Expect to lose your right to vote under a Trump administration, if you are not ready and willing to fight for it.
Donald Trump may be unstable and unpredictable, but it is certain that he is diabolical and corrupt and surrounds himself with the enemies of democracy, equality and racial justice. If you’ve noticed his tweets, Trump is obsessed with voter fraud. And the people who do not vote for the GOP — people of color especially — should prepare for him to take your vote away.
Throughout the campaign, Trump peddled conspiracy theories that the election system is rigged. Even after he won the Electoral College — while losing the popular vote by millions — he claimed he won the popular vote, not including the millions — presumably black folks and Latinos — who voted “illegally.”
In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 27, 2016
Millions did not vote illegally — and voter fraud seems nonexistent except when committed by Trump supporters who attempt to vote twice or vote on behalf dead people — but voter suppression tactics across the nation helped turn the election in Trump’s favor. And whenever white conservatives start talking about voter fraud, you can believe that voter suppression is taking place and will continue.
As Think Progress reported, millions of people throughout the country — including states such as Wisconsin, North Carolina and Florida — were eligible to vote yet were unable due to GOP-devised voting restrictions that slam key Democratic constituencies, including the poor, people of color and students.
In Wisconsin, as many as 300,000 people could not vote due to the state’s harsh voter ID law. North Carolina enacted a most severe voter suppression law designed to reduce black turnout, which was overturned by a federal judge. And Florida is but one of three states that permanently take away your right to vote if you have a felony conviction.
The Republican Party is a hate crime in progress, and the Trump White House will be run by Nazis and Klansmen. Steve Bannon, his top adviser, is a white supremacist who says black people should not be able to vote and that the franchise should be limited to landowners. Sen. Jeff Sessions — Trump’s pick for attorney general — opposes the Voting Rights Act and has a long record of hostility to civil rights and African Americans.
And Kansas secretary of state Kris Kobach, a Trump adviser and reportedly the source of his voter fraud allegations, was the architect of the nation’s harshest immigration laws. Kobach, who reportedly has ties to white extremist groups and works with the hate group Federation for American Immigration Reform, successfully pushed for a state law requiring voters to prove their citizenship before registering to vote, blocking 20,000 people from voting in 2014. Various courts found that Kobach’s voter purge violated federal law.
With a Klan attorney general, Nazi advisers and the appointment of white nationalist judges to the federal bench, Trump will assault voting rights like it’s 1877, when Reconstruction ended and the Southern whites took their country back. Around 2,000 black elected officials served during the period after the Civil War — mainly Republicans — and all of that came to a halt when segregationist Democrats seized black power, assassinated black politicians, barred us from voting by law, threw us on the chain gang and lynched us for exercising our rights.
Meanwhile, these days, the Republicans are playing the role of the new Jim Crow segregationists in this second Reconstruction. And not only does Trump not have the truth on his side, he denies the truth even exists and makes up his own facts, a warning sign of fascism.
The GOP had the opportunity to reform itself and appeal to people beyond its angry white base. Instead, it decided to embrace white nationalism and elect Donald Trump. In order to succeed as a party of white supremacy and rule a nation that will one day become majority black and brown, the Republican Party has limited options and not a lot of time.
It must ensure that people of color cannot vote. That will be accomplished either by taking away our right to vote or by making black and brown bodies disappear. They may accomplish the former through Jim Crow voter suppression measures and revoking our citizenship and will achieve the latter through law and order policies, mass internment, deportations and state-sanctioned mass murder. Expect this citrus-colored madman to attempt any and all of the above. Black people in America have experienced this, as have those who have lived through fascist and authoritarian societies and banana republics.
Those who believe it can’t happen here, that American democracy is far too robust and resilient, neglect the fact that it has happened here. Black people were always compelled to fight for their rights, because democracy was not intended for people of a darker hue.
But we got this.
The Klan came after us, as did the White Citizens Council and the lynch mobs. Sheriff Jim Clark came after us in Selma with the water hoses and the dogs, as did Bull Connor in Birmingham, and J. Edgar Hoover, and George Wallace and Theodore Bilbo threw everything they had at us.
What they couldn’t accomplish by way of the bullet, the noose and poplar tree, they tried through the courts and the legislature. These pathetic souls are long gone now, sent to a fiery place with gasoline drawers, and their evil spirits cheer on Donald Trump, their son, from the grave.
But we’re still here.
Trump will certainly make a move to steal our votes from us. And we must tell him no, not today.
Follow David A. Love on Twitter at @davidalove