Educate, Organize and Mobilize — Whether he’ll actually pull it off remains to be seen, but clearly he intends to sell voter suppression and if Black voters aren’t educated, organized and mobilized, Harnett may do it. On Saturday, June 6, 2015, Hasan Harnett was elected Chairman of the NC Republican Party, becoming the first Black person elected to that post. He asserts that his election will help him sell the Republican Party to Black voters. At the convention that elected Hasan, Gov. McCrory made the point that maintaining voter ID laws would remain a high priority for their party.
Voter ID is a euphemism for the Voter Information Verification Act (VIVA) of 2013, more accurately described by many as the Voter Suppression Act of 2013. Again, it is my opinion that the success or failure of the Democrat or Republican Party in November 2016 will depend on whether or not Republicans succeed in their deceptive efforts to block access to the ballot by Blacks, women, Hispanic, students and others. The national and statewide races in 2016 will be decided by the success or failure of voter suppression.
I remind our readers that I’ve monitored and written about voter suppression virtually non-stop since at least June of 2013. And allow me to observe if I may, I’ve yet to see a capable organized response to voter suppression by the Black community. The NAACP and Democracy NC are making aggressive efforts to protect minority voting rights but without massive help their efforts will fall short of what is needed. As I’ve written before, to defeat voter suppression, the beneficiaries of Blacks and others targeted with voter suppression laws need substantial financial, educational, and organizational resources targeted for the effort. And of course we need them now.
Eventually supporters of voter rights protection will win the battle. However, as history has shown Blacks and others have been denied full voting rights since 1638 and when Blacks gained them in 1865, the Ku Klux Klan and other White supremacist immediately started campaigns that led to the imposition of “Jim Crow” laws, legal segregation. It took 100 years to respond to Jim Crow voting laws that were partially repealed in the Voting Rights Act of 1965. There are two ways that we’ll avoid another decades-long battle to protect voting rights. The first way is for the Court to impose voting rights protections for those of us threatened by voter suppression.
The other way to avoid another decades or century long denial of voting rights is for the public to rise up in opposition to our modern day voter suppression. Supporters of voting rights are much better prepared today than they’ve ever been to mount and win voter protection campaigns. Today in the age of social media and an interconnected world, truth and justice will prevail. This leads me to the point where I’m happy to report that truth is on the side of supporters of the protection of voting rights.
Back in March I wrote a comment on the Facebook page of Vernon Robinson, my actual and Facebook friend. I wrote “you and Ben Carson sadden me. Instead of insisting that your conservatives support voting rights, you and Ben Carson are aiding and abetting, anti-Black voter suppression, White supremacy and a public policy that brought us the University of Oklahoma.” Vernon, who is Black, is a right-wing Republican supporter of the presidential candidacy of Ben Carson. My comment caused an avalanche of responses by his White FB friends that attacked me and denied the veracity of my state.
For the record, I enjoyed and responded to every attack. This back and forth seemingly went on for over a week. I asked Vernon one simple question that he never answered. I asked him whether the Republicans were engaged in voter suppression. He did what Hasan and other supporters of voter suppression have done and will continue to do; he argued that voter ID hasn’t prevented anyone from voting. Of course I reminded Vernon that the voter ID law wasn’t in effect during the November 2014 General Election. And I reminded him of something that he already knew, voter ID is supported by an array of 20-25 other voting laws that make it more difficult and in some cases impossible for citizens to vote.
Several weeks ago I wrote an article with what I believe to be a viable plan to defeat voter suppression. Our plan to engage is quite simple, use the Black press to educate our Black church community and others to the threat that voter suppression poses to the well-being of Black communities and provide steps that can be taken to defeat the aspirations of the advocates of voter suppression. The task may seem simple but it is by no means easy. The task will require responding to the resources of the rich and the super-rich as exemplified by the likes of Art Pope, the Koch Brothers and many other monied elites that are funding this vicious, un-democratic attack on the citizenship of Blacks and others.
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