When the 2016 General Elections roll around, if progressives haven’t engaged in a massive effort to mobilized to defeat voter ID and other voter suppression tactics their inaction will result in Hillary losing North Carolina and possibly her quest to become America’s first woman president. Yes, once again North Carolina is a battle-ground state. How and when should NC begin to mobilize?
On January 15, 2015, The Nation magazine partnered with the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and sponsored a forum that addressed the history of Blacks in America since 1860 and the ongoing problems that they face today.
The event will explored the critical need for a Third Reconstruction in the United States in the face of new Jim Crow efforts to restrict the rights of Black Americans. Moderated by the Schomburg’s Director, Khalil Muhammad, the forum featured Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and author Isabel Wilkerson, Nation columnist and Columbia law professor Patricia J. Williams, Nation editorial board member and DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University Eric Foner, Nation contributing writer and blogger Mychal Denzel Smith and award-winning author and essayist Darryl Pinckney.
The must see video of the forum can be accessed at the link below:
When Durham, North Carolina’s Loretta Lynch goes before Senate Judiciary Committee today for her confirmation hearing for US Attorney General, she will be greeted by a wide array of right-wing Voter ID critics. Catherine Engelbrecht is one of the better known ones, but, there will be several others.
Catherine Engelbrecht is the head of a Tea Party group called True the Vote that bills itself as an election watchdog. Engelbrecht has been a favorite in the right-wing media for her willingness to level smears against the Obama administration, particularly with regard to the Justice Department’s investigation into discriminatory voter-id laws. She described DOJ efforts to prevent the disenfranchisement of minority voter as a “radical, racialist assault on voting rights.” Engelbrecht and True the Vote have consistently misinformed the public about allegation that sparked a Justice Department Investigation.
Engelbrecht is a representative example of the Republicans lined up and supporting the denial of constitutionally mandate rights to Black voters. Of course, the issue of Voter ID is heating up as we approach the November 16 Presidential Elections.
A New Mexico state senator is taking the Voter ID debate in another direction.
Senate Republican Minority Whip, William Payne, of New Mexico introduced a proposal this week that calls for the state’s top elections officials to study the feasibility of bringing biometrics into the Voter ID mix.
That could mean anything from retinal scans to the thumbprint-imaging technology used to access smartphones.
Frequently, when going forward it is imperative to examine your history. In 1638 the Maryland Colony issued a public edict encouraging the separation of the races that became the public policy of America. The edict became known as the “Doctrine of Exclusion.” The edict stated that, “Neither the existing Black population, their descendants nor any other Blacks shall be permitted to enjoy the fruits of white society.” Eventually other colonies picked up the edict and passed their own laws that collectively became known as the Slave Codes of 1705.
There is a deafening silence in the ranks of modern Black Republicans who stand mute as their party of choice relentlessly attacks the civil right that is most responsibility for the rights, and privileges of democracy, the right to vote. There is a group of them that gathers with the Tea Partiers, Sean Hannity, and other Republican right wingers to denounce President Obama, and so-called liberal democrats as representing everything that is bad for Blacks in America, and accusing them of race exploitation. I watch them in amazement as they claim to defend the constitution, and that Obama ignores it. They’re very unbalanced in their zeal to demean Black Democrats as they ignore the constitutional guarantee of “one man and one vote,” and the massive voter suppression efforts of their Republican party.
Over the past months I’ve written about the necessity of Black voters requiring patronage in return for electing politicians to office, political accountability and the Voter Empowerment Summit. This week I’ll highlight ongoing discussions and I’ll address what I consider the most positive political development that I’ve witnessed in North Carolina since the selection of Sen. Dan Blue as North Carolina’s first Black Speaker of the NC House of Representatives.