Rev. Jackson's Weekly Commentary
The right to vote is under siege
BY JESSE JACKSON
February 22, 2021
The fundamental right in a democracy — the right to vote — is once more under siege. In state after state, Republican legislators have introduced literally hundreds of bills designed to suppress voting.
Their passion is fueled by Donald Trump’s big lie that the presidential election was “stolen” from him. Their targets are minorities — African Americans, Latinos and Asian Americans, and the young. They call themselves Republicans, but their lineage comes not from Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican president, but from Jefferson Davis, the southern Democrat who led the Confederacy in its battle to keep Blacks enslaved.
Gun violence spiked across the country in 2020, the most violent year in decades. 19,000 were killed in shootings, the highest death toll in 20 years (and that does not include gun suicides). Mass shootings — defined as four or more shot in an incident — also rose drastically to over 600.
As we turn to a new year, the spotlight shines on the new president and the new administration. Even as he assumes center stage in Washington, profound questions remain about Joe Biden’s plans.
His initial appointments have been solid, diverse, experienced and capable, drawn overwhelmingly from the established center of the party.
Now that Donald Trump’s baseless lies about voter fraud have been summarily dismissed by the courts, perhaps some attention can be paid to the true threat to free and fair elections: systemic and massive voter suppression.
Voter suppression, not voter fraud, could have critically important effects in Senate runoff elections in Georgia that will determine which party controls the majority in the U.S. Senate.