Vote: Keep Your Eyes On The Prize

 

We are often told how important it is to vote, and sometimes the answer is our vote does not mean anything. This year it comes down to more than state questions and well-meaning candidates; this year we could be voting for our very lives and constitution. Does that sound like an exaggeration? This is a warning to do your part and save our nation with your vote.

We could remind you vote because people like the late civil rights icon congressman John Lewis suffered physical assault to push for your voting rights. Too many don’t know who he is or the pain he suffered in order for too many of us to not vote. Perhaps you can vote not because of a responsibility to your community but for yourself?

How about voting out of fear? President Donald J. Trump refused to denounce white supremacist and in fact told them to “stand by.” His support for what most thoughtful experts describes as domestic terrorists should be more than a little disturbing. One of those experts happens to be FBI Director Christopher Wray who says White extremist are the number one domestic terrorist threat. Wray also said in defiance of Trump that there was extraordinarily little evidence there are any significant cases of voter fraud. Trump is warning the country he may not step down if he believes mail in voting is fraudulent even if he loses the election. Is that not reason enough to vote?

Despite literally hundreds of ways to keep black voters from voting in place every election, African Americans vote in numbers comparable to their white neighbors. That fact is impressive if not for the fact all voting is pathetically low. In 2016 when Trump won, only 56 percent of all voters went to the polls. Places like Georgia where the white secretary of state who was also running for Governor against Stacey Abrams purged hundreds of thousands of voters and narrowly defeated her. In 2019 in anticipation of the 2020 election, Georgia purged 312,000 voters from their rolls, of that number 198,000 did not move which was the reason for booting them off the rolls. Abrams went to court and lost efforts to put the names back on the rolls. Wisconsin just won a federal lawsuit to purge 100,000 voters off the rolls. Trump is counting on winning Georgia and Wisconsin to get back in the White House. Still think your vote does not count. Oklahoma purged voter rolls in April of this year. Call the election board to make sure you are still registered.

Mississippi has a state law which was literally written in 1890 during the Jim Crow era designed to inhibit black candidates running for state-wide election. To win a state race candidate must complete a multi-step process. First a black candidate must win the popular vote, then a majority of the state’s 122 House of Representatives districts, of which 42 are majority black. If they do not win both the legislature decides and are not bound by how their district voted. Whites in Mississippi voted by a 9 to 1 margin in a demonstration of racial preference. Voters will decide if this amendment changes that old law in November. Jim Crow is still on the ballot.

Trump won with the lowest black turnout since 1996 with only 55 percent of all voters showing up. When President Barack Obama ran in 2008 and 2012 black participation was even higher than white voters despite voter suppression of every description at about 66 percent. People of color do not need to reach Obama numbers but to beat them.

The future of the nation is in dire danger if Trump wins again because gerrymandering of voting district intended to inhibit black votes for generations. Obamacare is in danger of being abolished and millions will lose their medical coverage. Everyone needs to make an epic effort to vote. Everything is at stake.

 

They Are Trying To Forget Breonna Taylor’s Name

 

Despite the rallying cries to “say her name” there appears to be a concerted attempt to forget her name, distort her history and sweep her life under the rug of history. Why does her life so offend the system that has long abused black females? This is made even worse given the fact Breonna was murdered in her bed having done nothing and her killers so far avoiding scrutiny for her death.

Unfortunately, old habits die hard and as usual there has been attempts to tarnish the life of Breonna, who by all counts lived an exemplary life that included helping those afflicted with Covid-19 and her work as an Emergency Medical Technician. Right wing media personalities like Tucker Carlson on Fox News claim everything about her life is a lie when shared her life story. Carlson later faced a defamation lawsuit for the comments A Trump appointed federal judge ruled for Carlson. In absolving Carlson, the judge said Fox News testified that Carlson is not a journalist and often lies on the air. Carlson made similar comments about George Floyd and Jacob Blake.

The city of Louisville, Ky settled with Breonna’s mother for $12 million over a wrongful death lawsuit. They also instituted a series of reforms. Among them making it more difficult to obtain a “no knock warrant.” In Breonna’s case the officer asking for the warrant wrongly claimed packages of narcotics were shipped to her address. She once dated a man who the police say was dealing in drugs. She was dating a different man who had a license to carry a gun who shot at what he thought were intruders.

Conservative activist Tomi Lahren tweeted that Taylor died because she resisted arrest. Jamarcus Glover who the police were searching for said the police were trying to say he was the reason Breonna was shot and killed by police. Records show that no packages were ever delivered at Taylor’s apartment.

The transcripts of the grand jury proceedings are set to be released this week to see how the jurors could come up with a single charge against one of the 3 officers for firing into an adjoining apartment and none for murder. The Attorney General Daniel Cameron said he never asked the jurors to consider murder or manslaughter. Cameron who is black is a former protégé of United States Senator Mitch McConnell who is also the Senate Majority Leader.

There is still an internal investigation by Louisville public integrity office, the U.S, Attorney’s office, and the FBI’s civil rights office. While disappointing so far, the results are far from over. Let us hope there will be no more attempts to defame Taylor’s life.