Later Donald Trump The defeat in the 2020 presidential election prevented a wave of new state legislation from voting that could have a detrimental effect on the African American community. But activists and political observers are noticing and wanting to push back.
“As long as our states are able to suppress the vote, we have to deal with the repressive tactics we use.” Alex Reas, Senior director of the Equitable Justice Initiative in the National Urban League, told BET.com.
“Many generations and 56 years after the Right to Vote Act was passed in 1965, we should have gone further, but the strategies have become more strategic and less clear,” he added.
To address the challenge, BET, the National Urban League and other important civil rights organizations partnered for the second National Black Voters Day on 1 September.
It will include an event focusing on voting, civic participation, economic development, health, education and other issues important to the black community.
Related: Stacey Abrams and Michelle Obama team up for the right to vote
A new congressional resolution from the Congressional Black Caucus has designated the third Friday in September as National Black Voters Day. It noted that “voter repression illegally affects communities of color,” pointing to data from the Center for American Progress that black people report racial discrimination in voting four times more often than whites.
“Black Voters’ Day is a grassroots effort to educate, promote, organize, house-to-house the black community, build electricity, register, educate through social and mainstream media, and mobilize people to vote and vote,” the resolution said.
It continues: “The U.S. House and Senate recognize that black voters are essential to the democratic test, and National Black Voters Day is an opportunity for black voters to assemble their community to ensure that black voices are fully represented in the democratic process.”
National Black Voters Day 2021 comes against the backdrop of a congressional legal battle to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act in Congress, which will restore voting rights protection through the 2013 Shelby County v. Holder decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.
In August, House Democrats passed the bill, named after the late congressman who was an icon of the civil rights movement, without any Republican support. It faces a final battle in the Senate where Democrats appear unable to garner enough votes to pass the law before the crucial midterm elections of 2022.
Meanwhile, to return to the Jim Crow era, at least 18 GOP-led states have enacted 30 laws that have restricted access to the ballot since Trump lost his presidency.
Extensive anti-voter measures limit voting by mail and preliminary voting, impose stricter voter ID requirements and make voting more difficult by eliminating the role of the vote.
Organizer of National Social and Ethnic Justice Tiffany Loftin He told BET.com that he is entitled to elected Democrats, who hold the presidency and a majority in the House and Senate, who are responsible for protecting blacks’ access to the ballot. They have the opportunity to pass the suffrage law.
“If they sit holding their hands, if they point fingers and they play money in politics, the next election can’t just be people because they can’t,” Loftin said, “but they also don’t seem to have anyone’s back while they’re in office. ”
In the upcoming election cycle, the army of black volunteers may knock on doors, refuse to take part in phone banking and other campaign activities, he warned.
Related: Rev. Al Sharpton warns of franchise amid threats to move to March at Washington anniversary
The question for suffrage supporters is between 2021 and the upcoming interim, how will they motivate blacks to vote President Barack Obama Or his political opponent, Donald Trump, not on the ballot?
Who is on the ballot is important but another important voting motivation is protecting access to the ballot, Rias said.
States such as Georgia, Texas and Florida are trying to use unconventional ways of voting, such as mail-in ballots and advance voting, which have become increasingly popular.
“The incident of this attack shows you that if people vote unconventional, they are motivated to vote in large numbers. And there are people across this country who don’t want to see it. They don’t want to see more people get access, ”he explained.
Reas said one of the most heinous attempts to undermine democracy is the endless challenge of results in Georgia that could derail elections, as well as record voters on their phones and encourage voters to take pictures and harass them.
“Apart from clearing the voter list and changing the polling place, changing the time and date of polling, changing and restricting the methods and places where voting is allowed,” he said.
Loftin said she has recently been asked several times about the need for National Black Voters Day when the nation has already elected a black president and a colored woman a vice president.
“Our agenda has never been just about representation,” he said.
The agenda was quality education, better jobs, a woman’s right to choose, a path to citizenship for African immigrants, health care, the abolition of student debt, and the end of police brutality and mass arrests of blacks.
“These are on our agenda that we are fighting for,” he said. “Whether or not a black person is in the office because history shows that we had black people in the office, white people in the office, Latinos and office people, funny people in the office, Native Americans in the office and we have not yet been able to meet our agenda. ”
Loftin said the Black Church is a focal point in the ongoing struggle for suffrage. This pillar of the black community is still an institution that registers and educates a large number of voters and provides transportation for voting on election day.
At a time when most people are turning to social media for information, Loftin and Rias emphasize the importance of the following organizations that provide accurate information when the Internet is flooded with misinformation targeting black voters.
They urged people to visit Vote.org. Easy-to-use websites verify voter registration status, register voters, and provide voting information such as voting location.