Voter Suppression: The Countdown to Showdown
Educate, Organize and Mobilize: It’s a little more than a year since the US Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the countdown to the November General Election is underway. As of August 8, 2014 there were 86 days left before the elections and voters are being mobilized. I continue to wonder, as I look for signs, whether Black Voters will respond to the most dangerous threat to our Civil Rights in 50 years. I have to wonder because if the response is there I don’t see it. And, if I don’t see it I doubt very seriously if it is adequate.
I continue to remind our readers that as I specifically address voter suppression as it relates to Black Voters, I’m well aware of its broader threat to Hispanics, women, the young and the elderly. With that in mind, it is important that all of us that believe in democracy and equality be a part of the Campaign to Defeat Voter Suppression.
I see the Moral Monday Movement and the North Carolina NAACP, both under the dynamic leadership of Reverend William Barber carrying the undue burden of mobilization for November. I know that there are many in our communities that have accepted the burden of leadership, but they need to step up their efforts to fight this fight.
In the past I’ve suggested that persons wanting to get involved in the mobilization to defeat voter suppression visit the website of either or both the non-partisan NC NAACP and Democracy NC. I like to also suggest joining the efforts of the NC League of Women Voters.
Hopefully, other organizations or individuals representing them will step forward and announce their involvement in campaigns to defeat voter suppression so that we can help evolve a network of support and help to coordinate mobilization activities so that we can avoid the inevitable duplication and waste that come without proper planning and coordination.
Again, I remind you that I would be pleased if those joining this cause would “like” facebook.com/votersuppression and send me an email address to be used going forth.
Now, as to the response from those who were the primary beneficiaries of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act, where is it? Have we reached the Promised Land or have we surrendered and given in to the forces of bigotry and oppression? Will we respond to the existential threat of voter suppression or will we retreat to inactivity?
It is time to stand up and be counted. In my commentary last week, I outlined what I thought needed to be included in public outreach by those being moved to speak. I noted that to be effective a presentation should minimally address educating, organizing and mobilizing voters. We must speak truth to power and to do so we must have a basic understanding of voter suppression. Again, I’ll continue to revise and post my suggestions between now and November.
Because I’ve written weekly articles addressing voter suppression since November of last year, I’ve suggested using my articles that are archived at www.greaterdiversity.com as reference materials that address many details of voter suppression, including its targeted voting blocs and the nationwide efforts of groups and individuals that are fighting back.
As I’ve noted before, denying a citizen the right to vote destroys the fundamental principle of a participatory democracy. Therefore, the ongoing effort to disenfranchise Black Citizens and others represents an existential threat to American Democracy. The disenfranchisement of the Obama Coalition is a relentless pursuit of Republican dominated, and Koch Brother (ALEC) financed legislatures in more than 30 state legislatures around the country. This too I’ve written about in previous articles.
I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating; “The threat of voter suppression is the gravest threat to the Black Community in more than 50 years.”
As another statement of caution, I’ll reiterate what I’ve said in the past: Nothing that happens in the courts between now and November will negate the need of our Black Community for a massive voter turnout on November 4th.
My commentaries are written to be used by those that may need a little education or context to help in adding their voices to our campaign. As I did last week, I suggest that every concerned community convene meetings, with a designated speaker, to address voting rights and to use some of my articles as a part of the content for the speech. I would love to hear from the speakers, before and after their presentations. As we educate, organize and mobilize our communities, we must consolidate and share our experiences.
All candidates, elected officials and others that believe in and benefit from the segments of our population that have been targeted for voter suppression, owe it to eligible voters to become actively involved in helping to educate, organize and mobilize for a massive November turn-out. Of course, I continue to recommend my weekly commentaries (See link # 5 below) and Facebook page at www.facebook.com/votersuppression for education, organization and mobilization content on voter suppression.
Lastly, as we countdown to the showdown in November the unanswered question if whether you’ll be the victor or the vanquished? Your ballot will answer that question.
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Peter Grear, Esq. writes for Greater Diversity News with a primary focus on voter suppression. To join the campaign to defeat voter suppression please “Like” and follow us at www.facebook.com/votersuppression, “Share” our articles, and your ideas and comments on Facebook or at our website www.GreaterDiversity.com. Also, to promote the campaign to defeat voter suppression, please ask all of your Facebook “Friends” to follow the above-referenced recommendations. Additionally, please follow us on Twitter at @yourrighttovote: (https://twitter.com/yourrighttovote)