Jul. 21, 2020

Vote As If Your Life Depends On, It's The Price That Vernon Dahmer Paid

“About thirty-two years ago on a January night, eight cowards—and that’s exactly what they were, eight cowards—came to this jurisdiction in the middle of the night and committed what we think is one of the most horrible and heinous crimes that’s ever been committed in America. Eight people armed with big gallons of gasoline and guns and meanness in their hearts showed up in this jurisdiction for one thing—to stop people from voting. They were not only going to stop people’s right to vote, but they were going to stop the man who was trying to help them.”

Mississippi Attorney General Mike Moore
1998 The Murder Of Vernon Dahmer
January 11, 1966

When ever you feel that your vote doesn’t count, or the system is jaded and voting simply doesn’t matter, or the line is simply way too long to bother. I ask that you as an African American citizen of this country think about a man who sacrificed everything for each of us to enjoy that right to vote Vernon Dahmer Sr.

Mr. Dahmer lived for 58 years and never had the chance to cast a single vote in his lifetime. Yet he spent his entire adult life working for the rights of African American Mississippians to enjoy the rights of citizenship. To Vernon Dahmer the right to vote was essential to being able to control one’s own destiny. Just when he seemed to have gained that right and won the fight in 1965 when President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Bill. The White Knights of the Mississippi Klan snatched that right away from him along with his life. That happened just 54 years ago.

It wasn’t that long ago that our right to vote was being denied by assassination and mob terrorism. Today’s post asks one question to those of us in our communities who refuse to vote. Was Vernon Dahmer’s ultimate sacrifice simply a total waste of effort? Was the blood he spilled to ensure we all had that right to vote only a blip that causes indifference today? So whenever you have a chance to make a difference in your communities by voting. Don’t ignore the chance learn all you can about the issues that effect you personally and your community as a whole and vote. The spirit and soul of Vernon Dahmer Sr. is watching over each of us.