Voting is a Privilege and an Opportunity for Civic Engagement - Higher Education
Higher Education News and Jobs

Voting is a Privilege and an Opportunity for Civic Engagement



Early voting started recently and will continue until November 4. It is our opportunity to vote for the candidates of our choice.

As a citizen, I do not take voting for granted. My ancestors did not always have the chance to vote. Poll Tax laws and other bogus rules were passed to keep African Americans from the voting booth.

I was a rising senior in high school in August 1965. I will let you know later the significance of this month and year. My view of the world and the challenges we faced were limited but there were some things that caught my attention.

Living in the South, I do remember there being a lot of civil unrest due to racial intolerance.

During some of my formative years, I can recall picketing some of the downtown eating establishments in Winston-Salem, N.C. One in particular that we spent a lot of time marching in front of was the K&W Cafeteria. It had a prime location in the heart of the business district.

However, for Black people it didn’t matter how prime the location was because we couldn’t eat there.

Over time and with legislation, voting was secured for people who look like me. I cannot imagine not being able to vote.

Voting is such a basic human right that it seems almost ludicrous to discuss it. Yet here we are today still talking about the right to vote.

The significance of August 1965 was that was the month and the year that The Voting Rights Act was passed. August 5 was the exact date. Lyndon B. Johnson was the president of the United States who signed this historic piece of legislation.

  New York Gov. Cuomo Proposes Free Tuition for Lower Income Students

Since that time it has been amended and extended. The Voting Rights Act, specifically Section 5, served as a way of protecting our right to vote if we lived in any of the sixteen states with a history of voting racial discrimination.

Exercise your right to vote. It is a privilege to do so. All you have to do is look at other countries that have problems in this area.

Negative forces may rise up but remember no weapon formed against you will prosper. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “There is an invisible book of life that faithfully records our vigilance or our neglect.” Let us all be vigilant so that voting becomes an exercise that we celebrate in our democracy. After all, this is the home of the brave and the land of the free.

And in this land of the free, voting becomes both a right and a privilege.

So don’t wake up on November 5 not having voted. Be a part of the solution and not a part of the problem.

Professor Apologizes for Fiery Response to Muslim Student CINCINNATI — A University of Cincinnati music teacher has apologized for his fiery online responses to a Muslim student who was critical of Donald Trump’s presidency and talked about celebrating freedom and diversity. College-Conservatory of Music...
Colleges Wrestle with Issue of Using Students’ Fees for Controversial Speakers Katherine Kerwin didn’t like to see a portion of the student fees she pays being spent to bring conservative speaker Ben Shapiro to the University of Wisconsin. Kerwin didn’t agree with Shapiro’s criticism of what he said were attempts to chill fr...
University of Wisconsin Survey: Fewer Underrepresented Students Feel Welcome MADISON, Wis — Minority, disabled and gay students say they’re having a tougher time surviving on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus than most students, according to a survey the university released Wednesday. The survey found about 80 per...
Black Students Voice Concerns After Kansas State Racist Incidents MANHATTAN, Kan. — Black students at Kansas State University voiced concerns about recent racist incidents at a meeting with top school officials on Wednesday night after a car was found near campus earlier in the day scrawled with racial slurs and th...
Semantic Tags: