It has been almost a year since President Obama offended some African-Americans when he admonished them during remarks delivered at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's annual Phoenix Awards dinner to stop grumbling, take off their slippers and march with him. But those remarks didn't bother Maryland Rep. Donna Edwards, who is employing a similar analogy to ensure that every African-American woman of voting age heads to the polls in November.
Thanks to a new hairstyle that requires Edwards to regularly spend a couple of hours in a salon for the first time in 25 years, she gets to chat with the other women about what's at stake in the election. Speaking at a Black Women's Roundtable forum at the Democratic National Convention, Edwards urged women to take off their high heels, put on some flats and go knock on a door or make a phone call to encourage others to vote.
"Because when you talk to a Black woman who's registered to vote, that's a vote from the top … to the bottom of the ticket," she said.
The lawmaker noted how Congress has taken 31 votes on repealing the Affordable Care Act and 13 votes that affect women's health care choices. Males, most of them white, she added, are arguing about protecting women and their reproductive choices, but they have no idea what that choice means for women.
"When you take away those health care choices, you take away my ability to make a decision about whether I want to go to college, whether I want to open a business, and about what kind of job I want to have because those choices that are about my body are about my future," Edwards said.
Elections have consequences, she counseled. The next president may have an opportunity to appoint more justices to the U.S. Supreme Court, which could mean the difference on a court that's now largely treading water when it comes to women's choices.
"So when we vote to re-elect the president, we're saying we're going to protect the Supreme Court from extremists, protect the White House from the extremists, and we're going to protect down the ballot, because it matters who has the gavel in the House of Representatives and it matters who's in the Senate," Edwards said.
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(Photo: Paul Morigi/Getty Images)