6:54 AM / Sunday February 25, 2024

16 Dec 2011

The right to vote is a human right

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December 16, 2011 Category: Commentary Posted by:

By Alice Bernstein


ABOVE PHOTO: Photo by Alice Bernstein


Thousands of people good naturedly weathered the cold in New York City on Saturday, December 10th in a march for Voting Rights, sponsored by the NAACP, labor unions, educators, and community organizations, ending in a rally at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, across from the United Nations.


I was proud to be among the men, women, and children expressing outrage at the fact that two-thirds of state legislatures have introduced laws to undermine the right to vote and suppress voter turnout—targeting people of color, the disabled, immigrants, and the poor.


It is heartbreaking and completely wrong that after so many people fought, bled, and died in the 1960s for the right to vote—subjected to cattle prods, dogs, fire hoses, and tear gas–people now have to fight 21st century racism and cold-blooded selfishness, waged by people in business suits with million-dollar bank accounts.


Dear reader, let’s ask everyone to answer this urgent question first asked by Eli Siegel, the great educator and founder of Aesthetic Realism: What does a person deserve by being a person? I believe that a person deserves food, a job, a place to live, and the right to vote! There is no democracy with these, and free and easy access to voting should be a top priority!


Here are photographs I took of people from Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Philadelphia, New Jersey and New York, who proudly marched for voting rights as human rights.


Alice Bernstein is a journalist, oral historian of civil rights, and Aesthetic Realism Associate.

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