Why are we STILL in an active struggle to VOTE in the United States of America? Fifty-three years AFTER the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was passed into law, why are we (non-white) citizens STILL fighting the fight to fair and equal access to the ballot box? From senior citizens being pulled off a bus as they were on their way to vote in Georgia to Native Americans in North Dakota being blocked from voting because where they live on the Reservation has no street addresses (and has NEVER had street addresses), the GOP-led efforts to keep people from exercising their Constitutional RIGHT to VOTE is laser focused on keeping African Americans, Native Americans, Latin Americans and Chicano Americans away from casting their lawful ballots no matter where they live.
We are increasingly dependent upon organizations like the NAACP, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the ACLU, and Black Voters Matter to expose the wide-ranging tactics employed by Republican Governors, Attorney Generals and GOP political action groups across the country to suppress the vote in the upcoming 2018 mid-term election. It’s a new iteration of the old-fashioned “poll taxes” of the 1950s where all kinds of outrageous “tests,” questions and even monetary charges were levied against Black people as they were attempting to exercise their legal and rightful privilege to vote. These roadblocks to inclusion in the democratic process and demonstration of what equal citizenship under the law actually means, were primarily practiced in the Jim Crow south. However, today we see eerily similar tactics being employed in pockets all over the United States.
The main target of these modern-day voter suppression and intimidation tactics remain primarily African Americans, however, the political machine is now additionally ramping up their direct attacks on other groups as well. The goal of those currently in power would rather block people from participating in the democratic process than to endeavor to create pathways of accessibility to the ballot box. They want to WIN and maintain their power within the predominantly white male patriarchy. They do NOT want to share power with the ever-growing population that is increasingly non-white and over 53% female in this country. Within the next decade, the United States will have a population that is more non-white than white and the increase in white supremacist rhetoric and racial animus demonstrates just how terrified whites are by the changing demographics of the nation. The purging of voter roles and holding on to thousands upon thousands of voter registrations will NOT deter us. We have been fighting this fight for hundreds of years and we will NOT be turned around.
When you live in a nation that proclaims itself a democracy, that proclamation must be tested. It must be tried and proved to be true. Democracy in action is one man/woman/they/them VOTE. Do NOT allow anyone to suppress, intimidate or usurp your RIGHT to exercise your freedom and liberty, as a citizen of what they say is the “greatest nation on earth!” Unless it lives up to its platitudes and pontifications, it’s nothing but WORDS without ACTION. VOTE on November 6th like your life depends on it…because it does.