No erasing: Black Lives Matter at the ballot box too

809
Wayne Dawkins is a writer, and a professor of professional practice at Morgan State University School of Global Journalism and Communication.

By Wayne Dawkins

Black lives matter, in this case at the ballot box. While the focus has been policing and public safety, we’re being told in the crudest manner that our votes don’t matter. 

Bear with me, I intend to show why Jan. 6 is linked to the erasure of our votes.

Why would former Confederate states Georgia, Florida and Texas pass restrictive voting rights laws because a former, fascist U.S. president falsely insists he was cheated? Georgia’s process was so foul a Black woman legislator was falsely arrested for asking to witness the governor sign the new law. 

Similarly, in Florida, the governor barred the media – except for Fox News – from witnessing his signing. In Texas, the legislature passed a restrictive bill too and was pushing it to the governor to sign into law. Thuggery and theft are happening before our eyes.

`

Then there is Arizona, which was not a state during the Civil War, but U.S. territory taken from Mexico in an 1848 war and later became a state [48th] in 1912. 

At this writing a rogue GOP-led group is recounting votes that were recounted and verified that Trump lost to Joe Biden last November. Trump and his sycophant horde can’t accept that racially diverse greater Phoenix won the day. The corrupt counters are contorting logic in a desperate attempt to find proof of fraud, and in the process are contaminating a previously legitimate tally.

Sixty-plus times, federal and state courts weighed Trump’s false claims and ruled the November elections were fair and clean.

How clean? Sunday’s CNN documentary reported that in the last half-dozen presidential elections, 1 billion votes were cast and the confirmed cases of voter fraud equaled 32 cases. 

And if all of the above were not outrageous enough, late last week several Republican members of Congress said that the marauders who stormed the U.S. Capitol Jan. 6 were harmless “tourists.” 

Really? “Tourists” dressed in tactical gear, equipped to rappel the walls, fought the cops Medieval-style and were responsible for a handful of deaths and the injuring and maiming of about 100 Capitol and D.C. police officers? 

As we watched on video, “tourists” who made Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Mitt Romney, both Republicans, run for their lives inside the Capitol?  

Despite a lot of good news, most American adults now are fully or partially vaccinated against the covid-19 virus – and has even been cleared to go mask less – and our economy is coming back to life, Black lives that are eligible to vote are in the fights of their lives. 

What just happened in Georgia, Florida, Texas, Arizona and possibly other states are booming echoes of the 1876 double cross.

That was when a Republican was elected president, however in a back-room deal, the southern Democrat grabbed the power because the GOP agreed to end Reconstruction and pull federal troops out of the South. By 1877, African Americans lost their voting and civil rights and were terrorized by the Ku Klux Klan and “Redeemers,” White gangs who menaced Black male voters at gunpoint.

It is not melodramatic in 2021 to posit that we are in a related situation now. 

Ignore the violence being done to the voting process at our peril. Black Lives Matter, whether the issue is policing or polling, and requires attention, focus and resistance.

The writer is a professor of professional practice at Morgan State University School of Global Journalism and Communication