Educate, Organize and Mobilize: I confess that I’m amazed. The Republican National Committee and the Republican Party of North Carolina announced last week that they have launched the North Carolina Black Advisory Board (BRAB) to strengthen the party’s ties with diverse communities and expand engagement efforts across the state. I presume that by diverse communities, they mean the Black communities. Surely they’d need a Hispanic Advisory Board to help them with outreach to Hispanic Communities.
This launch amazes me because it takes me somewhere that I’ve been trying to go since the Republicans passed the Voter Suppression Act of 2013. It takes me to an identifiable group of Black Republicans that I can ask why Black Voters, whose votes aren’t suppressed, should vote for candidates of the party that is trying to prevent them for voting at all. Back in December 2013, I tried to find some Black Republicans to have this discussion with and wrote about my concerns.
I’ll be very surprised if the Black Republicans engage in a substantive discussion of voter suppression and more surprised if such a discussion is had that it doesn’t result in expanding the chasm between Republicans and Black Voters. I think this advisory board is an unworkable idea for Republicans, but a god send for fair minded voters, Black, White and others. You see, the justification for the 2013 Voter Suppression Act and others is a myth based on allegations of fraud and the Republicans have never been able to prove anything more than very, very, very rare instances of voter fraud.
Over the past few years, 36 Republican controlled state legislatures around the country have been promoting un-American voter suppression plots, mostly guided by model legislation created and promoted by the Koch and corporate funded, right-wing think tank ALEC, (American Legislative Exchange Council). I’ve written about the un-American Koch Brothers and ALEC in earlier commentaries that are archived at www.greaterdiversity.com.
I don’t think this Black Republican Advisory Board will work. Before Black Voters engage in any meaningful discussion with Black Republicans about issues other than voter suppression, they the Black Republicans should schedule a community meeting with voting suppression as the only topic. If they’re truthful in their presentations on voter suppression they won’t be able to justify Blacks voting for Republicans. And, of course if they can’t justify Blacks voting for Republicans, there’s no reason for them to exist.
However, I really believe that all Americans would benefit from a strong two-party political system and I hope that the BRAB will succeed. However, the historical record of our citizenship, which is the origin of our right to vote, cannot and will not be relegated to some secondary level of priorities. Remember we became American Citizens as a result of the Civil War back in 1865. Voter suppression denies Black Voters their fundamental right as a citizen, the right to vote. The denial of voting rights by the Republicans is immoral and un-American. By giving the Republican Party an appearance of fairness and diversity, BRAB and Black Republicans at-large are aiding and abetting the disenfranchisement of Black Voters. I’ve had this discussion with Black Republicans that agree that their party is engaged in voter suppression but say that they, Black Republicans, unable to publicly address it for fear of losing their preferred status as examples of modern Republican Party diversity. These aren’t their exact words but the essence of what they’re saying.
I’ve not had time to contact the leadership of BRAB, but would like to interview them and report back to our readers and communities. If any of you are willing to help, please ask them to get up with me. Otherwise I’ll reach out to them and get back to you on their plans.
Lastly, if Black Voters can’t trust the Republican Party to protect their right to vote, why would they trust them to fairly address other important issues?
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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)