Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Mitt Romney Memorial “Bring out the Poor Vote Movement

Hello again. Yes, it’s me, the “mad-as-hell” woman who in my first video made a $2 bet with Mitt Romney that he’ll never make it to the White House. 

February in the US is Black History Month. Living in the St. Louis area, I’ve visited the Old Courthouse and stood in the courtroom where Dred Scott sued for his freedom. In its 1857 decision regarding Scott’s case, the Supreme Court held that blacks could not be citizens of the United States.

Essentially the court said that Dred Scott and his family were property and not human beings. They were things to be used by the rich without monetary compensation and without thought to their dignity and self-worth. 

Hmm… A parallel to the plight of today’s working poor might be in order here. Funny how the more things change, the more they stay the same.

In July 1868 the Fourteenth Amendment was passed giving the right to vote to all male citizens regardless of race. It seemed too good to be true the newly freed slaves. Of course, most good things come to an end all too soon.
By 1896, the Supreme Court held that the states could impose segregation so long as they provided similar facilities—the formation of the “separate but equal” doctrine.  It wasn’t until 1954 that the Court ruled in Brown v. Board of Education that segregation in itself was harmful to black students and, therefore, unconstitutional. The Civil Rights Movement had begun.

Leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. “had a dream” and stuck to it in spite of difficulties. So by the time I started first grade my reading materials featured stories featuring children of all races, as opposed to my older siblings’ boring  all-white “Dick and Jane” stories.

From the struggle of Black Americans we learn that when rights are systematically taken away from most economically and socially disadvantaged, step by step these rights have to be restored—hopefully once and for all.

In honor of the Fourteenth Amendment and the protections it gives to all Americans, I propose that we pledge ourselves to a new endeavor to help restore our rights as citizens… I call this, “The Mitt Romney Memorial Bring out the Poor Vote Movement”.  

If the poor don’t matter to fat cat politicians, because the poor are not seen as a large voting bloc, then maybe it’s time we change that perception. Maybe it’s time we help the poor be heard via the ballot box. Perhaps it’s time that these millions of struggling Americans are seen as human beings worthy of dignity and compassion instead of easily forgettable slaves to be used, abused and then downsized when CEOs decide to give themselves million dollar bonuses instead of investing company profits for the well-being of the workers.

Here are just a few ways we can help “Bring out the Poor Vote”:

1.      Let’s register to vote those who have been displaced by failed mortgages, lost homes and jobs and other financial hardships. If you know of someone who is living on their parents’ sofa or a family sharing a home with another family, perhaps they’re not registered to vote in the district they’re living in currently. We need to make sure these displaced voters are eligible to vote come November. So please help these struggling Americans get the necessary paperwork together in time to receive their voter’s cards. It’s a great way to meet your neighbors.

2.      Volunteer to babysit for a single mom. It’s a great way to help working parents who aren’t able to easily get to the voting booth with little ones underfoot. I’m sure they’ll appreciate having free hands to mark their ballots and a few minutes of respite from demanding little ones. You might even make some new friends!

3.      Help organize transportation for those without any means of getting to the polls. Distances between polling stations in suburban and rural areas can be quite large, so offer your neighbors a lift there and back again. It’s yet another way to make some new friends.

Yes, it’s time we as the 99% made our voices heard. We’re mad-as-hell and we’re not going to take it anymore. Let me know what ideas you have for helping to Bring out the Poor Vote, and I’ll keep you informed as to when Mr. Romney pays his $2 bet.


Judith Ann said...

good for you Cindy I agree with you.

Cindy said...

Thanks, Judith Ann. Spread the word--get the vote out and help us take back our country from the 1%!

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