By Pastor Howard E. Jones, Jr.
The general election is Tuesday, Nov. 3. We have to vote, seriously. This is just another time, we need to model after the queens, African American women. They vote early, they vote often, they vote together.
Don’t believe all the shenanigans, such as, voting does not matter, they will cheat anyway. They will steal the election. Don’t let the noise take control of you and get you off your goal.
While we may complain about what voting does not reap, we need to be thankful we can freely vote. There is much
pain that has brought about this opportunity us. We were snatched from our African homeland, put into slavery, experienced quasi slavery with Jim Crow laws, and finally through pain and suffering, we are here in 2020, facing a major general election this November.
The thought of those who suffered, beaten, jailed and killed so that we can vote is all the motivation I need. The pain we reflect on from those who suffered is what we must use to draw closer to others in fellowship so we can go to the polls in mass and vote. We must use the pain of Congressman John Lewis to vote. He was beaten so brutally on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, as he led the march to Montgomery to register to vote, he said, “I knew I was going to die.” He endured pain and never gave up, in spite of being beaten, the goal was to register and vote. It resulted in him being elected Congressman from the 5th District in Georgia, all because he worked through the pain, and voted.
There is the pain from Fannie Lou Hamer, Mississippian Civil Rights activist…at the Democratic Convention in 1964 in a fight with the regular party delegates for the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party to be officially seated, she exhorted, “I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.”
Medgar Evers, field director of the Mississippi NAACP, was shot down in his driveway in Jackson, with his family in the home, simply because he was working to get African Americans the right to vote.
Sometimes it takes a painful experience to make us change our ways. And while you may think you have not experienced the pain of the Civil Rights activists, you do. There is the pain of rising taxes, pot holes in your streets, taxes, high cost of food, lack of housing, low-paying jobs or no jobs. The pain of systemic racism allowing police to shoot and kill mostly unharmed African men and women too.
We ain’t tired, yet! We have to let the pain of the social and physical ills propel us to victory and not paralyze us to regress. We must let our pain be our witness to the world that we can and will overcome. The pain others endured and the pain we have now, should be our encouragement to work through the pain and “Pound for Change.”
Howard Jones is the senior pastor of Fairfield M. B. Church in Goodlettsville. He conducts the Lifting the Lid leadership Call weekdays at 6 a.m. at 872-240-3212 X 199029349. He is an assistant principal at Stratford High School in the MNPS system.