Educate, Organize and Mobilize: Last week I analyzed an article written by Dan Russo of the Roanoke Times. My point of interest in his article was his conclusion that, in order for democrats to win in November they would have to generate a massive turnout. I agreed with his conclusion but not his opinion of an action plan that would lead to such a turnout. Recently, President Bill Clinton, while speaking out against voter suppression, has expressed a similar conclusion and a similar theory about how to get the enhanced turnout.
However, for black voters, Benjamin Jealous expressed what I believe to be the critical message for black voters when he said that the best way to overcome massive voter suppression is through a massive wave of voter registration. Thankfully, the NAACP is putting this theory into action through the Youth Organizing Institute’s, Freedom Summer Campaign.
The consensus seems to be that we need to have massive voter registration and a massive voter turnout in November to defeat voter suppression. I see the value of what the NAACP, non-partisan, tax exempt organization is doing and I certainly hope our readers will embrace this struggle in every way that they can, including financial support.
I’d also like to see the political parties and candidates make defeating voter a much higher priority in their campaigns. I think for black voters elevating this issue to the standard democratic fare is an imperative if they plan to win in November. Voter suppression may be the one issue capable of getting the attention of tuned out black voters that are essential to a massive voter turnout.
As I continue to write commentaries for the Campaign to Defeat Voter Suppression I try to write for two different audiences. The audiences that I write for are two distinct but overlapping parts of the “Obama Coalition.” I focus my commentaries on Obama’s progressive coalition in general and black voters in particular. I have and have had much greater involvement with black voters and community leadership than other components of the “Obama Coalition.” I’m therefore much more comfortable when addressing voting as it relates to the black community.
As I monitor black voters and their lack of response to the threats of voter suppression my greatest disappointment is what I see as a lack of response from our church community. Many traditional black organizations are loosely involved in our fight but we all need to step up our efforts and pray that our absent churches will join in before it’s too late.
As the Campaign to Defeat Voter suppression has pursued its mantra: “Educate, Organize and Mobilize,” we’ve created quite a bit of educational materials that are archived under “commentaries” at www.GreaterDiversity.com. We’ll continue to update our educational coverage but realize that the time to organize and mobilize is upon us. So as we go forward I’ll try to bring more perspectives, mine included, to organizing and mobilizing by the Democratic Party and candidates in general and black voters in particular.
Since last August, I’ve been monitoring North Carolina politics and trying to determine if, when and how blacks will become engaged in the fight against voter suppression. I’ve looked for the same indicators as they relate to political parties and candidates. I think we have a long way to go and not much time to get there. Maybe the children of Civil Rights activist of the past will remind them that there is still much left for them to do. Will recalling the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Mississippi Freedom Summer and repeating its efforts today get our attention to the point that we are moved to action?
As I wrote last week, black voters are a bit different from other voters in certain respects; we need an emotional issue to stir us to action; to move us to vote. Again, I suggest that defeating voter suppression is really the most important Civil Rights issue we’ve faced in the last 50 years and the way it is being addressed through the Freedom Summer Campaign should move black leaders to action. It is past time for those of us that were blessed with opportunities because of the Civil Rights Movement, to fight to make sure that our communities and our children not have the clock turned back on them because of our complacency.
Will we get the two massive efforts that we must have? Will you be a part of the two massive efforts that we must have?
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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)