The Republican Party and the White Right step up their war on voting and democracy

As the Brennan Center for Justice summarizes, Republican state lawmakers across the country “introduced 361 bills with restrictive [on voting] provisions in 47 states,” a 43% increase over to the 253 “restrictive bills” in progress at mid-February:

These measures have started to be passed Five restrictive bills have already been signed In addition, at least 55 restrictive bills in 24 states are in the process of passing through legislatures: 29 have passed at least one chamber, while 26 others had some kind of action committee (eg, a hearing, an amendment or a vote in committee)

The Republican Jim Crow Party’s attempt to prevent black Georgia from voting is a preview of a national plan to turn the United States into an authoritarian type of state On paper, “Republicanistan” will be a democracy – but where a party has rigged the elections so that it almost always wins, and the “opposition” must meet almost impossible standards to even be on the ballot Even then, as seen in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election, with Donald Trump’s attempted coup and attack on the US Capitol, Jim Crow Republicans will look for ways to change the rules or overturn the result

In public statements, leading Republicans have basically admitted that their efforts to quash multiracial democracy are not driven by concerns about “voter fraud” or “voter safety”, but rather by the desire for power and control

This has fueled an inevitable counter-narrative from the right and its catalysts, in which the American people are told to borrow from Trump’s command, not to believe their lying eyes

Mainstream media widely insist on covering the Republican war on democracy as a partisan battle rather than an attack on democracy itself by one of the country’s two institutional political parties

Some news reporters – those who live in the “Church of the Scholars” and have the “point of view out of nowhere” claim that attempts by the Jim Crow Republican Party to prevent blacks and browns from voting may be unseemly, but to pretend they are “racist” or “white supremacist” is hysterical and exaggerated

Such claims only defend Republicans Jim Crow Their anti-democracy attacks are targeted with precision against black and brown communities Moreover, these attacks are legitimized by racist innuendos that black voters are “irresponsible” or that their votes are of “poor quality” due to fraud or suspected vote theft in “urban areas”These lies echo earlier lies the White Right used during Jim Crow’s reign of terror to prevent black Americans from voting

Other defenses against Jim Crow’s Republican attacks on black and brown voters include arguments such as the recently enacted law in Georgia does not explicitly mention race or party membership and therefore cannot not be “racist” In fact, the Jim Crow laws of the 19th and 20th centuries rarely, if ever, made explicit references to prohibiting black people from voting Contrary to popular belief, there were no flashing neon lights proclaiming that blacks could not vote.Instead, Jim Crow was enforced by seemingly racially neutral laws which, in practice, were explicitly designed to prevent black people from voting: election taxes, literacy tests, property tests, the “grandfather clause” and all-white primaries in which the Southern Democrats who held an effective monopoly on politics. region at the time – could determine who was allowed to vote (Poor whites were also affected by some of these laws They were collateral damage in maintaining white supremacy)

All in all, Jim Crow was a society-wide system and culture in which violence and other threats of punishment made it clear that black people were not allowed to participate as equal members of the community. politics

Some on the right and elsewhere have attempted to defend the Republican Jim Crow Party’s attacks on black and Maroon suffrage in Georgia by admitting that these laws may have a disparate impact on communities of color but have failed. no racist intent”

Firstly, this is objectively false. Secondly, these claims are cousins ​​to familiar diversions and excusing tropes such as: “He or she has no racist bones in his or her body” Unfortunately, no x-ray machine, MRI scanner or other technology is available to make such a determination What then remains for the diagnosis? We Can Only Watch Actions and Results By These Criteria, the Republican Jim Crow Party and the broader White Right’s attacks on multiracial democracy are racist and white supremacist

This is the most blunt and dishonest hijack attempt by Republicans Jim Crow and their propaganda machine They say Georgia’s “Voting Security” Bill does not in fact prohibit donating food and water to people lining up to vote The bill explicitly states this thing This is a reminder that Joseph Goebbels’ “Big Lie” is supported in practice by many small and medium lies

Black conservatives are playing their assigned role – a role that can be very lucrative – as human defense shields against white racism They are Republican Jim Crow cheerleaders, and their job is now to argue that protesting, resisting or fighting against the anti-democracy laws of Georgia and others across the country is somehow infantilizing for black Americans There is no reasonable way to analyze the internal logic – or lack thereof – in these self-tormented claims

All that is needed to decipher the behavior of black conservatives today is to understand that these are the same people who argue that the vast majority of blacks who choose to vote for the Democratic Party are stuck in some sort of “plantation” and are unable to “think for themselves” – because they choose not to support an almost entirely white political party that has slipped into neofascism, racism and overt white supremacy

All the toxic smog and distractions emitted by Republicans Jim Crow and their allies to hide and disguise their hostile intent towards multiracial democracy is pierced by a single image When Georgia Gov Brian Kemp signed the new Republican anti-democracy law effective March 25, it did so under a painting of a southern “plantation”, best described as a forced labor camp where black human property was tortured and worked to death

The appropriate symbolism is somewhat shocking and unsurprisingly at the same time using the pre-war image of the famous Callaway plantation – in an area where enslaved blacks seeking freedom were hunted down with hounds – in Wilkes County, Georgia, as the backdrop for the signing of a bill that would make it a crime to give water to a thirsty voter who sometimes waited for hours in Georgia, the GOP governor was sending a message clear about race and human rights in the southern United States

The portrait of the plantation was the most vivid reminder in Georgian history of white racism that encompasses slavery, Jim Crow segregation, the revival of the modern Ku Klux Klan and today’s election purges targeting black and brown voters – but that wasn’t the only one As Kemp signed the law with his all-white group, a black Georgia MP – Rep Park Cannon – knocked on the governor’s door in hope to watch the signing of the bill was instead taken away and arrested by state soldiers, in a scene where racist Deep South sheriffs like Bull Connor or Jim Clark were probably smiling whatever fiery hell they inhabit now

In 2021, it’s tempting to label Kemp signing the bill in front of the plantation board as “ironic” when in fact it’s too appropriate Understanding the symbolism here helps us understand what is really important, to know that the voting law is the cruel last link in an unbroken chain of white supremacy that dates back to 1619, when the first slave ship arrived on North American soil

Although the Jim Crow era may seem centuries ago to many young Americans, this diet was only defeated 60 years ago. Many resistance fighters, survivors, executors, facilitators and beneficiaries of this penal regime are alive today Those who were and are part of the militant and protesting tradition of the struggle for black freedom warn the public against the incarnate danger by the Republican Party and the White Right’s attack on multiracial democracy in Georgia and across the country These defenders of democracy know evil when they see it Their warnings are neither hysteria nor hyperbole

Ultimately America is at war with itself for the soul of its democracy and its future The Republican is much closer to becoming a reality than many Americans would like to believe We cannot allow that the attraction of organized oblivion or the first successes of President Biden distract us from vigilance in the defense of American democracy

Chauncey DeVega is a political writer for Salon His essays can also be found at Chaunceydevegacom He also hosts a weekly podcast, The Chauncey DeVega Show Chauncey can be followed on Twitter and Facebook

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