White supremacy and democracy don’t go together – Another chapter in America’s history of white supremacy playing out in our Democracy

Photo courtesy of World Atlas

By Christopher Young,
Contributing Writer,

All the major dictionaries say that democracy is a form of government by the people. We all know that – it’s part of our DNA being Americans. The vote of the people is sacred. Merriam-Webster adds about democracy – a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections.
Reference.com provides a broader picture, “Instead of a king ruling the people, the people represented themselves. This was possible due to the relatively small size of the city-states which used a democratic system. Over time, however, it has become necessary to move from direct to representative democracy. This is because it is seemingly impossible for a large nation such as the United States to practice direct rule by the people. For a democracy to truly be direct, each eligible citizen must be present at every governmental debate and must vote on every issue. Because this isn’t practical in the modern world, modern democratic nations have their citizens vote for representatives who are charged with providing a voice for their constituents.”
To varying degrees, we learn about candidates who are seeking elected office. Candidates will flock to community forums in an effort to get the message out to the people. They rent billboards, purchase advertising online, in print and on television. They often get mailing lists and fill our mailboxes with flyers. Maybe they hold town-hall type events, and surely knock on a lot of doors. Unfailingly, they seek donations to fund the expenses mentioned above.
Ultimately, the people go to the polls and make their voices heard. That’s what we do in America, but there are those in our country that are so thirsty for power that they look to bypass or usurp the voice of the people. They believe that their voice should prevail, regardless of what the people have said.
Earlier this month, the host of Symone on MSNBC, Symone D. Sanders-Townsend, said, “There are anti-democratic forces at work in America, but many Americans may not realize the extent of the danger. After all, democracy does not just happen. It needs to be carefully guarded and nurtured in order to survive.”
Has anyone else noticed that almost without exception, these people are white? Black Americans and other minorities often appear to be the targets of anti-democracy efforts and legislative power-brokering, not the instigators of it. We can’t forget for a second that the results of the U.S. Census reveal what the motivation is behind their behavior –in the past 60 years the white population in the United States has dropped from 88.6% in 1960 to 57.8% in 2020 – just under a 31% decline, and a significant percent of our population is not happy about it.
On January 21, 2022, The Brennan Center wrote, “Nineteen states enacted thirty-four laws restricting access to voting, far and away the most in any year in at least the past decade. These laws impose a wide range of voter suppression measures, such as obstacles to voting by mail, new voter ID requirements, and limitations on what election officials can do to help promote voter access. They vary greatly in scope, from omnibus laws with multiple restrictive provisions to single-subject laws that create less obvious burdens. The modern approach to voter suppression can often be characterized as death by a thousand cuts seemingly minor rules about issues like voter ID, mail voting, resource allocation at polling places, and voter roll maintenance can add up to create significant burdens, particularly on communities of color.”
For these power mongers, it’s not enough to suppress the vote, they are reaching further to control election officials. In a New York Times article on July 1, 2021, titled How Republican States Are Expanding Their Power Over Elections, they say, “Republicans have introduced at least 216 bills in 41 states to give legislatures more power over elections officials, according to the States United Democracy Center, a new bipartisan organization that aims to protect democratic norms. Of those, 24 have been enacted into law across 14 states.”
As we know, not all anti-democratic behaviors and laws are directly related to voting. On February 27, 2022, Forbes Magazine published an article entitled, Why Won’t White Conservatives Admit That Their Issue Isn’t Critical Race Theory? In part, they say, “proponents of the theory argue that there is a large cohort of white Americans who have expressed opposition to the theory who are not guilty of having gaps in knowledge about it but choose to remain blatantly and willfully uneducated about CRT, which speaks to a larger issue. A larger issue that that points to a deeply rooted rage that stems from fear of anything they perceive to be a threat to their racial privilege. Furthermore, many argue that their indignant and almost boastful resistance to familiarize themselves on the topic of basic U.S. history further illustrates their racial privilege.”
Earlier this year, USA Today published an article on March 23, 2023 titled, DEI came to colleges with a bang. Now, these red states are on a mission to snuff it out. They say, “At least two dozen bills on the question have been introduced in 15 states this year, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education, all seeking to somehow undo DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) efforts at colleges. In some states, institutions are already rolling back their DEI programs in anticipation of a crackdown.”
These white governors, legislators, elected officials and others right on down to school board members in some cases, like to lump DEI and CRT together and refer to them as indoctrination. On August 17, 2023, Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders told Fox News, “We’ve got to get back to the basics of teaching math, of teaching reading, writing and American history. And we cannot perpetuate a lie to our students and push this propaganda leftist agenda, teaching our kids to hate America and hate one another. It’s one of the reasons that we put into law banning things like indoctrination and CRT [critical race theory]. We want our kids to receive a quality education, and we want to make sure that every student has access to it and a pathway to prosperity. And that’s exactly what we’re doing here in the state of Arkansas.”
The folks in America that are attempting to suppress the vote, control the election officials, and rewrite American history are not Black or Brown or Red or Yellow. They are White, and they think that this is their country.

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