This article is a continuation of our focus on the influence of politics on economic justice. However, I would be remiss in my coverage of voter suppression if I fail to make observations about duplicity in the treatment of voting rights as it is displayed by leading Republicans and the Republican Party. Joe Scarborough is amongst this duplicitous crowd.
Isn’t it ironic and duplicitous that Donald Trump and his advocates are accusing the Republican Party of being corrupt, undemocratic and of manipulating the will of voters by having rules that allow party leaders to overrule the will of the Trump voters? He’s accusing them of suppressing the vote of his supporters. At last Trump “the Birther” is finally right about something. That is exactly what the proponents of voter suppression are doing to voters of color and others while denying it.
The flip side of this duplicitous irony is that these same Republicans are conducting aggressive and immoral voter suppression campaigns across the country in states that they control. Of course they deny it and Trump has been silently aiding and abetting voter suppression. And, to make matters worse, he plans to use their evil deeds of voter suppression to get elected in November.
Now back to our topic of the week. Economic justice has been the pursuit of Black Americans for more than 400 years. For many of those years its pursuit was subordinated to our pursuit of freedom. Since 1865 and the end of the Civil War we’ve experienced marginal gains in freedom, safety and economics. During most of the years gone by, subordinating economic justice to our legitimate aspirations for freedom is understandable and was necessary for survival. However, in today’s world we are subordinating our aspirations for economic equality to politics. “That dog wont hunt.”
Too many of us, Rev. Jesse Jackson, is our hero and a visionary. For over 50 years he has put his life on the line time and time again. I believe that the risk that he took and his vision played a major role in changing America in a way that allowed us to elect its first Black president, Barack Obama. Rev. Jackson has never wavered in his advocacy of economic justice. He recently wrote a column entitled: Make this election about economic justice. (See front page of Greater Diversity News at: GreaterDiversity.com). This is advice that we would do well to follow.
Rev. Jackson’s admonition is obvious but we seem not to have embraced it as our major focus going into November 2016 and to my personal knowledge, we’ve not had it as our priority focus during the Civil Rights era. The questions raised in the title of this article must be answered and responded to with Rev. Jackson’s guidance in mind.
I’ve advocated voting your economics in the past and will continue that argument in the future, I will also add “how to’s” this week and in coming weeks.
Why register? Why vote? If your answer is not that registering and voting is in my economic best interest, then your answer is flawed. This is my message to the many well-intentioned voter rights advocates that make tireless efforts registering voters and urging them to come out and vote. Included in this North Carolina coalition of heroes is the NAACP, Democracy NC, Advance NC, labor unions, churches, sororities, fraternities, civic groups and others too numerous to name.
Of course, as we applaud the efforts of voter rights activist, we must also recognize their responsibility to educate our voters regarding what the economic benefits of voting are. I continue to invite those with ideas that contradict or complement the observations that are made in my columns to share their views. I’ve cited several ways below that can be used to give feedback on what I write.
I believe that candidates advocating for equality in public spending as provided for in NCGS § 143-128.2 and advocating for a substantial increase in the minimum wage represent clear proof that economic justice is on the ballot.
My commentary of last week had citations to the provision of NCGS § 143-128.2. (See link No. 1 below).
As reported last week, on March 23, 2016 the NC General Assembly passed HB 2, popularly known as the “bathroom bill.” I’ll not express an opinion on the bathroom issue, however the bill places inappropriate limitations on minimum wage laws that should be of concern to all that oppose income inequality and support economic justice. (See link No. 2 below).
If voting the economic interest of Black businesses and Black communities are not a part of the political discussions I wonder whether candidates and their supporters are seriously addressing the massive unemployment and lack of business development in Black communities. And I continue to believe that linking economic opportunity to politics will increase voter participation and fight against voter apathy.
I reiterate what I said last week. We need our Black Elected officials, Legislative Black Caucus members and local elected officials to help turn NCGS § 143-128.2 into an economic success. The Pitt County School Board efforts represent an excellent starting point, but unless others step up to the plate with other public bodies, we’re wasting 40 years of political pursuit of economic equity and we’re failing to “vote our economics.”
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Peter Grear, Esq. writes for Greater Diversity News with a primary focus on political, social and economic justice. To support our efforts, to unite our politics and economics, please “Like” and follow us at www.facebook.com/greaterdiversitynews, “Share” our articles and post your ideas and comments on Facebook or at our websites www.GreaterDiversity.com. He is available for radio commentaries upon request. Follow Peter on twitter.com/yourrighttovote. Finally, please ask all of your Facebook “Friends” to like and follow our page.