The time has come. My plan was to hold off until a bit later, probably late July, but things have changed, racing rapidly and in multiple directions.
During last Sunday’s online sermon, our pastor pushed me into moving up my schedule.
“Silence is no longer an option,” he said, slowly and clearly. “Now, I have said many times, ‘Preach the Gospel always and, when necessary, use words.’ Well, now, it is necessary to use words because this nation is suffering because of a racism problem.”
I’ve said this here before, how as they integrated our school when I was in the sixth grade (1966), I felt certain my generation would be the last to experience racism. Ah, the naivety of the young … white … male.
It has not happened. Racism has not been obliterated. Some of it has changed. But it has not improved. As my pastor said half a dozen times, America has a racism problem. And it’s not limited to the major events that have recently thrust it into the limelight.
Said he: “… this nation is suffering because of a racism problem. And it’s the kind of insidious racism that has pushed people down for generations, pushing people down so hard that they are seen as ‘less than.’ They are treated as less than. People don’t have access to health care, they don’t have access to opportunity, they don’t even have access to equal pay or any kind of equal treatment. Things need to change and it needs to start now.”
I’ve been called out and I must respond. I must respond the way I know how. With the written word, expressing what is on my heart.
On July 29, 2018, I started a 100-day countdown to the midterm elections. Most days, I encouraged people to register and I implored them to turn out and vote.
The previous midterm election – 2014 – only 36.7 percent of the eligible voter population cast a ballot, the lowest percentage since 1942. Then, in 2018, after almost two years of the Trump administration, the Blue Wave brought forth a turnout of 50.0 percent. That’s still not outstanding, but it was the highest since 1912 – 102 years! (Statistics)
So, today, I guess I’m starting a 145-day countdown to the Nov. 3 general election.
You see, it’s not simply about confronting racism. It’s also about removing from elected office the people who not only ignore the problems but, in far too many cases, actually encourage them, ignore them, even instigate them.
And, in addition to our nation’s racism problem, we need to start making headway on fixing so many issues, so many and so diverse that it’s ridiculous to even try to list them here. We have 144 more days remaining.
For the first of a hundred times or more over the next 21 weeks: Register to vote. Vote early. Take a friend.