THOUGHT FOR FOOD Opinions about our times to nourish the soul

Posted on December 11, 2011 by


This is the inauguraul post from Rev. Dr. M. J. Smiley, whose opinions about American politics will appear here regularly. Reverend Smiley earned her Doctorate in Divinity at our own Memphis Theological Seminary, where she was honored as Outstanding Alumna in 2008. She has also earned Master’s Degrees in Theology, and Guidance and Personnel Administration, after her Baccalaureate in French Language and Social Studies as Miss Shaw University in North Carolina. She  brings a personal history of life with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., raising their families side by side during the Montgomery Bus Boycott and later as Associate Pastor of Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. Widowed after 53 years of marriage to E. L. Smiley, D.D.S., she is mommee to four children, six grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.   A full biographical profile is available by clicking  on the THOUGHT FOR FOOD  avatar.

Just a few days ago, I heard on the television news that Saturdays would be set aside as special days for the aged to get their identification cards with a photo for voter registration.  I no longer drive but I fortunately found a friend to take me down to the DMV.  The line was short; I didn’t wait long.  Excited, I approached the counter breathlessly.

 The unsmiling clerk curtly asked me for my birth certificate.  I wasn’t ready for that one!  Nonplussed, I informed her that I was 28 years young, backwards, and did not carry a birth certificate around with me. The next request was for a passport. I wondered how she assumed I  even had one! I did, but told her that if I found it, it wouldn’t be up to date. The third request was for some recently-addressed bill with my current address since I had only recently moved here from another state. Of course, I don’t carry my bills around in my purse, either. I was then told that if I did not produce at least two of what had been requested, after 66 years of consistent voting, my voting rights would be forfeited. No longer perplexed, I began to recognize familiar angry feelings. A light came on. I was too old, and not the right color.

This not so subtle method of depriving citizenship was slowly becoming obvious to this usually alert individual. Questions asked of those seemingly in charge were never satisfactorily addressed. No answers. They had been well- schooled in the art of denial. I cannot blame them. I blame those of us who allowed this to happen. This is a method by which millions of votes will go uncounted, and ostensibly “by law”.

 Whose law? How did we permit  this outrageousness to become standard  procedure? It is a detestable, ridiculous regulation established by a government obviously far detached from its mission to be for and by the people. Wake up, my fellow Americans, and smell the duplicity. It stinks! The destiny of our great country hangs by a thread – the actions of the greedy few. A free people must defend the right to participate in self-government with unencumbered access to the ballot-box.  We must somehow regain the path to justice, protecting the general welfare, and securing the blessing of liberty for all.

 I will vote, as we all must, in the 2012 election!!!

Posted in: human interest