Mr. Attorney General Merrick Garland,
In an op-ed you published yesterday for the Washington Post, you became the latest in a long line of Democrats and members of the activist media to cynically exploit the civil rights movements to promote the “For the People Act,” which would ostensibly safeguard the right to vote. In your piece, you conjured the legacy of millions of black Americans who fought to obtain the right to participate in America’s political process as equal citizens.
In your asinine piece, you even went so far as to bring up Rep. John Lewis’ treatment as he marched for equality. You wrote:
Things would not have changed without the civil rights movement’s persistent call to action. By the time a 25-year-old John Lewis was beaten on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., the Justice Department had been embroiled in voting rights litigation against the surrounding county for four years. Although the county had approximately 15,000 Black citizens of voting age, the number of Black registered voters had only risen from 156 to 383 during those years.
You also noted how the Justice Department successfully blocked efforts to disenfranchise black voters in the decades after the Voting Rights Act of 1964 passed. You celebrated the “preclearance” provision which prohibited certain jurisdictions from imposing new voting measures until they demonstrated that they “would have neither a racially discriminatory purpose nor a racially discriminatory result.”
By way of example, you wrote:
One thwarted change involved McComb, Miss. A large group of Black residents in the city had long voted at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, which was close to their homes on the east side of railroad tracks that run through the city. In 1997, the city tried to move that group’s assigned polling place to the American Legion Hut on the west side of the tracks. To cross those tracks, Black voters on the east side — many of whom lacked transportation — would have had to travel substantial distances to find a safe crossing. Recognizing that difficulty, the Justice Department blocked the change.
Most of the steps taken by the federal government to safeguard the rights of black Americans to vote were necessary, especially in a time when local and state-level governments were enacting brazenly racist policies designed to maintain second-class citizen status for blacks. These actions were necessary for the subversion of the biased practices that were commonplace back then.
As stated previously, both black and white Americans poured blood, sweat, and tears into the effort to ensure equitable treatment of Americans of all races. They toiled day in and day out to manifest an America in which black people could participate in the democratic process without facing onerous obstacles designed to keep them away from the ballot box.
In your op-ed, you made an utter mockery of the work these individuals poured into their lies so many years ago. Like many of your comrades on the left, you used the struggles of black Americans to push your agenda. Your piece was not simply a retelling of history or an acknowledgment of how far this nation has come. It was nothing more than propaganda to persuade Americans to support the “For the People Act,” which would amount to little more than a federal takeover of local elections.
Just as other Democrats have done, you thought it wise to push the “Jim Crow 2.0” narrative of which your boss has become quite fond. The reality is that neither you nor any of your cohorts have provided a shred of evidence that the voting laws being passed in red states will somehow disenfranchise black voters. Indeed, in most cases, these states have expanded access to the polls.
The truth is that you and your ilk know that these laws will not prevent black Americans from casting their votes. You are well aware of the reality that Jim Crow has no place in this discussion. Yet, you still insist on using the atrocious racist policies of the past to try to manipulate people into supporting your initiative. This reveals what many of us already know: You view black people as nothing more than political pawns to be used to accomplish your objectives.
You could have argued for your absurd legislation on principle. You could have pointed out the real problems it might solve. But since it is abundantly clear that the Corrupt Politicians Act wouldn’t solve any problems and would likely create more, you decided to embrace your white progressive tendency to cast black Americans as helpless victims who can’t obtain ID’s and position yourself and your cohorts as our white saviors.
Black people are not your pawns and neither are the struggles of those that came before us. I get that Democrats like yourself don’t respect the black community. But at some point, your exploitative tactics might just come back to bite you.