In the past weeks the Defense of Marriage Act and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 have been a hot topic in the news. I have read many things about each topic and have found just a few interesting similarities.
Each group affected by these acts struggle with equality. Whither it is with marriage between two same sex couples or the right for African Americans to vote with out discrimination. But with these points made one group, I believe, is fighting just a little bit harder to get their voices heard.
Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act was ruled unconstitutional by Congress meaning Homosexual are now able to get married legally in select states. The fight for same-sex marriages date back to the early 1970’s when the first protest was held in New York City and a lawsuit made later in 1990 in Hawaii fighting for same sex marriage in court started. The Homosexual community for the past 40 years have been fighting to get their voices heard all over the United States and come together as a one community to fight all issues dealing with, in this case, same sex marriage.
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 is considered to be the most effective civil rights statute enacted by congress for African Americans today. But the issue is section 4 of the act stating that certain states can obtain a preclearance under section 5 to make changes with the voting rights. But these preclearance processes have proven effective in protecting voting rights in places with a history of discrimination. Meaning, minorities, but mainly African Americans, may be rejected to vote just because of the preclearance. Civil Rights activist have all gotten together and are fighting and asking Congress to make a decision on the act.
Yes African Americans are trying to fight this issue but I feel that there could be more support from the African American community. The same-sex community has been fighting for only 40 years or so for their right to gay marriages and they have all came together and fought for their right and got it. African Americans have been fighting for more than a 100 years plus to vote and here it is 2013 and we are still fighting to be able to vote like American citizens without discrimination. Where is the problem? African Americans can not come together as community like the same-sex community because we are ignorant to the fact and the unity of community is lost.
We have lost that drive to fight for what’s right like Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks or the three American civil rights workers who lost their lives campaigning for Freedom Summers to get African Americans registered to vote. The fire that Blacks had to make sure we were treated equally is dying out slowly and with this recent Voting Rights Act issue are we proving this. Can we become stronger as community like the homosexuals or are we going to continue to be our own downfall in our fight for equality? Equality amongst all people is a must but when you don’t fight for it do we as a people really want it?