Georgia’s Jim Crow voter suppression laws are absolutely American. Stop saying they’re not

Jim Crow 2.0 is coming to a state near you. After Georgia passed voter suppression measures meant to keep Black, brown and young people from voting, we should all be outraged, but we should not be surprised.

America has never wanted Black people to have full citizenship. That’s why, after slavery ended, the 13th Amendment allowed convicted criminals to be treated as virtual slaves.  It’s why, after Lincoln suggested giving the vote to Black Civil War veterans, he was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth. It’s why, when all else failed, Black people were lynched for having the gumption to own a business, or have some land, or cast a ballot.

We were not considered full citizens, and even after we fought for centuries to gain something approaching full citizenship, there are those who still want to take it away. That’s why I’m not surprised that Georgia Republicans passed voter suppression laws that are laser focused on making sure that Blacks, in particular, don’t vote.

The new law imposes new voter ID requirements for absentee ballots, gives state officials the power to take over local elections boards, limits the use of ballot drop boxes and makes it a misdemeanor to give voters food and water as they wait in long lines.

In the seat of the old Confederacy, where the GOP holds on to White Supremacy lest their power be Gone With The Wind, keeping Blacks from voting is as American as apple pie, which  is  why I’m gonna need Joe Biden to stop saying the opposite.

“What I’m worried about is how un-American this whole initiative is. It’s sick. It’s sick,” the president said on Thursday at his first formal press conference since taking office.

And you know what? The president is partly right. It’s sick, it’s ugly and it’s racist. But it is absolutely American. It’s not our leader’s job to deny that. It’s our leader’s job to do everything possible to make it change.

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