To Vote Is More Important Than To Eat, Sort Of

Not many of you will know that in 2012 fast-food giant Wendy’s took the top spot in “average service time,” as measured by Quick Service Restaurant magazine. In a mere two minutes and 10 seconds or so you can have what you went to Wendy’s to get.

Now, imagine that you came across a statistic that showed this about Wendy’s and other fast-food restaurants:

average wait to eat dummy

Imagine that you came across statistics that indicated, here in twenty-first century America, that it took almost twice as long for people of color to get their burgers and fries than it did white folks. Presumably, that would upset most Americans, even conservative Americans. Right?

Then why doesn’t this very real statistic, which I grabbed from Martin Bashir’s show on MSNBC, upset most Americans, including conservative Americans:

blacks wait in line

In honor of today’s 48th anniversary of the signing of the Voting Rights Act, how about finding a way to fix this voting disparity—whatever the cause—as opposed to “fixing” other problems that don’t exist, the so-called fixes tending to make it more difficult for people of color to exercise a much more important right than a right to fast and greasy food?

Reminder: More than 90% of Senate Republicans supported the legislation in 1965 and more than 80% of House Republicans did so, which represented higher percentages than Democrats, who still had many conservative southerners in the ranks.

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  1. Wow. Seen through the lens of political awareness, now that I’ve actually been paying attention for a few years, LBJ’s 1965 speech resonates with ringing truth and ought to go down as one of history’s greatest. Simple words, simple truths, seen through the lens of LBJ’s political acumen capitalizing on the obvious injustice that was Selma.

    In 1965 I was a young naval officer on shore duty with the Polaris program at Cape Canaveral and even though I was interested in current events and watched the evening news then, I was distracted from a real appreciation for the events of that historic era by my family, my job and my youth.

    Thanks for this excellent reminder, Duane. The injustice that continues here a half century later is no less real but now there’s no Selma to shame the opposition to action.


    • Injustice without a Selma to highlight it, indeed. Excellent point, Jim.

      I much appreciate your life experiences, particularly your relatively newly found “political awareness.” You had good reason for distractions in 1965, it seems obvious to me. And I did to. I was distracted by a cute little second grader and the crush that I, a fellow second grader, had on her. 😆



  2. Duane:

    I guess the real problem here is what its always been – you can’t legislate morality. Add to that our cultural biases and our inherent tribalism, and you get resentment, anger, lack of civility, and, at the extreme, hatred. And those effects are political, institutional, and interracial.

    And of course, any time you invoke the word “rights,” you get a diversity of reactions covering a wide range from the altruists to the bigots. The amygdala starts working overtime. Morality gets hung up in the diversity of human nature.

    Orwell figured it out 60 years ago: “All animals are created equal, but some animals are created more equal than others.” It’s hard to get a level playing field when you take the civil out of civilization, isn’t it?



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