In a thought-provoking op-ed, Yolanda Renee King weighed in on the current threat to the country’s voting rights and urged President Joe Biden to protect the votes for future generations to come.
“Some kids learn about their grandparents by seeing them in person, sitting around the table at dinners, or simply stopping by to visit,” she wrote. “As I’ve grown, I’ve learned about my grandparents Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King through hearing about them in school and reading about them in books, because they left a legacy that’s still alive today.”
Since former President Donald Trump was voted out of office, the Republicans have mobilized to pass restrictive voting bills—primarily affecting communities of color.
“So far this year more than 30 bills have been signed into law in 19 states that make it harder for people — particularly Black and brown Americans — to vote. These laws don’t just affect people today,” writes King. “I’m 13 now, but when it is my turn to step up and vote in a few years, my peers and I will face the same challenges. Now is our time to fight for our future.”
Last month, Biden penned a letter calling for voting rights protections.
The United States Senate needs to act to protect the sacred constitutional right to vote, which is under unrelenting assault by proponents of the Big Lie and Republican Governors, Secretaries of State, Attorneys-General, and state legislatures across the nation,” the statement reads in part.
Despite various statements to similar effect, Biden has been accused of not treating voting rights as a priority.
“Last week I joined a group of younger Americans and risked arrest outside of the White House to call on President Biden to do something big to protect the right to vote for our generation — just as my grandfather did,” MLK’s granddaughter shared. “What we are seeing happening nationwide cannot continue. The right to vote is the foundation of this country, but it’s under attack right before our eyes.”
The young activist adds, “Every American deserves the right to cast a vote on important issues when they turn 18. My grandfather lost his life fighting to make sure that we had that opportunity. My generation cannot sit back and let others determine the future for us. My grandmother once said, “Freedom is never really won. You earn it and win it in every generation.” It’s our turn to fight for our future and win our freedom.”
You can read the full letter over at Teen Vogue.