In 2014, everyone in politics tries to be politically correct. Everyone must be careful whom they may offend and they must watch what they say. No one tells the truth anymore because it can hurt someone’s feelings, so everyone walks on eggshells.
For six years, President Barack Obama walked on eggshells and refused to admit that Republicans were determined to pass laws which were undemocratic, un-American and designed to reverse the gains made with the Voting Rights Act.
But, last week, at Al Sharpton’s National Action Network conference, President Obama and his Attorney General Eric Holder talked about their mistreatment and disrespect from the leaders of the Republican Party.
The Republicans and the conservative media are writing these speeches off as using the race card to mobilize the minority vote for the midterm election. But what they don’t understand is that the president and his attorney general are expressing that fundamental racism is embedded in the core beliefs of the Republican Party.
The tea party, the conservatives and the Republican Party, who are 90 percent white, have decided that civil rights laws must be repealed and they will use the U.S. Supreme Court to achieve their goal.
There is a conservative movement in the country to restrict voting and, last year, the Supreme Court threw out a crucial section of the Voting Rights Act.
This section that all or parts of 15 states with a history of discrimination in voting get federal approval before changing their election laws. Many in the country now believe that discrimination does not exist and it is unfair to regulate a state because people in power have changed.
But minorities know that racism is alive and well and that discrimination raises its ugly head in what people in power say and do. Even though things are changing and there are more minorities in positions of power, white folks still control the real power in the country because discrimination and racism is systemic and it is passed down from one generation to the next.
“The real voter fraud is people who try to deny our rights by making bogus arguments about voter fraud,” President Obama said at the National Action Network conference. “It’s a fact this recent effort to restrict the vote has not been led by both parties. It’s been led by the Republican Party. If your strategy depends on having fewer people show up to vote, that’s not a sign of strength. That’s a sign of weakness.”
American democracy is at a crossroads and conservatives have decided that they want a smaller government with less laws and regulations. As more minorities vote and win seats in city and state Legislatures, generations of political families are losing positions of influence and power.
President Obama has decided to challenge the Republican Party and no longer allow them to disrespect his policies and initiatives. He has decided to circumvent the Republicans in Congress, where it is legal, by using Executive Orders and standing firm on what he believes is the right position to take. Voting is sacred and it is the key to the democratic process.
“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress,” said Frederick Douglass.
Across the country, Republicans are making it harder to vote. Minorities, independents, Democrats and Americans who believe in democratic principles must challenge restrictive voting laws and bogus arguments. The midterm election of 2014 will determine if America continues to move forward or slips backward where voting is restrictive and justice is controlled by power and money.
The president is telling the truth about voting, because every election is crucial and extremely important. Democrats have the numbers but we must go to the polls and vote in mid-term elections.
Roger Caldwell, an Orlando-based community activist, author, journalist, radio host and CEO of On Point Media Group. His book, The Inspiring Journey of a Stroke Survivor, details the story of his recovery from a massive stroke. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org