Friday, March 6, 2015
Sunday, March 7, 1965: Bloody Sunday
March 7, 1965...Bloody Sunday.
Hundreds of African-American marchers met Alabama police and residents mounted on horses and in riot gear. Before the crowd had a chance to comply after being told to disperse, the police advanced on the marchers and beat many of them. When it was over, some lay bloodied and beaten on the Edmund Pettus Bridge all in the name of voting rights.
And this happened in 1965...just 10 years before I was born. Within the lifetime of many of you. It hasn't been that long ago.
Today, many of us say we don't care about voting. Others are content to just sit by and let things happen. Those of us that do go to the polls here in Indiana have seen an ever-growing list of nonsense and hoops that we have to jump through in order to cast our ballots, but our struggle doesn't compare to those that fought 50 years ago.
It's those heroes who we should honor this weekend. Those who risked their lives in order to give us the right to CHOOSE to vote or not to vote. For many, the choice to exercise your franchise didn't exist prior to the work of Dr. Martin Luther King and those that marched with him in Alabama 50 years ago.
The words to Glory are so powerful, and John Legend and Common express them far better than anything I can write here. It's important to remember, as the song says, "The war is not over. Victory isn't won." We must fight along side the spirit of those heroes to make equality for all more than just a slogan. Selma is now!