OPINION: Do something

By Paula Minor

imageLast September, someone called my house and left a message about attending an Obama campaign meeting. I got the message and decided to ignore it.

Over the next few days I noticed that my friends and I were constantly complaining about the negative political rhetoric we saw on TV and online. I took a step back and realized that I needed to stop complaining and do something.

I’ve always felt the call to do something for the greater good. I first felt the call over 40 years ago when I participated in the Civil Rights Movement in my small college town. I joined student organized protests and marches against racial segregation and discrimination.

Our first protest involved hundreds of students crowded in my college’s Chancellor’s office. The Chancellor refused to meet with us or hear our concerns and called the police to remove us. The police told us that students who were still present after 5pm would be arrested and expelled from the college–yellow school buses arrived, ready to send a caravan of students to jail.

As time went by, I witnessed many students leave in fear, followed closely by my friends and family. As my cousin walked out, he warned that my mom would be upset with me. That warning was more worrisome than the threat of arrest and expulsion, yet I still stayed to protest–somebody had to stand up and do something on behalf of all African American students.

5pm came and went. We were arrested and expelled for fighting for our rights.

Months later, our charges were reduced and we were reinstated in school. The school also agreed to end the discriminatory policies we were protesting.

Nowadays, I am retired and the grandmother of eight. African Americans, and especially those who are retired like me, should give some time and volunteer for the Obama campaign. We should serve as role models and share our story with the next generation of organizers. Together, we will reelect the President this country needs.

Just do something. I am ready to help, to make that personal sacrifice, and to stand up for something important again. Join me today and do something.

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