the wake of the 100-year-old anniversary of the 1921 Tulsa race
pogrom, it is apparent that Whites—this time Republicans--are
fixated on removing Democrats and citizens of color from political
and economic power. This is an oft-repeated effort throughout
American history whenever Whites perceive their ethnic minority
counterparts to be getting too uppity—refusing to accept
oppression and stay in their place.
political parties leading these efforts rotate depending on whoever
is most opposed to ethnic minority progress toward social, economic,
and political power. We first witnessed it during the aftermath of
19th century post-slavery Reconstruction, the civil rights struggles
of the 1950s and 1960s, throughout the Obama era, and afterward.
led the first insurgencies in the 19th century as they were the
losers in the Civil War fight over slavery and their Southern way of
life. Initially, these White initiated revolts used violence to
prevent Negro (Black) progress when the term minority largely
referred to one racial group. With the expansion and increase in the
size of minority groups as the nation grew, the term minority morphed
into ethnic minorities and people of color.
the White power elite has become "more careful," violence
in its traditional forms has been muted. Whereas earlier racial
persecutions encouraged and provoked physical violence as its primary
tool to keep and expand power in all facets of American life, the
current approach uses political strategies with an indirect reliance
on violence to achieve its aims.
through our history, demagogues have stoked racial fears and
insensitivities in appeals to the "lesser angels of our nature"
in a rebuke to former President Abraham Lincoln's call for national
unity in his first inaugural address on March 4, 1861, on the eve of
the Civil War, when he appealed to the “better
angels of our nature.”
ebbs and flows of America’s political traditions, we have
sometimes had Presidential leaders on race followed by abject
Presidential failures, e.g., Lincoln by Andrew Johnson and Barack
Obama by Donald Trump. That Obama was Black provided Trump with an
opening for a direct racist appeal which he exploited against 17
Republican rivals who were more circumspect in discussing race in
their political tactics.
Trump prevailed, he led the Republican Party on a sojourn to the dark
side of politics as he openly courted and championed the most extreme
elements of White supremacy. And like sheep, those Republicans with
future presidential aspirations, Sens. Ted Cruz (TX), Josh Hawley
(MO), Marco Rubio (FL), and Gov. Ron DeSantis (FL), fell in line like
a military stack formation.
Republicans have organized at the state level to suppress the voting
rights of people of color and young people in states where their
numbers are increasing exponentially—Arizona, Georgia, Florida,
Michigan, Texas, Wisconsin, etc. Even when the emerging New American
Majority (Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Latinx Americans,
Indigenous Americans, and African Americans) are not exploding in
size, Republicans are implementing redistricting plans to remove
Democrats from office.
Republican-controlled Kansas legislature has devised a plan to redraw
Congressional districts to eliminate the sole Democratic
representative in its delegation. Along with increasingly onerous
barriers to voter registration and voting, and youth voting, other
Republican-led legislatures have given themselves the power to decide
elections and/or to allow judges to overturn elections with the
losing states they had previously won in the 2020 presidential and
U.S. Senate elections, Trump and the Republicans responded with the
‘Big Lie’ that the election was stolen. Now it is
putting apartheid-like election laws in place to ensure that this
does not happen in 2022 or 2024. The Democrats and the New American
Majority are in for a battle royal as we move toward these elections.
a corollary, there has been a rapid rise in violent attacks on
Asians, Jews, Blacks, and Indigenous Americans. These acts could
deter these groups from active participation in the upcoming
elections as they were critical to Democratic success in 2020. These
outbreaks of violence have occurred in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan,
North Carolina, and Minnesota and can be coupled with voter
procedures parallel those used to implement Apartheid in South Africa
in the late 1940s although the latter included much greater brutality
and violence. White American politicians have shown throughout
history that they are not averse to using violence, or turn a blind
eye toward it, as Trump did in his response to the Charlottesville
‘Unite the Right’ White supremacist rally in 2017 not
long after he took office.
have obvious targets for 2022: Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Sen. Raphael
Warnock (D-GA), Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH), and Sen. Catherine Cortez
Masto (D-NV). They also believe they can hold on to seats in
Florida, Missouri, North Carolina, and Ohio. Do not be surprised if
violence breaks out as the noxious voter suppression laws take root
and the New American Majority pushes back.
of Stacey Abrams and LaTosha Brown, two of the foremost African
American coordinators of recruitment and voting for the New American
Majority, should employ security as these two women are operating in
Georgia and other states with a sordid history of violence
surrounding ethnic minorities’ quest to vote.