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Letter: Call ‘election integrity’ out for what it is

“The facts ma’am just the facts,” “the truth and nothing but the truth” and “you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free” are well established beliefs. That is until it comes to the racial underpinnings of American democracy.

The current idea of “election integrity” is Black people steal, we lost, therefore Black people stole the election. This historic anti-Black effort to suppress Black turnout continues. Anti-blackness affects all who are not: white, male, wealthy and their enablers. Poor, low-wealth and young voters are trampled when elephants fight in the discussion of racial equity. Carl Ford and the N.C. legislature’s veneer of protecting “voting integrity” is “non-recurring” funding for voter IDs and a paltry $5 million spread over 100 counties, which sounds like “separate but equal” funding for education. It’s the reiteration of the 2013 House Bill 589 voter law, authored by Thom Tillis and based on SCOTUS rulings — just don’t use “race” as a blueprint for “voting integrity.” You can make it costly, make it inconvenient and make it time consuming.

Dr. King called for a transformative new understanding of full Black citizenship: ending Black voter suppression, economic inequity, housing and education inequality. “We can never be satisfied,” he said, “as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality.” One of the many tools for disenfranchising black voters. These things are the foundation of his dream.

“Deep-rooted prejudices entertained by the whites; ten thousand recollections, by the blacks, of the injuries they have sustained … produce convulsions, which will probably never end but in the extermination of the one or the other race,” said Thomas Jefferson in 1782. 

“Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword,” President Abraham Lincoln said in his second inaugural address.

We must engage those who are willing to destroy our form of government for an authoritarian, economic caste system with the lie “election integrity.”

— Michael Stringer

Cleveland

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