Standing on the other side of an equal sign
Lee A. Daniels | 7/15/2013, 9:39 a.m.
So did Black Americans as a whole. That was the source of their determination and patience in devising and executing over seven decades a nonviolent campaign to reverse the devastating effects of the Supreme Court’s 1896 Plessy decision legalizing racism.
And that has been the source of their determined, 40-year effort to maximize their right to vote – the fundamental mark of citizenship in a democratic society.
So, historically speaking, no one should be all that surprised that the forces of residual racism in America – acting through the court – should seek to limit Blacks’ ability to stand in their rightful place.
Despite the Republican Party’s desperate efforts to block Blacks’ access to the ballot box; and scuttle immigration reform that would enable undocumented Latino immigrants to step on the path to citizenship; and close off women’s reproductive rights; and spin intricate theories that they can win the presidency back via reactionary, “White-solidarity” appeals to White voters, they won’t succeed.
One reason is that, in terms of voter turnout at the polls, Blacks, and Hispanic- and Asian-Americans – all of whom are key Democratic voting blocs – still have considerable room to grow.
Another can be seen in the multiracial cast of the “Moral Mondays” progressive movement in the state of North Carolina, protesting the GOP-dominated legislature’s efforts to turn the state into a conservative fortress.
If nothing else, that grassroots movement underscores a powerful lesson of these first years of the 21st century: There are plenty of other kinds of Americans standing with Blacks on the other side of the equal sign.
Lee A. Daniels is a longtime journalist based in New York City. His latest book is Last Chance: The Political Threat to Black America.