to the Polls movement
encourages African American church attendees to get out and vote. The
churches that promote this movement cannot, because of their 501c3
status, endorse candidates. They can, however, emphasize the gospel
of social and economic justice and preach the gospel of civic
heard the message and got to vote in 2020 and Georgia, 2021. When
Rev. Raphael Warnock decided to challenge appointed Senator Kelly
Loeffler, he galvanized people to support him. So in the past few
months, the Georgia legislature has crafted a bill to attack how
churches, civic organizations, and others get the vote out.
Georgia legislation seems primarily focused on the ways civic
organizations got voters to the polls. They want to eliminate drop
boxes, restrict voter hours, and even limit absentee voting to
disabled voters or those with proof that they are out of town. They
have surgically gone into the voter turnout playbook and attacked it
step by step.
aren’t surprised. Our nation’s so-called “law and
order” crew have always attempted to suppress the Black vote
with absurd conditions for participation. I’ll never forget my
great-aunt, Annie Mae Randall, learning the Latin passages she needed
to translate to qualify to vote. Latin in 1960s Mississippi? The
idiots who imposed this requirement perhaps could not read or write
English, much less Latin. Proof? My mom’s race on her birth
certificate is “collard” as in the greens, not “colored”
as she was designated. Educated-deprived white people could only
assert their “superiority” by putting Black people in our
is not especially startling, then, that not a single House Republican
voted for the For the People Act, also known as HR1. It is more
confusing that Mississippi Congressman Bennie Thompson (D) voted
against the legislation. He had his reasons, which hold no water with
me, but he had his reasons. Thompson was a cosponsor of HR1, but he
flipped “in the interests of his constituents.” Is he
attempting to curry favor with white Mississippi voters, or is this a
vote on principle?
is the tension. Republicans keep talking about “voter
integrity,” while Democrats and activists (not always the same
thing) highlight voter suppression. The incidence of “voter
fraud” is a hundredth of a percentage point, But Republicans
refuse to acknowledge their voter suppression acts. Thus there are
more than 200 actions in 43 states that will keep people from the
polls. They don’t want our souls at the polls.
our voter activity has always been blocked by the conservative forces
that want to limit the right to vote. They offer a “reasonable”
argument. Many hit the airwaves speaking of “voter integrity”
and limiting voting opportunities is “reasonable.”
Republicans are exploiting the racist, predatory capitalist origins
of this nation. While our founders talked about democracy and one
person, one vote, they excluded those who did not have property from
the vote. They excluded women, Black folks, and others from the vote.
From my perspective, the most enduring evidence of elitism is the way
the United States Senate has evolved. Initially, the governor or
legislative body appointed Senators, usually of their race and class.
Then, the Senatorial formula is intrinsically unequal. Why should
population-dense California have the same voice as Vermont, New
Hampshire, and Montana in Senate votes? This was never meant to be a
democracy. It was designed to preserve the interests of capitalist
ruling class has protected their interests by giving Senators a
six-year term. Their missteps are likely to be forgotten before their
terms are over. Our former president, who should only be known as
“former,” encouraged Republicans in their intransigence.
The Capitol insurrection of January 6 was an attempt for the unholy
alliance between the wealthy Republican elites and the people they
have been able to incite.
The Georgia legislation suggests that
some don’t want our souls at the polls. The Republican opposition to
HR1 suggests the same thing. But Black folks have learned Latin,
counted jelly beans in a jar, stood in line for hours, and managed
oppression. We brought the souls to the polls in 2020, and we will do
it again in 2022. Nobody is “sud’in” Republican oppression.