2021-08-08 – Voter Suppression as Racism

In seeing the widespread attacks on voting rights, it is easy to miss the blatant racism inherent in these acts because of the existential threat they pose to democracy. We must understand that democracy is under attack because of the threat it poses to white supremacy.

The history of civil rights, racism, and white supremacy since the end of the Civil War has been focused on the voting rights of BIPOC. By denying formerly enslaved people and their descendants the right to vote, the existing white supremacist power structure has been perpetuated. The power of the vote was kept out of the hands of those who would use it to challenge the racist class structure. As the ability to limit voting rights continues to be reduced by both social and technological changes, the conservative minority is turning its attacks to the power of the vote itself. These attacks do threaten democracy, but the goal remains to protect white supremacy.

In the end, these attacks on voting rights, while threatening to democracy, are also attacks on our UU principles. By denying the vote to some, the 1st, 2nd, and 5th principles are assaulted. Because these attacks are racist, our 8th principle is directly involved. By replacing democracy with an autocratic minority rule, all 8 principles may become unobtainable in our society. We must stand up to these attacks on our basic beliefs.