Each of us had that moment when we realized that a person of a different race or ethnic group was treated differently. For me it was Mother’s Day the year I turned 10. The man in front of us in the line to get into a restaurant where my mother had always wanted to eat was black. He was told he could not enter. He was incensed.
I explained the commotion to my parents and told them I did not want to go in. My parents were not happy with me and told me not to cause trouble. Trouble. But there’s good trouble, in the words of the late John Lewis. And good trouble is exactly what Congresswoman Joyce Beatty caused when she and eight others went to the Hart Senate Office Building to urge passage of a new voting rights act.
Rep. Beatty was arrested for speaking out on the important issue of the vote. When our country was founded only white men of property could vote – the amount differed by state; As the franchise expanded so did our rights. Women got the vote in 1920. But we know that it took a Civil Rights Revolution to enfranchise most blacks. The Supreme Court gutted the 1965 Voting Rights Act in an appalling decision. It’s time for a new one.
Prayer for the Day
Constant companion of our lives, open us to a new direction,
And be our Protector as we work in the world;
Empower us to bring your justice to all peoples
So the power of your Spirit is realized.
Bring us from our past into a future open with possibilities
And enable us to be your witnesses for justice and peace.
We ask this in the name of him who points the way,
Even Christ Jesus our Lord.
Thoughts for the Day
The vote is the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustice and destroying the terrible walls which imprison men because they are different from other men.”
-Lyndon B. Johnson, 36th President of the United States (1906-1973)
…the first step towards liberation for any group is to use the power in hand . . . And the power in hand is the vote.
- Helen Gahagan Douglas, Member of Congress (1900-1980)
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne;
Steadfast love and faithfulness go before you.
Psalm 89: 14