An optimist by nature, I am nonetheless alarmed by the open embrace of anti-democratic authoritarianism by the right wing generally and the GOP particularly. Last week, I started to write about the light sentences and kid glove treatment afforded the white supremacist (Yes white supremacists. Think about the color of the voters of those contested states and cities.) terrorists. I loved the fact that Officer Hodges of the DC Metropolitan Police called them terrorists and then gave the definition. Glad I am not the only nerd who loves Merriam-Webster. “Terrorism: the systematic use of terror which is defined as violence or the threat of violence used as a weapon of intimidation or coercion.”
Judges have allowed these thugs to take vacations and to have special vegan meals. What!!! Last week one of the people who pled guilty said he did not know he had to comply with the terms of his probation. Oops. All of us remember the casual way the terrorists strolled back to their hotels on January 6th. I was particularly incensed when a terrorist who looked as though she had been in my high school graduating class was held by her arm by a member of law enforcement and escorted down the steps of OUR Capitol. On that day and ever since, I thought if the mob had been composed of Black folks, a bomb would have been dropped on us a la Tulsa similar to the destructive and unsympathetic reaction to MOVE in Philadelphia. I tried to find the tweets about the blatant example of two systems of justice in the USA but could not find them so I deleted what I had started to write.
Well, on Sunday, I read that Rand Paul said that the Biden/Harris administration is finding immigrant children with the virus and is dropping them off around the country to infect non-immigrants. One of the commentators on Twitter correctly noted that this is Nazi-level racism.
Like white noise in the back of my consciousness is the fact that the hugely popular Fox commentator Tucker Carlson has been in Europe meeting with fascist authoritarians and has been singing their praises. According one Twitter account, “Tucker proposes Hungarian PM Viktor Orban’s far-right authoritarianism as ‘an option to the chaos and filth and crime growing all around us.’ This is calculated. This is purposeful. He means it. Tucker is steering his audience straight into white (Christian) nationalism.” Here is a video of Tucker calling immigrants “dirty.”
It is chilling and profoundly anti-democratic that newly enacted legislation will give GOP officials the ability to throw out votes in the 2022 and 2024 elections. Couple this with the unwillingness of Senators Manchin and Sinema to use their power to limit the toxic reach of the filibuster that would allow the For the People Act and John Lewis Voting Rights legislation to pass. I am worried.
The For the People Act must be signed before the end of summer in order to be implemented in time to go into effect by the 2022 midterm elections and prevent partisan maps from disenfranchising voters — especially voters of color — for the next decade.
The census data will be released on August 16, allowing states to begin drawing new maps for state and federal districts. If passed before the deadline, the For the People Act will ensure fair districting, keeping our communities whole and ensuring our communities can thrive for the next 10 years and beyond.
Tomorrow, on August 10, voting rights activists from across the country are rallying with their state legislators outside of their U.S. Senator’s district office for the #DemocracyCantWait Nationwide Day of Action. Virtual events are also happening throughout the week. Please join an event near you.
I pray and meditate for Guidance about what other steps we can take to preserve our democracy. If there are other ideas for action, please let me know and I will share them.
America: breaking hearts since 1619.