Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Politics in Tough Times.

February 19, 2021 by  
Filed under News, Politics, Weekly Columns

( As one would imagine, recent social and political events have created a considerable increase in the volume of broadcast and print media. As with my friend, Dick Gregory, I try to keep up with as much as possible. My understanding must exceed the boundaries of the District. My recent readings include reviews of the impeachment, a forwarded email sent by Marjorie Taylor-Greene, and an article by Arizona journalist, Brahm Resnik.

Most of us have a desired outcome for the impeachment and most have formed an opinion regarding the propriety of Marjorie Taylor Greene. I won’t engage in those debates, but the Resnik article opens a discussion I am willing to engage. The by-line that captured my interest was: ‘Punch in the face to voters’: Arizona bill would let lawmakers throw out presidential election results.

Several sentences condense its theme:

  1. We are seeing a slew of Republican bills at the Arizona Capitol in the name of “election integrity.” But many of the bills would make it harder to vote in an election.
  2. A new piece of election legislation – the most extreme bill in recent memory – would give lawmakers the power to reject Arizonans’ votes for president.
  3. “The Legislature…by majority vote at any time before the presidential inauguration may revoke the secretary of state’s issuance or certification of a presidential elector’s certificate of election.”

This would be easy to isolate to Arizona, but we’re presented daily with similar proposals throughout the country. Apparently, the thrust of this legislation is the ability to isolate and eliminate votes from communities of color. The bill proposed by State Rep. Shawnna Bolick (R), gives the legislature the power to eliminate Arizona electors who pick the next president. Passage of this bill would legalize and codify the infractions which are the basis of the current impeachment.

Recently, I wrote that voter suppression is the tool of a party with policies unacceptable to a majority of voters. Suppression is the only way that type of party can maintain power. This is an accurate description of the Republican party. Why, then, would a party be unwilling to present palatable policies? For the wealthy, Republican policies provide unchallenged and uninterrupted financial security. For the remaining 90% of Republicans, fear is THE most common motivator.

Anti-Racist, Jane Elliot suggests that whites believe that a symbiotic relationship exists between political/social power and numerical superiority. By extension, I believe they consider the loss of either as tragic, but recognize that political power will allow them to maintain/sustain historic social controls necessary to appease their sense of entitlement.

I cannot provide a reference, but, long ago, I remember reading an article in which a white high school drop-out expressed belief that he was more entitled to a job opportunity than a Black person with a related college degree. Merit-based competition is slowly changing socio-economic constructs, and increased voting participation is supplying legislators who are willing and ready to reduce social and employment barriers. This process is incomplete, but currently poses the greatest threat to resident racists – overt and covert, alike – who fear their loss of control. This is evidenced by the public display of confederate, Nazi and supremist flags and symbols of those most committed to the continuance of racial/social injustice.

Whether we wish to acknowledge it or not, we have reached the nexus between enduring systemic injustice and the enduring demand for social equity and justice.

The aforementioned Marjorie Taylor Greene has said, “President Trump never backed down, and neither will I…Not when I have patriots like you standing beside me.” To her, I say, “Stop PRETENDING your RACISM is PATRIOTISM.” To the Beloved Community, I say, “Our struggle continues, and our WILL must be ENDURING!

Columnist; Dr. E. Faye Williams

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