Just peeping the news this morning about the House not even debating the Immigration Reform Bill.. Granted , many of us know the bill itself is kinda weak, but that’s not why the House won’t debate it.. They wont debate because politically they know there can and will be no consequence..
Its pretty certain that most folks who are impacted by immigration reform, which is more than just Latinos are not gonna vote for the GOP folks who wanna shut this down.. However, because of redistricting and now the ability to enact crazy Voter Restriction Laws, thanks to the SCOTUS decision, many sitting in the house know they have nothing to fear at the polls..
This brings me to my next point, yes we all know the story of courageous Black folks marching to Selma in 1965 to get Voting Restrictions removed and in doing so, they were brutally beaten and sprayed with water hoses. This has led to the face of voting rights being a Black one.. The cold reality is at the end of the day Restrictive voting laws will not simply be used against Black people…
Wars of suppression have been waged against all sorts of folks ranging from students to union members to Muslims to other People of Color etc..There is no doubt that restrictive voting laws will be put in place to make it difficult for specific populations to get to the polls or get registered.
Do not think for one second, that folks are not sitting in backrooms redrawing voting maps and crafting news laws to hinder voting attempts for college students who are set to see their loan rates double…One law that was struck down and likely to be resurrected will force students to go back to their home towns versus voting in the student communities they reside..
It was already tested in think Tanks and realized that many students Black, white etc, have challenges with getting all the government issued IDs that they will require for voting.. The hope and anticipation is many will simply stay home..
There will be more than a million people in the streets of San Francisco at the Pride parade. Folks in power see such large numbers as a potential political windfall or a potential threat to political power. To those in the LGBT community don’t get too comfortable in thinking that those upset about the recent Supreme Court decision who are sitting in seats of power are not looking at ways to suppress votes where they find large gay and lesbian populations..Dont think they dont fear political payback from you because of the insidious ways they opposed you..
The focus has been on national elections but as you can see from the drama that unfolded and will continue to unfold in places like Texas, the political action is stateside and locally.. For example, Texas state senator Wendy Davis the women who filibustered SB5 in Texas is targeted for redistricting.. In short they gonna remove her seat. And now Texas is putting in place one of the strictest Voter ID laws in the country.. Any state with a majority minority pop can expect to see similar patterns play out..
Bottom line is everyone needs to be involved in pushing back.. Whether you live in places like Michigan where they have crazy governors assigning mostly Black and Brown cities to be run by ‘business managers’ to liberal enclaves like Austin, Tx where they have carved up neighborhoods to people living next door to each other are in separate legislative districts that are based 500 miles to states like Florida that has made it a felony for third parties to register people.. everyone is impacted..
One of the first things people should do, is no matter what, get the proper IDs.. There is more than a year before mid-term elections.. no matter what get that ID if for any reason just to smash back and upend these think tank plans.. Folks who are doing GOTV work need to do more than just register folks.. It needs to be a priority to make sure folks got their documents and funds to get them..That should be a fight while others work to change the laws
To those who are going on tours or who make the rounds speaking at college campuses, churches etc, you should insist that at every speaking engagement, there is a voter registration and ID table..I’ve gotten commitments from several artists who will make sure this happens when they play.. but others need to join that effort..
Watch out for well-funded disinformation campaigns including some that will say if you owe money, child support etc, you are not allowed to register or vote.. Look out for campaigns telling you Not to vote because it doesn’t matter and electoral politics is a farce….It’ll be slickly packaged as being anti-authority. Some of will manifest itself in the form of ‘whisper campaigns’. Some of it will come in the form selected spokes people who suddenly have media access burst on the scene and start telling you none of this matters.. A good look at the documentary Merchants of Cool can spell out how these types of techniques and other stealth marketing techniques are effectively used.
And ‘yes’, there are some folks will say this who are sincere and have genuine political rationale.. But right now you will see more of that from folks who are being paid to keep you from going to the polls.. Check the track records and see what work and results of that work from people telling you to stay home.. Weigh those findings with what you feel you can achieved by voting someone who you believe in into office or a proposition that can put in place or strike down a law..
We saw this during the Healthcare debates when executives, actors and stand ins were pretending to be grassroots organizers were going to townhall to townhall disrupting it and saying no to HCR.. Initially people thought it was the average Joe, later it was discovered to be paid plants..Just know that will be happening to keep you away from the polls.
Voter Suppression will not be limited to Black folks from this day forward, so hopefully folks from other groups keep this fight top of mind….