Race and Politics: GOP attack on the Black vote continues

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Sean Yoes

By Sean Yoes
AFRO Senior Reporter
syoes@afro.com

Donald John Trump is desperate because his time is nigh.

On Jan. 20, 2021, the failed 45th president of the United States must leave the White House, or face the reality of being forcibly removed from the premises. And I suspect there are dozens of secret service agents, many of which have been stricken with COVID-19 in the line of duty protecting Trump, who would get in line for the honor of dragging his orange behind out of the Oval Office.

Since his defeat became official on Nov. 7, (when millions around the globe literally danced in the streets), Trump’s mania has rocketed into the stratosphere. He has floated myriad lies and debunked conspiracy theories via hundreds of tweets in an attempt to somehow delegitimize the election results. His so-called legal team, which resembles the legion of flying monkeys from the Wizard of Oz, has filed frivolous lawsuits all over the country from Pennsylvania to Arizona. Virtually, all of them have been thrown out and his lawyers laughed out of numerous courtrooms. Trump is revenge firing people left and right. He secretly inquired about bombing Iran according to the New York Times, an absurdity that was slapped down by his advisers. He refuses to leave his bunker. The laziest president in U.S. history has literally stopped working, despite the fact 250,000 Americans are dead and the coronavirus pandemic is raging out of control across the country.

All that is left for this flailing man to do is for him and his most loyal goon Rudy Giuliani to step into a time machine and set two dates: Feb. 3, 1870 and Au.t 19, 1920. The first, the day the 15th Amendment of the Constitution, which gave Black men the right to vote was ratified. The second, the day the 19th Amendment of the Constitution, which gave women the right to vote was ratified. If Trump and his main henchman could somehow wipe out those two seminal moments in American history the MAGA fantasy of millions could live on.

But alas, no “Back to the Future” salvation is imminent for this most criminal of U.S. presidents. So, the GOP is trying to pick up the slack.

On Nov. 17, the two Republican members of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers in Michigan cast votes against certifying the county’s Nov. 3 election results. The two GOP no votes deadlocked the board along partisan lines with the two Democrats voting to certify the results in Wayne the largest county in Michigan, which contains the city of Detroit. The GOP members of the board alleged they voted not to certify the results over “voter irregularities.” The disputed ballots amounted to a handful of votes, which would have had no impact on the final outcome. The outrageous and blatantly racist power grab by the GOP briefly overturned the will of more than a half million mostly Black voters that chose President-Elect Joe Biden over Trump. After a firestorm of outrage (much of the anger registered during a Zoom call of hundreds) the Republican canvassers quickly backtracked and the Wayne County results were certified later that evening.

About 1.4 million people cast votes in Wayne County and the unofficial election results were: Biden received 587,074 votes (67.99%) and Trump got 264,149 votes (30.59%).

The GOP skullduggery was not limited to Michigan. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, perhaps Trump’s most zealous (and often mercurial) sycophant, got caught cold with his hand in the Black vote cookie jar.

Graham, somewhat inexplicably put in a phone call to Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger, and according to Raffensperger, the South Carolina Senator leaned on him to throw out thousands of legal absentee ballots. Spoiler Alert: the vast majority of those ballots were cast by Black people who voted for Biden. The state is in the midst of a recount and the expectation is that Biden’s 13,000-plus vote lead over Trump will stand and the state’s 16 Electoral votes will be officially awarded to the President-Elect.

Of course, Graham denies the Secretary of State’s allegation. However, Gabriel Sterling, Voting System Implementation Manager for the Georgia Secretary of State (who is also a Republican) was also on that call and he corroborates Raffensperger’s assessment of the conversation.

In the immortal words of Ricky Ricardo, Graham “got some splainin’ to do.”

The bottom line is time at the White House is quickly running out for the disgraced 45th president of the United States. On Jan. 20, he don’t gotta’ go home, but he gotta get the hell outta’ there.

Sean Yoes is the AFRO’s Senior Reporter and author of Baltimore After Freddie Gray: Real Stories From One of America’s Great Imperiled Cities.