(originally published March 7th, 2005)

As this particular NPR story illustrates, today is the 40th anniversary of the civil rights march on Selma, which dsiintegrates into one of the worst events in modern American history, known all these years later as “Bloody Sunday.” What’s ironic is that the main purpose of the march was for black people to have the right to vote, as only two percent of all registered voters in Alabama back then were black, and in the last presidential election it’s estimated that only 40% of eligible black people in America voted. The population at large saw 60.7% of eligible voters went to the polls.

I’m not quite sure what this all means, but to some degree it tells me that there’s a lack of knowledge as to what some people went through in order to allow others the right to do something that had never been allowed before. Not that I think 60% is such a great number, as that would be a failing grade in most high schools across the country, but it’s certainly better than 40%.

After two very close elections that came down to one state (Florida in 2000, Ohio in 2004), and very few votes in both of those, what more will it take to get people back to the polls across the board? Is there really a major lack of leadership across the board in that no candidate seems to be able to generate enough passion to bring overwhelming numbers to the polls, even in a presidential election?