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Former Washington Journalist
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While ongoing Republican attempts across the country to try to limit voting rights are not only undemocratic, they are racist to try to recast the United States as predominantly white-ruled nation — they must also be resisted across the board, according to a variety of political observers.
Dismayed that President Biden became the first Democrat in decades to win their state in a presidential election, Republicans at the state level in Georgia are trying to approve laws to impose new restrictions on the ability of people — particularly the poor and people of color — to vote.
However, those Republican efforts are not limited only to the Peach State. In all, voting rights are under assault in 45 states.
“What we’re witnessing here is an extension of what we saw on January 6. January 6 was the spectacle. Folks storming the Capitol, leaving feces. Threatening the lives of folks in the name of what the big lie, in the name of this idea that the election was stolen, in the name that the election was stolen by those people who lived in Atlanta, who lived in Philadelphia, who lived in Milwaukee. We know exactly what they were doing. Right?” said Eddie Glaude Jr, an author and chair of the Center for African American Studies at Princeton University. “We know exactly what they were arguing for, that this country must be in some ways a country that must remain white in the vein of old Europe. And then this is an extension of that.
“We don’t have to sack the Capitol, we just simply have to pass laws to disenfranchise, to suppress the votes of those folk who we think ought to just simply shut up and be grateful. We need to understand this for what it is. It’s an extension of the seditionist, it’s an extension of the insurrection,” Glaude added during an on-air interview with MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace. “It’s undemocratic at its core, Nicolle.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) this week took to the floor of the Senate to denounce these Republican statewide bills, and likewise, noted their disproportionate effect on non-white voters.
“These bills, sadly, are aimed at Americans of color, black Americans, Latinos, Native Americans. Despicable efforts to target these historic disenfranchised communities have become a central component of the electoral strategy of one of America’s major political parties. Shame on them. Shame! It’s infuriating!” Schumer said. “When you lose an election, you’re supposed to win over the people you lost, not stop them from voting. That is un-American, autocratic, against the fundamentals of our democracy. But this is happening in states all across the country, all across the country.”
David Jolly, a prominent former Republican congressman from Florida, agreed that the anti-voting spree underway by others in his party is a civil rights issue — and that it’s time for the nation’s corporations to take a stand.
“Yeah, look, you have seen corporate responsibility moves on a lot of social issues in the last 10 years. You’ve seen boycotts, I think in the state of North Carolina. I believe the NCAA tournament was moved out of the state over some of the gender exclusion policies that passed through that state,” Jolly said. “Corporate America has a responsibility in this fight and it does so because this is a modern civil rights moment. This is the civil rights issue of this time. There’s a fundamental premise that Democrats are fighting for it right now and it’s that voting should be as easy and accessible as it can be secure. That is a universal principle that we can all agree on. But if it’s a fight over election security, again, it’s the right fight but it’s in the wrong ring. They’re going to lose this on jurisdictional grounds.
“What legislators and corporate America need to ring the bell on, ring the alarm on is that since the 2013 invalidation of the Voting Rights Act [by the Supreme Court], we have seen thousands of voting booths closed, voting access points for communities of color closed,” he added.
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