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Dear Editor:

For 100 years after the Civil War, the United States denied citizens of color equal rights. Lynching was common. Schools, buses and restaurants were segregated. Intimidation, poll taxes and discriminatory literacy tests kept most Black citizens in the south from voting. All elected members of congress and senators from the south were white Democrats.

While there were outstanding black players in the Negro League, no major league team would sign any. In 1947, Branch Rickey, owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers signed Jackie Robinson. The Dodgers went on to win the National League pennant four times before winning the World Series in 1955.

Before the Supreme Court decision banning segregated schools, before the Montgomery bus boycott, before the March on Washington, baseball stood up.

Now the freely exercised right to vote is threatened once again. More subtle than in past years, voter suppression consists of reduced days of early voting, closing of polling places in minority communities, arbitrary requirements of particular types of identification and making it a crime to bring water or food to persons waiting on long lines for hours to vote. These barriers do not keep everyone from voting. It prevents enough citizens from voting so candidates like Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff will never again be elected to the U.S. Senate.

Today HR 1 the “For the People Act” also named for the late Rep. John Lewis, is before the senate. It would provide federal standards for early voting, absentee ballots and accessible voting locations. While our own right to vote is not now threatened, our freedom is threatened when substantial numbers of our fellow citizens are denied their constitutional rights.

Each of us as citizens, organizations and corporations must speak up now. The U.S. must not go through a new nightmare of discrimination. As Major League Baseball spoke up by removing the All Star game from Atlanta, Georgia, each of us must speak up in our own way. If you want to help all Americans retain the right to vote you can contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Norman Silverman 

(Editor’s note: Last week, a letter endorsing Steve Sirgiovanni in the 4/1 issue was signed Thomas Willis, senior strategist for Tom Sullivan for Senate. This title was taken from his email but is outdated.  Willis let us know that his endorsement is not associated with the Tom Sullivan for Senate campaign, which ended in November 2020.)

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