The Italian writer Dante is quoted as saying, “The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who, in a period of moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.” So when it comes to voting rights, I’ll assume the Biden Administration will carpool on their way there. But more than just their inept and ineffective fates are at stake. And if the apparent and calculated destruction of our democracy (by those who shall not be named *cough* Republicans) whether through an insurrection or by the pen, hasn’t sounded the alarm loud enough, then in the words of Captain America, “we’ll lose together too”.
The right to vote is in itself the only voting right that matters. It gives way to governments, funding, and often too quiet and unheard voices. Equitable voting rights have been supported on both sides of the aisle since 1965 when president Lydon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 into law. But it seems as of late, it has become stupidly partisan because one side can’t take defeat.
Let’s be clear: Voting isn’t a choice, It’s a responsibility.
The Bill up for dispute, The Freedom to Vote Act, would standardize voting election laws across the country and expand voting access, including reversing the effects of dozens of new state-level voting restrictions passed this year. The John Lewis bill would restore key provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that have been weakened by the Supreme Court, and change the way federal courts handle election cases.
This Bill is made to ensure that democracy can ease on down the road, rather than the trip, stumble and meander down it.
The two thorns in democracy’s ailing side at the moment are Senators Kirsten Carmen Sandiego Sinema and Joe Mr. Mean ‘ol Machin. Last week Ms. San Diego, after being found, gave a speech citing how “we are divided” (as if we didn’t know), and why she can’t support a voting rights filibuster “carve-out”, basically making an exception to the 60-vote threshold to overcome a legislative filibuster. While Mean ‘Ol Machin can't figure out if he wants to steal Christmas or the disenfranchised ability to vote. But at this point? We're way into Rihanna territory: they just keep stringing us along knowing there is no vote (or album) coming anytime soon.
What Senators Sinema and Machin aren’t realizing is how, even if unknowingly, they are choosing to uphold the ideals of white supremacy. The idea is that only white and those white identifying should have the ease and preparedness to execute their right to vote. They have become obstructionist at this point. And even though these ideological differences have existed forever, Voting has categorically, been the one freedom all can agree that all should have.
This wasn’t another time for a speech. It was time for action. The infrastructure Bill should have included voting infrastructure, which would make it easier for folks of color and those with disabilities. Politicians are vehicles for the agenda. Some are Roll Royce's and others are Pintos. President Biden is on his way to being a dodge. Especially the way he dodges them issues he promised us he would fix.
Let’s not be satisfied with crumbs, when we deserve a seat at the table. The reason Black folks turned out to elect Biden and our first Black Vice president was because of the promises they have yet to keep. These are not just Black people's priorities but American priorities. Black folks have never been a monolith when it comes to strategy on how to combat racism in this country. We’ve sat peacefully at counters, and marched through the streets with black berets and guns. So, the least you Mr. President, Congress and the rest of yall can do is be accountable. Being accountable for what you pledge to do as lawmakers and upholders of the constitution.
Biden recently said he was tired of being quiet. Well Mr. President, frankly we need you to be louder. Maybe not former, twice impeached, insurrection starting, Two Corinthians ex-President loud,
...but definitely louder.
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