by Brian Lamar

In stark contrast to what the evening nationally syndicated news programs show each night, the Mississippi Gulf Coast was able to come together in the midst of what is considered the largest civil-rights movement since our boys in uniform were fighting in the jungles of Vietnam.

I signed up to attend the Unity Prayer and March at Jones Park 6 June along with hundreds of other faces of all colors. What I saw there, will have an impact on my soul for years to come.

As a white boy who grew up in the deep south with an ahem “traditionally-minded” family, what I saw was not the hate-filled rhetoric spewing on TV each night and on the radio from the far left and the far right.

What I saw was a multitude. This multitude of smiling eyes and faces behind makeshift COVID masks, friendly faces, an awkward rubbing of forearms called the “COVID bump” and the constant unauthorized and unsocially distanced hug.

It was everything it was marketed to be. Unity.

Because I am famous for telling people to shut up if they didn’t vote, I put my money where my mouth is and I signed up with a platoon of peace volunteers to go into the throngs of chanting civil-rights activists armed with a clipboard, a pen and voter registration forms.

We were met with initial disappointment due to our numbers of registrants being low because of the “wokeness” of the crowd had already been registered.

As the time for the event drew close, the crowd grew and people who had never registered began to arrive. Our volunteers went to work and the day became a boost to democracy in this great state of Mississippi.

The lesson from me here is. You can scream until your voice wears out; you can write pointed letters to politicians until the ink barrel is dry.

You can burn everything to the ground and whatever success you feel you had in voicing your concern will be temporary.

No one can take away your vote. Your vote is permanent. Your vote is the only thing between your voice being looked at as a dismissed fanatic for your cause or a positive voice for everlasting change.

So, if you don’t vote. Shutup.

If you want your voice to not only be heard, but be a legally-binding force of reckoning….follow this link and fill out the forms and show up when the polls are open.

https://www.sos.ms.gov/Elections-Voting/Pages/Voter-Registration-Information.aspx