melik_2001 @ yahoo.com