Thursday, Feb. 7, 2008

Open Forum: Vote to make a difference

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I honestly do not understand why in January 2008 we have people in the Maryland community saying that Sen. Barack Obama cannot win the presidential nomination. What they really are saying is that they are not giving Obama their vote.

Be honest. I, on the other hand, refuse to let my life be classified by other people’s failure to believe that they are an equal American. Let me clarify there are things that are unfair in our society, and there are real life barriers to opportunities that we are still struggling to overcome, but one’s own personal belief that they can make a difference and should make a difference should not limit the rest of society.

I am truly tired of people saying we are not ready for a black president. Are we insane? As far as I checked this morning I am still breathing so therefore since everyday I try to live ready for life, I believe we are ready for a president who happens to be obviously from a race of people historically denied equal rights in the United States. I refuse to let my children be brainwashed to think that they do not have the capability to follow their dreams, talents and ambitions.

I refuse to let a whole generation of people who fought for this day to be insulted by saying their tired feet marched for no reason. This has got to stop. I am sick and tired of waiting in the wrong line to get the door slammed in my face when I reach the end.

I challenge all Maryland residents to get out, register and vote. Register every person who can legally vote in the state as well as friends and relatives who can vote in other states. If we revert back to the early 1900s and you are somehow not allowed to vote, use primary and Election Day as the sick day you were going to the spa or the ball game. Make it the day you are late with justification. Since you are off and late anyway, go back to your community and help those who are shut in get to the polls. Get to the polls at 7 in the morning and take care of your due diligence to your grandparents, parents, children and grandchildren.

Just like we can charter a bus to go to wherever, charter vehicles to get people to the polls and then the Metro or their job. If you think you cannot do this, send in your absentee ballot. If your job has [a] tendency to send you away on travel, send in your absentee ballot. If you have already been too late too many times, send in your absentee ballot.

Set the example for your family. Before you buy your 17- and 18-year-old one more thing, register them to vote.

Let us not just see the glass ceiling but let us smatter it into smithereens. I can proudly declare that I am a young woman who is for Sen. Barack Obama. It is time someone else had a chance to make a difference. Let’s follow the lead of South Carolina – Get up and vote. All you have to do is stand up today and say with conviction, ‘‘Yes I can!”

Nichole J. King-Campbell, Fort Washington