To the Editor:
March 7th was the 56th anniversary of Bloody Sunday.
Six hundred Black men, women and children began a peaceful march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama to demand the right to vote. A 25-year-old John Lewis led them as they began the 54 mile march.
They didn't make it to Montgomery. About a mile into the march, just over the Edmund Pettus bridge, a line of Alabama state troopers advanced on the marchers with billy clubs, tear gas, horses and police dogs. There is an iconic photograph of John Lewis being mercilessly beaten on that day by a state trooper wielding his billy club. I saw Sunday in the Washington Post and was inspired to write this letter.
The United States of America and the world took notice. Bloody Sunday was the catalyst that eventually led then President Lyndon B. Johnson to support the passage of, and sign, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 into law. In his remarks at the time, the president said: "Every American citizen must have an equal right to vote."
This inherent right to vote is under savage attack today by a political party that evidently doesn't think it can win elections unless it broadly prevents the "wrong" people from voting. Bills to restrict voting access have been introduced in 43 states.
Congress is stepping up to stop this with the "For the People Act". and the "John Lewis Voting Rights Act. Time to write your elected representative, folks, to support these bills. Be part of the solution by encouraging people to register to vote. Let's emulate John Lewis, who died last July, to make "good trouble". American voters did exactly that in the last presidential election and made me proud.