On June 21, 1964, 3 young men were murdered in Mississippi. They were struggling for the right to vote.
In March, 1965, John Lewis joined 600 others in Selma for a walk for voters' registration. One of the original 13 freedom riders, He'd been repeatedly beaten and jailed.
At the Edmund Pettus bridge, he was savagely beaten, his skull fractured, by Alabama State Troopers. Today John Lewis is serving his 18th term in the U.S. House of Representatives.
In 1840, a group of women met in Seneca, N.Y., to discuss women's rights. As late as 1917, women who dared to publicly campaign for women's suffrage were tossed into prison for "obstructing traffic, breach of peace, or causing unrest."
Since their actions were "unseemly," their male guards were given free rein to show them their place.
While their husbands petitioned frantically for their release, these women were physically manhandled, force-fed, verbally abused, spat upon and hung by their wrists until their hands turned black. Some never recovered.
It wasn't until 1920 that the 19th amendment was finally passed. Still today, some men (and women) say they never should have given women the right to vote.
Let us be clear: They did not give us the right to vote. After many centuries, they finally stopped preventing us from exercising our God-given right.
So I guess I feel a little sick when folks say they don't know enough to vote, or don't care. People died so you could vote. Do you get that? Have you paid attention? Women who support birth control have been publicly shamed.
Limbaugh says she's a slut. Romney says he "wouldn't have used those words."
What words would he have used? Fallen woman? Soiled dove?
In Washington and in Lansing, women's rights are being restricted. The Republican platform states there should be no abortion, even for the life of the mother.
It's because they value human life. (The mother, presumably, is something less than human.) Some things never change.
They tell us women should only be interested in "economic issues." What those men fail to see is that, for most women, birth control is an economic issue.
So are Pell grants, day care, pay equity, public schools, and taxes on pensions.
So will you take a serious look at what's happened in Lansing and Washington these past two years?
You may be shocked. Then vote. Voting is not a privilege, like driving a car, or getting a library book.
It is a right, and more than a right. It is your sacred obligation.