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Est. April 5, 2002
June 3, 2021 - Issue 868
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In 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.

The 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.

Democrats 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.

As 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.

All 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.”

In 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.

After 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.

Presently, 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.

The 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 flimsiest evidence.

After 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.

As 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 suppression.

These 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.

Republicans 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.

Supporters 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. Columnist, Dr. Walter C. Farrell, Jr., PhD, MSPH, is a Fellow of the National Education Policy Center (NEPC) at the University of Colorado-Boulder and has written widely on vouchers, charter schools, and public school privatization. He has served as Professor of Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and as Professor of Educational Policy and Community Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Contact Dr. Farrell and BC.

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is published  Thursday
Executive Editor:
David A. Love, JD
Managing Editor:
Nancy Littlefield, MBA
Peter Gamble

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