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Fri Jan 14, 2022, 04:08 PM

Voting rights isn't just a Black issue


Ahead of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, President Biden visited the grave of Dr. King in Atlanta and gave the angriest speech of his presidency, insisting that the Senate has a moral obligation to protect voting rights. After months of delay, Senate Leader Chuck Schumer finally moved to at least force open debate on federal voting rights legislation this week. As the nation honors Dr. King and the civil rights movement’s legacy, Democrats are hoping against the longest odds that they can unite to push back against an assault on democracy that the President calls “Jim Crow 2.0.”

But America’s memory of Jim Crow has been distorted by a political culture that pays lip service to Dr. King while forgetting his vision of a democracy that works for all Americans. From the Montgomery bus boycott to the passage of the Voting Rights Act, Dr. King was a spokesperson for the Black-led freedom movement that was determined to end Jim Crow segregation in America. But Dr. King was also clear that Black Americans did not simply want to be integrated into a burning house. They organized with a broad and diverse coalition of Americans to challenge the basic contradictions that threatened the promise of democracy for all people. The Beloved Community that Dr. King preached and organized toward wasn’t just an America where Black, white and brown could sit down in a restaurant together. It was the hope of a political system where the Black, white and brown masses could vote together for leaders who serve the common good.

Today, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce opposes both voting rights laws and living wages. They back Senators Kyrsten Sinema, Joe Manchin and their Republican colleagues in an effort to normalize the subversion of democracy and make voting rights the special interest of minority groups. But they don’t separate their money, so we surely shouldn’t separate and bifurcate our movement demands for a democracy that works for everyday people. Voting rights are about power to write policy that impacts our daily lives and power to control the purse strings of the U.S. budget and over $21 trillion in gross domestic product.

Since the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision in Shelby County vs. Holder, the 1965 Voting Rights Act has been stripped of its power to check state legislatures where a majority wants to pass election law changes that make it more difficult for people to vote. So-called “election integrity” measures have been proposed in states with long histories of voter suppression, using the contemporary tools of voter-roll purges or voter ID requirements to reduce the potential power of a multiethnic voting coalition. Since 2013, when I led the NC NAACP in challenging the first voter-suppression bill passed by a state after the Shelby decision, I’ve called this reality James Crow, Esquire. The data analysis and legal maneuvers are more sophisticated than Jim Crow, but the goal is the same: minority rule to preserve an unequal society while giving lip service to democracy.


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Reply Voting rights isn't just a Black issue (Original post)
Nevilledog Jan 14 OP
bottomofthehill Jan 14 #1

Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Fri Jan 14, 2022, 05:39 PM

1. Thank You

These bills make it difficult for many to vote, the elderly, the sick and informed, those taking care of children, hourly workers, all that said, clearly, these bills target minority voters and the poor.

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