Honoring the request of Martin Luther King III to honor his father by advocating for voting rights, dozens of people gathered at Wadsworth Park on Jan. 17 to honor the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King with an energetic rally.
The diverse group, waving signs and flags at passing motorists amid brisk and breezy conditions, were echoing the demands of Dr. King and other civil rights giants of the 1960s — on this holiday more than five decades later — because voting rights are once again under a dire threat in this nation.
With state legislatures in many states enacting new laws to restrict voting access and even, in some cases, to grab partisan control over vote-counting, the Flagler Beach Democratic Club, led by President Sally Hirst, organized the rally to raise awareness and energize opposition to this anti-democratic push.
With plans to rally again repeatedly in coming weeks, the club hopes to galvanize the concern of all American voters who cherish the free vote — the foundation of a just society — to raise their voices against this avalanche of new restrictions.
Dr. King, and all those who fought the first battles for voting rights so long ago, would expect nothing less of fair-minded Americans today.
Also in letters to the editor (submit yours to [email protected]):
Why this Flagler resident voted for Biden
In a recent letter to the editor, a writer was pondering why Flagler County folks voted for Joe Biden? It’s a question that begs a response from those who did.
Like the substantial majority of Americans, some of us in Flagler understood clearly what Biden’s opponent represented, who he really was, and the dire need for a profound national transformation.
Voters everywhere across the country had four years to wise up to a narcissistic, divisive, power-hungry purveyor of falsehoods, were fed up with incessant ugly puerile tweets, and believed he was wholly unfit for the job, a guy who was dragging down our country’s core values of honesty, integrity and decency.
And that’s in large part why we voted for Biden because as he so often reminds us: “That’s not who we are. We’re better than that.” And that’s something as a nation, and in our small Florida county, we surely need to recognize.
There may have been a minority of Biden supporters here in Flagler, as the letter writer pointed out, but we did our part to help lock in a decisive and historic vote-count victory for Joe Biden and believed strongly it was the right thing to do — and we still do.
Flagler County, let’s keep our republic
The events of Jan. 6, 2021, at The Capitol and the recent revelations about the extent of the attempts to subvert the very foundation of America have shaken a nation that is stumbling along a forked path.
Which road shall we take? The one with a dictatorship and one-party rule that spits on the rights of selected citizens? Or a country where we understand and celebrate our diversity and the fact that this has always been our way of life so let us not trample on it today?
This is a local issue, not just national. Three busloads of demonstrators traveled from Flagler County to Washington, D.C., that day, led by a county commissioner. Driving around Palm Coast, one can see that there are many homes adorned with messages (some obscene) that are supportive of that view.
For too long, the system of government in place now has been adulterated by efforts to make America into something else, certainly not the “land of the free, and the home of the brave.” All these events occurring at the same time now has led many to seemingly turn their backs on government, thinking the negatives being proposed will not affect them. But, in actuality, the movement to reject what the founders held dear, by trying to institute a one race, one faith, one people as the so-called leaders is exactly the wrong path and will only lead to many years of terrible consequences for us all.
So how should we recognize Jan. 6? By all of us re-committing to the ideas presented in our founding document, the Constitution that established our democratic republic. As Ben Franklin said, “now you have a republic, if you can keep it.” Let us make sure we keep it.
Jeffery C. Seib