The Lowest Common Denominator
On March 25, 1965, eleven days after the candles were blown out on my birthday cake, Ms. Viola Liuzzo was gunned down in her car following her participation as a civil rights marcher and transport driver. After a long day, she had agreed to drive black activist Mr. Leroy Moten, who survived the ambush home, it was her last. On March 11, 1965, three days before my birthday Minister James Reeb died from a brutal clubbing by racists who opposed his presence and participation in the Selma, Alabama protest for equity. With her four-year-old’s smile beaming like the lights of their newly decorated Christmas Tree and waiting to watch the Grinch who Stole Christmas armed protestors descended upon the home of Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. To do their part in Mr. Trump’s seditious coup, these remnants of night riders showed up to steal the peace. Lest you think that language is hyperbolic ask the descendants of Ms. Liuzzo or Mr. Reeb.
How dare you…
Although the protesters will say they are fighting for some imagined freedom, the real target is people of color they believe should have no power. For years, black Americans have been persuaded and threatened away from participating fully in the election process. Voter suppression, beatings, and when all else fails murder is the legacy of black voters. It is no coincidence that the areas of the most disputed election results are enclaves for people of color; Atlanta, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Detroit, and Milwaukee. In urban America, women, especially black women came out in droves to say enough is enough. Suburban white women, who were willing to use reason, came out to vote. The inference from middle-aged white Republican men may seem to say if you are black you must be a cheat but what is actually being said is, if you are black, how dare you.
The dangers are coming hot and heavy now, threats of shootings, beheadings, anarchy, and lynchings are being met with the silence of crickets from the hierarchy of the GOP. Yesterday a black lawmaker in Detroit [State Rep. Cynthia Johnson] revealed a threat to her life, “Your time is coming …from the (expletive) gallows you'll be hanging” was the message she received Saturday. Sure you could say that was just one unhinged threat, but again I say, tell that to the hundreds of descendants of those who lost their lives during the civil rights era.
The late Civil Rights icon John Lewis saw this coming when he introduced legislation to restore the voter’ rights stripped away by the Supreme Court. In 2013 a 5-4 vote, by The Supreme Court fundamentally changed the essence of the Voting Rights Act. The 1965 legislation mandated primarily southern states with a history of discrimination against minority voters, be cleared by the federal government before any changes to their election process took place and before they went into effect. With that impediment erased, immediately, some states raced to enact laws to suppress the black vote. I have lost my patience with the so-called social anxiety excuses, the disaffected voter who feels left out, or the law and order crowd who are now actively participating in an attempted coup d’état.
With the inevitable coloring of, and equity in America, the more white Americans are bowing to the lowest common denominator… how dare you!
Georgians, Vote for Change.