By Kevin Cooper
Not too long ago, I wrote an essay called “No Thank You.” It was concerning my thoughts on the S.A.F.E. California Act, which is on the ballot in November 2012 to end the death penalty in this state.
When I wrote my essay on this ballot measure, I was then, and I am now, speaking only for myself! I was then, as I am now, voicing my personal opinion on the subject matter.
At no time was I speaking for anyone else, nor was I telling or suggesting to anyone how to vote on this ballot initiative.
I wasn’t doing so then, and I am not doing so now!
As a person who reads and studies African American history, and understands the historical fight of my people for the right to vote, as well as freely vote for what we want; as well as understands the price in blood, broken bones, and death that we had to pay for this right to vote, I could never tell anyone not to vote or not to vote for whatever they wanted to.
The same can be said for women and others who in the tortured history of this country were at one time or another denied the right to vote, and in this denial, they fought for and paid the heavy price in blood that my ancestors paid.
So, concerning the S.A.F.E. California Act, vote what is within your heart and your conscience. After all, you have to live with yourself, and your vote.
In struggle, from Death Row at San Quentin Prison,