After attending the Rev. Al Sharpton's meeting in Augusta, I became more convinced that the black vote has lost its sanctity.
We deceive ourselves if we believe that the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. led the fight for racial equality with just blacks fighting beside him in the referred-to "trenches." I was perplexed with one speaker's scorn of Billy Graham for not being in those trenches.
In the military, not every soldier is expected to see combat. Soldiers in a garrison manage support channels, providing the resources for those on the front lines. Likewise, not every minister or pastor was appointed to conduct trench warfare during the civil rights movement. Some prepared the hearts of those who entered the trenches. Others prepared the hearts of those who would help facilitate the change and accept the inevitable.
The Bible is composed of an array of stories of people who attained wealth through their own skills or through blessings from God. Their peril began with a proud heart. Black churches were at the center of the struggle for the black community. It was through unwavering faith in God that blacks withstood high-pressure water hoses, fierce dogs and cruel segregationists. Consequently, blacks gained successes winning elected positions previously held by whites; then, they too became proud.
Many working-class blacks joined the Democratic Party. When selfish special-interest groups changed the direction of the Democratic Party, blacks were silent because they weren't black issues. In addition, blacks began voting for officials based on the complexion of their skin, and not on the contents of their hearts. Thus, the black vote has been rendered inconsequential in important elections.
Seek social justice; however, we all must turn and first seek the righteousness of God for our nation, for us and for our children. Make our votes count!
Roy Ellis, Augusta