BE WOKE! GO VOTE!


 “Suffrage is not simply about the right to vote but also about what that represents: the basic and fundamental human right of being able to participate in the choices for your future and that of your community, the involvement and voice that allows you to be a part of the very world that you are a part of… it is not simply about the right to vote for women, but also about what that represents: the basic and fundamental human right of all people, including those members of society who have been marginalized whether for reasons of race, gender, ethnicity or orientation, to be able to participate in the choices for their future and their community.”

(reported by Sabrina Barr, MSN News)

Say, whose quote is this? Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony or Lucy Stone in the 1800s during the beginnings of the Suffragette Movement in the USA? Or was it Alice Paul with her group of women activists called the Silent Sentinels who were imprisoned in America in the early 1900s, went on hunger strikes in prison and were force fed to be kept alive for three years before the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution giving women the right to vote was finally passed in 1920? The above quote could have been attributed to any of these American women who devoted their lives to securing the right of women to vote in our country.

Instead, the quote belongs to another American woman, Meghan Markle, who is now the Duchess of Sussex and spoke these words yesterday to a crowd in New Zealand where she was near the end of a Royal Tour with Prince Harry. While celebrating that country’s 125th anniversary of women’s rights to vote, she praised New Zealanders for their political actions in 1893 and concluded her remarks with a quote from the country’s most famous suffragette, Kate Sheppard: “All that separates, whether of race, class, creed or sex, is inhuman and must be overcome.”

I am so proud that an American-born woman of color was in New Zealand talking about the basic right of all women to participate in shaping our democracies with the power of the vote. Every vote matters. You are only powerless when you fail to exercise your power.

Pretty is driving me this morning to my Lexington County voting place for early voting for the midterms which are scheduled for Tuesday, November 6, 2018. I am feeling very strong today. This election is very important in shaping the future of our communities, our states and our nation; and I, for one, want my voice to be heard.

I’m going to think about Meghan Markle’s final remark from Kate Sheppard: “All that separates, whether of race, class, creed or sex is inhuman, and must be overcome.”

Amen, sisters. Tell it.  We shall overcome. Be woke. Go Vote!

Stay tuned.

Note from the author: This post was originally published on October 29, 2018. Women voted in record numbers in the 2018 mid-terms, and I hope we will set even more records in 2020 because the stakes couldn’t be higher. The South Carolina Democratic Primary is this Saturday, February 29th.  Be woke! Go VOTE!

 

About Sheila Morris

Sheila Morris is an essayist with humorist tendencies who periodically indulges her desires to write outside her genre by trying to write fiction and poetry. In December, 2017, the University of South Carolina Press published her collection of first-person accounts of a few of the people primarily responsible for the development of LGBTQ organizations in South Carolina. Southern Perspectives on the Queer Movement: Committed to Home will resonate with everyone interested in LGBTQ history in the South during the tumultuous times from the AIDS pandemic to marriage equality. She has published five nonfiction books including two memoirs, an essay compilation and two collections of her favorite blogs from I'll Call It Like I See It. Her first book, Deep in the Heart: A Memoir of Love and Longing received a Golden Crown Literary Society Award in 2008. Her writings have been included in various anthologies - most recently the 2017 Saints and Sinners Literary Magazine. Her latest book, Four Ticket Ride, was released in January, 2019. She is a displaced Texan living in South Carolina with her wife Teresa Williams and their dogs Spike and Charly. Her Texas roots are never far from her thoughts.
This entry was posted in Humor, Lesbian Literary, Life, Personal, politics, racism, Reflections, Slice of Life, The Way Life Is and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to BE WOKE! GO VOTE!

  1. Wayside Artist says:

    Your state carries so much weight. It can turn the tide and generate snowballing enthusiasm for the eventual nominee. So much excitement. So many nerves. But so glad we women can participate in voting. It wasn’t all that long ago we couldn’t.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Bob Slatten says:

    I seriously believe that is women and minorities get out and vote we can get this stain out of office.
    All the stains … Lindsey? You, too!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m in the insidious position of not having a vote in any country now. I’ve been away from the UK for more than 15 years (you lose it after that) and Brexit means I can’t vote in local elections in France any more. A shit storm.

    Liked by 1 person

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