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.
The Slave Codes required all individuals, churches, businesses, organizations, schools, and all levels of government to teach, justify and enforce the status of Blacks as “a subordinate, excluded, non-competitive, non-compensated, managed work force for the personal comfort and wealth building of white society.” See Claud Anderson, Dirty Little Secrets (1997).
The origin of voter suppression lies in the over 350 year public policy of America. In order to share in the fruits of American democracy, one must be able to have free and open access to its most important right, the right to vote. Voting is the primary means that we have to protect our constitution, and our basic civil rights. By understanding this you will understand why voter suppression isn’t going to disappear and why we need you to help fight to defeat it.
For a proper understanding of the ultimate objectives of the right-wing of America, and its hatred of all things Obama, look no further than the “Doctrine of Exclusion.” The Koch Brothers, and their American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), are the most strategic advocates of the “Doctrine of Exclusion,” and a review of the policies they advocate, and fund clearly reveals it. See http://www.alecexposed.org/wiki/ALEC_Exposed. This is probably the most important website in existence that shows the modern day right-wing programs whose origins can be traced back to 1638, and the “Doctrine of Exclusion.”
ALEC writes model legislation that right-wing Republicans have been introducing in state legislatures across the country. Alecexposed.com lists five bills categories that limit democratic participation. They list bills that are disenfranchising disabled, low-income, elderly, people-of-color, and student voters. It lists bills opposing the public financing of elections. It lists bills opposing the use of statistical sampling. It list bills opposing “false statement” laws passed by states. They crafted bills that oppose disclosure of political contributions so that corporations, CEOs, and corporate front groups could hide behind non-disclosure rules and funnel hundreds of millions of dollars into many elections.
Through ALEC, corporations, ideologues, and their politician allies voted to spend public tax dollars to subsidize private K-12 education, and attack professional teachers and teachers’ unions. They are promoting many bills that deregulate the healthcare industry, weaken public health and promote the repeal of Obamacare.
Black Americans should know that ALEC is actively involved in corrupting our criminal justice system, and helps to track black males to prison rather than college. Much of their model legislation is written favoring corporate profits and destroying Black families. Examples of the laws are the for-profit bail bond industry, the global for-profit prison industry, new penalties for retail theft, and drug use-related bills. Lastly, ALEC promotes so called “licenses to kill” by supporting “Stand your ground” legislation around the country.
Now that you know that our history of over 350 years here in America is still very relevant, your assignment this week, if you chose to accept it, is to commit to memory the “Doctrine of Exclusion,” and its public policy principles, and to reflect on it when you consider right-wing public policies of today.
Lastly, although the “Doctrine of Exclusion,” the diabolical foundation, and origin of American public policy, as it relates to Blacks, is still alive and well, it has produced and opposition coalition of interest that is capable of, and will defeat it in the end. However, knowing when the end will come, and when it will be defeated is a virtual impossibility. However, you can help hasten its demise by joining the Moral Monday Movement, the campaign to defeat voter suppression, and other progressive social campaigns of today.
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Peter Grear writes for Greater Diversity News with a primary focus on economics, and voting rights. To join the campaign to defeat voter suppression please “Like” and follow us at www.facebook.com/votersuppression, “Share” our articles, and post 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 and #defeatvotersuppression.