One can argue the right and wrong sides of history, but the fact that America will soon lose its white majority is inarguable. It’s going to happen sometime in the next twenty years or so, which is why I find 247 proposed pieces of voter-restrictive legislation in 43 states so perplexing.
These 43 states are proposing exactly the wrong thing
FDR’s statement after the bombing of Pearl Harbor—that we have nothing to fear but fear itself—is as prescient today as it was then. Pearl Harbor had been attacked. That was fact. America’s white majority will disappear, whether in twenty years or not. That is a fact.
Roosevelt’s statement was to put aside our fears and act in the nation’s best interests. Forty-three states have elected to ramp up our racial fears and act in what they conceive of as the coming minority’s best interests. That’s not only the wrong side of history, it’s a failed strategy.
The recent push-back by business in Georgia is the canary in the coal-mine and the remaining 42 states might well recognize that chirping bird to be lying feet-up in Atlanta.
What can possibly be gained?
A twenty-something head start on certain class warfare? A divisive set of laws that will harden the coming majority’s view of (and treatment of) the white minority? Those laws won’t even last. They will be undone immediately by an unforgiving non-white majority. What could possibly be the point of such a short-sighted road to Republican suicide in its diminishing red states?
In a single lifetime (my own in this case) America has devolved from a nation where all things were possible, to the circumstances it presently occupies of fear-based politics, social stagnation and racial hatreds. Tragically (yet understandably) those fears thrust us toward rampant gun ownership, conspiracy theories and mutual distrust. Hatreds, fears and abuse combined to drive us apart and plunge bi-partisan politics down the rat-hole we now understand the United States Congress to be.
There is no positive end-game for voter suppression
White America would be far better off working its collective ass off to bring electoral parity to all its citizens well before the racial bridges collapse. Those bridges are teetering. Whites have centuries of racial discrimination to heal and a very brief two decades (if that) to heal it. The clock is ticking.
What we need is 247 pieces of voter-support legislation in 43 states to end gerrymandering, open all possible avenues to prospective voters of all races and colors, as well as encourage voter participation. The Civil War has long been over, but the fight against civil liberties goes on and on.
To paraphrase George Carlin, “if firefighters fight fires and crimefighters fight crime, what do white freedom fighters fight?”
White America will either choose to solve that conundrum quickly or pay a terrible price. That price, should it come due, will have been well-earned.
Image Credit: NBC News