“I don’t think we’ve come to be aware of what is in store for us should our enemies have their way. They plan to turn back the clock and I don’t think we realize it or else we wouldn’t be so uncommitted and unexcited at the excitable things all around us,” said civil rights legend and former president for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference Dr. Joseph Lowery.
Lowery spoke to a packed room of ministers, students and other distinguished guests including Senator Lester Jackson, Rev. Matthew Southall Brown, Sr. and Rev. Raphael Warnock, a native Savannahian and now pastor for the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta at Savannah State University’s “Get Out The Vote” Rally on Monday. This event was held to encourage young people to vote and make their voices heard on Nov. 6.
“We have a civic calling which has to do with voting and a spiritual calling which has to do with the witness and voting in these critical times,” Lowery said.
Lowery sited the church as the backbone for many social and political movements within the black community. However, he emphasized that voters should not become sidetracked by “weapons of mass distraction” such as the issue of same-sex marriage which may cause them not to support
“The president is not a pastor or a bishop; he is a civic leader and has a job to uphold the constitution. The constitution says all God’s children deserve rights,” Lowery said.
Lowery compared African-Americans’ struggle for equality to the struggle for gay rights in America saying the rites or rituals of the church should not be considered when discussing the rights an individual should have in this country.
“It surprises me how a black person can take issue with anybody’s rights,” Lowery said. “We need equal rights for everyone, whether you like it or not. Don’t let the “rites” in the church interfere with the “rights” of this election.”
Pastor Warnock also encouraged young people to come to the polls on Nov. 6 and to encourage family and friends to vote.
“It was our president that took money out of the bank’s pockets and put it in our student’s pockets. It was Mitt Romney who said if you want to go to school, borrow money from your parents,” Warnock said. “ It is our civic and sacred responsibility to vote, don’t wait until Nov. 6.”
Lowery said young people will make the difference at the polls.
“Without young people getting out to vote, Barack Obama would not be president,” Lowery said. “Don’t let this harvest past.”