The true drawback with Georgia’s new electoral regulation

The White House in Washington, DC, the United States, Friday, March 26, 2021. / Getty

The White House in Washington, DC, the United States, Friday, March 26, 2021. / Getty

Publisher’s Note: Thomas O. Falk is a London-based political analyst and commentator. He holds a Masters of Arts in International Relations from the University of Birmingham and specializes in US affairs. The article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily the views of CGTN.

The list is long and growing. Bank of America, Coca-Cola, Delta Air Lines, Uber, Facebook, Apple, Google, Twitter. More than 100 companies are openly protesting the change in voting rights in the US state of Georgia.

It is only one of the Republican-controlled US states rushing to introduce such electoral reforms that target minorities. Republicans across the country claim these reforms are aimed at making voting safer and more equitable – all based on the big lie that the previous election was stolen.

Now one could just submit this as just another political gimmick that both political parties have shown for a long time. After all, the Democrats are trying to amnesty millions of illegal immigrants and turn them into future voters. For Republicans, these new restrictions are nothing more than a desperate attempt to hold on to the possibility of winning future elections. In this century the party could only win one referendum.

At first glance, therefore, Georgia’s new law is nothing more than a fairly simple, if disgusting, extension of existing restrictions. As such, Georgian law is de facto no less restrictive than that of New York or Vermont.

In fact, it seems to fit right in with controversial political practices like gerrymandering. This is where constituencies in a state are changed in order to lead a party to victory. Suppose the black votes in a constituency determine whether Democrats or Republicans win. In this case, the constituency will be changed so that areas with blacks are no longer included. Instead, they are assigned to a constituency where Republicans already have a solid majority. The latter has already forced the Supreme Court to intervene on several occasions, but this practice is, by and large, still common.

In addition, citizens in 34 states, including Texas and Florida, lose their voting rights if they sit in jail or serve a suspended sentence. Every 13th black voter lost their right to vote in this way.

However, the new law goes much deeper than just the continuation of discriminatory practices. It is a repetition of a reflex that has long followed the US.

Just 56 years ago, the Jim Crow laws, i.e. racial segregation, were officially abolished in 1965. Simultaneously with President Lyndon B. Johnson’s Civil Rights Act (after the Republicans rejected the legislation under Johnson’s predecessor Kennedy and beat it up in the Senate) and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the US wanted to end its dark chapter of racism and eventually the second paragraph of theirs Adhere to the Declaration of Independence, which reads: “We take these truths for granted that all human beings are created equal. They are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, including life, freedom and the pursuit of happiness.”

That’s the theory.

The true drawback with Georgia’s new electoral regulation

Graduates from Nathan Hale High School and other schools wear hats and robes when they participate in a Black Lives Matter march in Seattle, the United States, on June 15, 2020. / AP

Graduates from Nathan Hale High School and other schools wear hats and robes when they participate in a Black Lives Matter march in Seattle, the United States, on June 15, 2020. / AP

The advances for African Americans, however, have not been without an impact. Parts of America were against restructuring society. Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater first used the “Southern Strategy” in 1964, which meant the idea of ​​generating political support among white voters in the south through racial resentment. Richard Nixon perfected its use in 1968 and 1972 – made possible by the earlier legislation and policy of the Johnson years to essentially exploit racial fears.

It is precisely this dark shadow that now seems to be overtaking the United States

No, Georgia’s electoral reform is not a new Jim Crow, as President Biden and many Democrats claim. The latter relativizes the crimes against humanity that African Americans have suffered and is simply wrong.

However, there are always effects. On the one hand, the nationwide electoral law reforms show that the Republican Party is ready and inclined to exclude a group of voters for political reasons, instead of adapting its program to the current situation and thus generating new voters.

In addition, the election of Joe Biden and the loss of Trump show that the US has still not come to terms with its past, and this is arguably a far more significant issue for the entire country. Similar to the aforementioned post-civil rights movement in the 1960s, Republicans have once again made color a determining factor. Whether it is immigration, caravans of migrants crossing the border, or the Black Lives Matter movement, the GOP has decided to fight for survival almost entirely through the ongoing cultural war between left and right, making racist elements part of it strategy to become all over again.

Unfortunately, this is a tactic that can work as much of the country is still opposed to the ongoing restructuring of society. Donald Trump’s 74 million votes are evidence of the latter.

However, what this means for the future of America and its social peace should worry Americans on both sides of the aisle, and indeed the rest of the world, given that the majority of Americans will no longer be Caucasian by 2050.

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