United States Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said that the Voting Rights Act of 1965 signed into law by then President Lyndon Baines Johnson, which had been reauthorized unanimously by congress for the past fifty years, is a “racial entitlement” law.
I don’t know which country Justice Scalia has been living in but it is not the United States. Ever since this law took effect, some White people with racial biases and an un-American idea of our democracy have tried to dismantle the rights of Black, Latino and, Asian Americans to exercise their right to vote as citizens.
In the Bible, Paul had to exercise his citizenship rights in Acts 22:25 when the centurion soldier was about to whip him. Paul said “is it legal to whip a Roman citizen who has not been tried?” Paul was saying you might have a desire to whip me for being a follower of Christ but you can’t whip me until I have been tried and found guilty.
To Justice Scalia: you might not like how I vote but you cannot take my right to vote away unless you remove all citizens’ right to vote. Race, sex, age, and religious entitlements have been a part of the American agenda every since an all-White male group wrote, enacted, and enforced the laws of the constitution of these United States.
Let me say it another way. Sojourner Truth rhetorically asked some White women during her speech of 1851, “Ain’t I a woman?” Truth had every thing that White women had, she had even bore children, 13 to be exact, and what she did not have was White skin that would allow her the privilege to go about in America as a free woman. So my question to Justice Scalia is “Ain’t I a United States Citizen?” I was born and raised in this country with over four hundred years of family lineage, does that not allow me the same guaranteed constitutional rights as any White citizen? Maybe what you are saying Justice Scalia is you do not want Blacks, Latinos and Asians to have the same “racial entitlements” as the White race in America.
To my brothers and sisters, this is why politics is so important to me. Part of the process is appointing people to our court system on a national and local level. We must appoint people who have a good understanding of our history and are fair in their deliberation of the issues placed before them on behalf of the people.
My friend Frank Stallworth
I first met Frank during a political campaign when he first came to San Bernardino. Frank was the campaign manager of Jerry Herndon for the Sixth Ward City Council and I was the manager of John Hobbs’ campaign for the same seat. Needless to say, Hobbs won and Frank and I became lifelong friends after that. Frank went on to join the staff of Senator Ruben Ayala and Senator Nell Soto where he served our community.
Everyone got to know Frank by his jovial way of greeting anyone and always approached me with kindness, “Brother Brown, let me tell you about this business venture I am thinking about.”
Frank loved the church and all of the things that went along with it and he was most at home being in front of the church, it was like tossing a rabbit in a briar patch.
If I didn’t see Frank for a while, I knew I could always see him on New Years Eve at St. Paul AME’s 10 PM night watch service with his entire family. He was a faithful worshipper of Jesus Christ and lived his life as such.
Frank, along with Rev. Lamar Foster, talked me into serving on the Boys and Girls Club Board of Directors with his friend Jerry Herndon as Executive Director. From that relationship we developed a bond that would draw laughter everytime we would greet one another because the club was struggling from a lack of funds during our tenure.
Our community has lost a committed citizen, his family a great leader, and me a good friend.