The Democrats’ Voting Rights Agenda Isn’t for Us. It’s for Them | Opinion
Opinion by Barrington D. Martin II
Like the one plaguing shelves in grocery stores across America, there is a supply shortage of racism in the country—but when it comes to the leaders of the Democratic Party, the demand remains high. The Democrats seem to think that the rallying cry of racism is essential to galvanizing their most loyal demographic, Black Americans. And that’s how they have been talking about their new voting rights bill, the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.
President Biden himself has called opposition to the bill “Jim Crow 2.0.” “Jim Crow 2.0 is about two insidious things: voter suppression and election subversion,” the President tweeted. “It’s about making it harder to vote, who gets to count the vote, and whether your vote counts at all.”
The President was not alone. He was backed up by major media and political personalities. “Welcome to Jim Crow 2.0,” wrote New York Times columnist Charles Blow. “This is Jim Crow 2.0,” Rep. Clyburn said on ABC this week.
This amounts to little more than gaslighting us into submission, into voting for a party that has long ceased to do anything for us. Because here’s the ugly truth: The Democrats’ agenda, specifically this new voting rights bill, is not actually about helping us Black voters or even American public. It’s about helping the Democratic Party establish and maintain political power. It’s not about protecting Black voters’ right to vote, but about protecting what the Democrats’ see as their right to those voters—in exchange for nothing.
It’s disrespectful at best for the Democratic leadership, paid celebrity shills of the Democratic party, left-leaning political pundits, and more importantly, the President of the United States, to to call any of the recent voting legislation passed in multiple states “Jim Crow 2.0” when voting has been the easiest it’s ever been for any American, especially any Black American. To compare anything happening today to the Jim Crow era is egregious and dastardly, a testament to how the Democratic Party has treated its most loyal base for decades.
Black Americans continue to do the work for the Democrats, yet all we get are symbolic victories and shoutouts during speeches. Black Americans willfully give the Democratic party their votes, do their best to ensure that Democratic politicians are elected, and all they have to show for it is a Juneteenth holiday.
It’s time for Black America to wake up and realize that we are being exploited.
The Democrats’ power relies on Black voters, and yet, these voters are never rewarded for their devotion or loyalty. Over 90 percent of Black voters in America continue to give the Democratic Party their votes based on the belief that the other party is racist. That’s what all the language about Jim Crow 2.0 is all about—reinforcing that idea to consolidate power.
The idea that new voting laws put into place by GOP-led state legislatures in the wake of the 2020 election were created to disenfranchise Black voters is a ridiculous claim, one that shows the subconscious disdain Democratic officials have for their Black voter base. The new voting laws are for everyone, no matter your race, so whether or not you agree with them, the idea that they are targeting Black voters exclusively is an outright fabrication.
The most insolent narrative created by the Democrats surrounding this entire issue is that requiring an ID to vote is prejudiced and racist. Supporters of this claim have argued that voter ID laws will disenfranchise the poor and minority voters who face hardships in securing an ID.
This, too, is revealing; the Democrats are saying the quiet part out loud: They have the lowest expectations for the most loyal of their voter base. There are plenty of things one needs an ID for that we never call racist, like buying a bottle of alcohol or driving a car. Why is it racist to secure our elections by asking people to prove they are who they say they are? It isn’t. It’s preposterous to suggest it is.
Just because a fair and just measure disproportionately affects different groups does not mean the law itself is racist. What it means is that further examination is needed to understand why obtaining an ID is more difficult for some than others. Of course, that would require the Democrats to actually put forth solutions for their most loyal base, rather than gaslighting them with the same old tired rhetoric about racism.
It’s certainly very interesting that the Democrats are more concerned with Black Americans’ ability to vote for them than with giving Black Americans—again, their most loyal demographic—something tangible to motivate them turning out and voting. It’s just more evidence of the blatant disrespect and low expectations that Democrats have for the Black voter.
During last night’s news conference, President Biden was asked what he would say to Black voters who feel that he does have their backs? “I’ve had their backs my entire career,” was his reply. “I have never not had their backs.” It’s a bit of a hard pill to swallow from someone who pushed the crime bill, opposed busing, and suggested that any Black person voting for Trump isn’t really Black.
Now, our beloved President is claiming to care about the general well-being of Black Americans through promoting rights they already possess.
Voting rights isn’t going to fill those empty shelves at grocery stores, literally or politically. Voting rights isn’t solving the problem of inflation that’s actually keeping Black people up at night. Voting rights isn’t improving the efficacy of the vaccines when you have to line up for another booster. Voting rights isn’t solving any of the pressing issues our country is faced with. But to the Democrats, it’s the only thing Black voters should be concerned with.
That’s not having our backs or improving our fortunes. It’s using us to bolster their own. Enough is enough.
Barrington D. Martin II is the founder of the United Alliance PAC, host of “The Barrington Report” on iHeart Radio and a former Congressional Candidate for the Fifth District of Georgia.
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