Open Letter to the Hip-Hop Community: What do you think of the #NewRules to Voting Rights?

This is a editorial that was written by Marvin Bing the Northwest Regional Director of the NAACP in response to the Voting Rights Act. He asked me to pass it on.-Jasiri X-

Open Letter to the Hip-Hop Community: What do you think of the #NewRules to Voting Rights?

vote-rights500The Voting Rights Act, first signed into law in 1965, was a keystone victory of the civil rights movement. African-American citizens withstood beatings, fire hoses and dogs to see the law passed. Some even gave their lives.

And for decades since, the law has protected the right to vote for millions of America’s citizens — regardless of faith, color or creed.

Today’s ruling by the Supreme Court strikes down the power to enforce this important law. This is more than a disappointment—it’s an injustice.

The Hip-Hop community has an obligation to respond to this. Hip-hop was born out of the struggle against inequality, poverty, violence and discrimination. It is a genre that reflects those inequalities in order to overcome them and change them.

Millions of young people listen and act based off what artists, DJs, bloggers and On-Air personalities say. You have the power to help them retain their rights to vote and to fight for the millions of people who will lose the right to vote.

Last year, right-wing law-makers made a dramatic effort to limit voting access. They tried passing restrictive voter ID laws, cutting back early-voting hours, and eliminating same-day voter registration. Citizens with every right to vote were turned away from the polls after waiting hours in line to vote.

The Voting Rights Act was invoked to stop these attacks on the right of the people to vote in 2012. Without it, everything would be different today.

Our nation should be expanding voting access, not restricting it. The decision handed down by the Supreme Court today means that it is now up to us, the people, the hip-hop community, to protect our right to vote.

Tell your audience you’re pissed off about this decision. Talk about how important voting is and how the threat of voter discrimination is very real. Send email blasts, make a PSA, light up social media, and make on-air announcements.

You can start by getting people to Washington, DC for the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. In 1965, Dr. King and civil rights leaders led 300,000 to March on Washington, and this historic event is part of the reason the Voting Rights Acts passed 50 years ago. On Saturday, August 24, 2013, the NAACP and other civil rights groups can recreate the momentum with your help.

And we need more than marches. We need to be in our communities educating, registering, engaging, and building our people up with the tools and knowledge they need.

Where’s your hustle, are you up for the challenge? The time is always right to do what’s right. Our young people look to you for leadership beyond lyrics.

Marvin Bing is the Northeast Regional Director of the National NAACP. You can follow him on twitter and Instagram @MarvinBing


12 comments on “Open Letter to the Hip-Hop Community: What do you think of the #NewRules to Voting Rights?


  2. These guys are really setting this country up to become another third world sweatshop hell hole. Everyone who doesn’t work for our betters for starvation wages will be expected to sign up and fight in their wars. I bet they’re really pissed that this doesn’t get rid of the right to vote for ALL women as well.

    It is not an exaggeration when I say that this is catastrophic for our nation. In Republican controlled states they’ll be able to jerk the voting districts around so that minorities won’t see another election in which their vote will matter. This one foul act by four white and one (self-hating black) men will destroy any semblance of fairness and equality that we had. And we weren’t doing all that great in that area anyway,

    I hate calling this the Supreme Court.

    The Supreme Kangaroo Court. The Supreme Racist/Misogynist Court. The Supreme Court of and for the !%,

    Do any of those sound right?

  3. Pingback: What does the new decision by Th U.S. Supreme Court regarding the Voting Rigths Act of 1965 mean for The Hip Hop Generation? | 24 Hours of Peace, LLC

  4. I’m worried that it might not be so good. We are becoming a world of limited assets, and by assets I mean the most valuable. We are running out of water, land, and the environment necessary to sustain life.

    That’s the fight we’re in right now. Who’s going to be a controller/owner of the world’s economy, who’s going to be a good little worker/soldier, and who’s going to be shut out.

  5. They not “trying” to take us back, they are taking us back…because we’re letting them.

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