In the Bible, in the book of Galatians, the Apostle Paul gives this advice:
“Let us not become weary of doing good.”
Talking about things is easier said than done. For some of us, it’s been a tiresome season, after all, a season of exhausted hope and seemingly improbable weariness on that triumphant November night 14 years ago. A black senator, newly elected president of the United States, stood on a stage in Chicago’s Grant Park and declared, “Change has come to America.”
He will be proven right, albeit in a way none of us could have predicted. America has changed, okay. Driven by a glaring racial fear of political rights, our politics first became mushy, then incoherent, then, a year ago this month, violent. They also become more excluded. Emboldened by a heart-breaking Supreme Court ruling from the Voting Rights Act, the right passed new Jim Crow laws designed to make voting harder for people of color.
And so we come to this remarkable point as bills to amend the Voting Rights Act and to protect access to the ballot are set to meet certain defeats this week in the Senate. Even more galloping, that margin of defeat was put forward by two Democrats on the ridiculous excuse that Republicans – who oppose the right to vote – must sign off on any legislation that seeks to protect those rights.
“Let us not grow tired?” How can we not?
That emotional exhaustion stems less from the fact that we have to fight this battle, but from the fact that we have to fight again, that a fundamental right is vindicated in blood. on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma 57 years ago was once again in peril. It gives you a sobering realization: There is no finish line here, no point where you can safely consider victory won. We will always fight because we will always be attacked.
One was reminded of what the late Lerone Bennett Jr said months after the Black senator announced the change, while others pondered the idea of some sort of final victory over segregation. race. “I’m an old cat,” the 80-year-old historian commented. “I was here on that wonderful Monday when the Supreme Court ordered the integration. I was here when Lyndon Johnson said, ‘We’ll make it through’ on primetime TV. People say it’s over. We were wrong. It didn’t end in 1965, it didn’t end when the 14th and 15th Amendments were passed… and it hasn’t ended now. ”
It turned out to be an amazing observation known in advance. Amazing pain, too.
With apologies to Paul, sometimes you can’t help but feel tired. What defines us is what happens after we do it – no matter how we move on or give up and accept defeat. It should be noted that it is not even a question of the forces of intolerance. They never had to beg or bully to vote like the rest of us often have to. The point is that even – no, especially – through our weariness and frustration, we have to vote.
And fight. Indeed, now would be the perfect time for a new campaign of civil disobedience and economic withdrawal aimed at advocates of shortening this most basic right.
Above all, we must make peace with the thought that we wage a war that can never be completely won. It can be helpful to keep the nucleus of hope alive in that bitter truth. Every victory can be overturned, yes.
That means any failure is possible.
Leonard Pitts Jr. is a columnist for the Miami Herald column. © 2022 Miami Herald. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency.
https://www.mercurynews.com/2022/01/20/pitts-in-a-season-of-exhausted-hope-you-cant-help-but-grow-weary/ In a dry season, hopefully you can’t help but be tired