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New York Times

Black Democrats are caught in a conflict in a rights vote, worried that it is too late

Jackson, Michigan-The right to vote is a right that Frank Figgers fought for in Jackson’s segregated high school in the 1960s. This is why Medgar Evers was shot to death at his home in the city in 1

963 after working for the state NAACP. Figues is 71 years old, and he remembers being assassinated when Evers happened. He remembered the anger it inspired. He said: “When people say we are fighting the same thing, we really are.” He sits in the local Masonic hut, where Evers used to work. “We fought in 1865 and 1965. We fought in 2015, and we fought in 2021.” Subscribe to the “Morning News” of the “New York Times” now. As Republican state lawmakers across the country impose new restrictions on voting, the Democrats are fighting back. In Congress, the party is pushing for comprehensive electoral reforms, which will re-divide the hands of politicians, implement automatic voter registration, and restore voting rights previously imprisoned. For some black Democrats in the South, this struggle will take place completely in 2021. This is a major failure of the Democratic Party’s politics and policies. In an interview, more than 20 Southern Democrats and civil rights activists described a party that has been slow to deal with Republicans in terms of etiquette and voting restrictions, is overconfident in the speed of progress, and is willing to accept the suppression of voters. It is Jim. Jim Crow’s past. . But black leaders also faced unexpected resistance from parliamentarians. They worried that the bill called “For the People Act” that swept through Congress would endanger their seats in major black areas. . Republicans often use redistribution methods to pack black Democrats into a House district. This approach weakened the Democrats’ regional influence, but at the same time ensured that every southern state had at least one predominantly black area, thus ensuring black representation in the majority white and conservative House of Representatives area. So far, some black Democratic lawmakers in the South have remained relatively silent on these concerns about self-protection, worrying that their own interests are beyond the party’s agenda or the priorities of activists. Nonetheless, when Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson unexpectedly voted against the House of Representatives’ federal election bill last month, the congressman’s district included Jackson and was a member of Congress for Figues. Recently, other congressional black caucus members have urged Democratic leaders to pay more attention to the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, which aims to restore key parts of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, including requiring certain states to change election laws. Prior to this, federal approval must be obtained. -Rather than promoting the detailed provisions of the “For the People Act” officially known as HR 1. The Attorney General Eric Holder, who served as former President Barack Obama, said in a recent interview that the Democrats are only seeking to unify a strategy, and that the Republicans clearly express their views. The next few years. He said: “Democrats did not respond as wisely as Republicans when re-division of regions. It was not as concentrated and technically not supported.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi became legislation. The key ally of support, Democratic Rep. Jones (Mondaire Jones) agreed with this view, but blamed the Obama administration. Jones said: “Democrats see the urgency of voting rights come too late.” “If they are not late, we will do something about it during the Obama administration. Then we need HR1.” The Act for the People will Became one of the conflicts defined by the Senate this summer. The White House will face pressure from its moderate and aggressive flank. The bill will test the Senate Democrats’ commitment to filibuster, who has repeatedly obstructed legislation in the past, but the number of votes reached 60. Although former President Donald Trump has waged a public war on the results of the last general election, and Republicans have proposed new voter restrictions in more than 40 states, Democrats are still willing to push the bill how far. Major Democratic senators such as Joe Manchin of West Virginia’s moderates have expressed doubts about certain parts of the voting bill. The House of Representatives has not yet fully passed its supporting legislation, the John Lewis Voting Rights Act or HR4. For Jackson’s close voting community, their members see themselves as torchbearers in the role models of Fergus and Evers. Lack of evidence of urgency. “If the person most affected by this is white, then the Democrats have already done something,” said Rukia Lumumba, executive director of the Jackson Institute for People’s Advocacy. Her brother was the mayor of Jackson, and her late father also held the position. “They think,’Oh, that’s just the South,’ and not what we experienced here spread to the rest of the country.” Holder now manages a group dedicated to re-division of electoral districts and voting, he said, if necessary , He will encourage senators to eliminate the opposition in order to pass the “For the People Act.” His team and its partners plan to spend $30 million to introduce this legislation to voters in states with important senators such as Arizona, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Holder said: “Stakes are a condition of our democracy.” “This is not just a partisan’who wins and who loses?’ game. If we can’t succeed in HR 1 or HR 4, I really worry that our democracy will It will suffer fundamental and irreparable damage.” He added: “We will still hold elections every two or four years, but the elections are almost meaningless.” Holder also found himself playing among Democrats. As an ambassador for voting rights: Last month, he was brought in during a virtual conference call with the Congressional Black Caucus because several older members of the Caucus had deep reservations about the “For the People Act”. The people in the phone plan say that the rare rift between the Democratic leadership and the organization is often referred to as the “Congressional Conscience.” In fact, Thompson is the only Democrat who voted against the bill in the House of Representatives, and his position runs counter to previous co-sponsors. In the weeks that followed, Thompson rejected several New York Times requests for an explanation of his voting rights, or refused to respond to voters who expressed opposition to the long history of the Southern Democratic Party in defending black voting rights. In a brief statement to Fox News last month, Thompson said, “My voters oppose the redistribution part of the bill and the public finances part.” However, in the interview, every member of Jackson’s major civil rights organization expressed his feelings about his vote. Surprised, even if they still respect his judgment. “Of course we noticed this,” said Arekia Bennett, executive director of the Mississippi State Voting Organization, led by youth. “But we are not sure of his actual reasons.” Nsombi Lambright-Haynes, who leads One Voice, one of the region’s highest voting rights organizations, said that Thompson’s civil rights record has benefited him a lot. She said: “We are vigilant about this matter because we are just assuming that we don’t understand the whole situation.” Those who are familiar with Thompson’s ideas and spoke on condition of anonymity, and those discussing private conversations said that the votes of members of Congress reflected some black There is greater concern among the people’s elected officials that the independent constituency redistricting committee will dilute the makeup that likes to put on its own main black areas. Advocates like Holder say the bill addresses concerns about keeping the Black area intact. Jones, part of a wave of new congressmen that has shaken the black caucus, said that any concerns about how restricted zones affect black areas are not ideological, but passed on from generation to generation. He said: “Congress is a place where members get used to and adapt to the status quo, as long as it can benefit them in the election.” “If we don’t have the Democratic majority in Congress, then the Congressional Black Caucus will increase its membership to 70 is okay.” At the same time, in Jackson, the For the People Act may be the difference between restoring voting rights for people who were previously deprived of their rights due to felony convictions. Organizations like One Voice and Mississippi Votes say they are focusing on state voting restrictions, which have surged since the Supreme Court’s decision in 2013 to abolish the provisions of the Voting Rights Act, which requires multiple states (Mainly in the South) Federal approval must be obtained before changing the election law. Bennett said: “When the 2016 election results came, the rest of the country woke up in Mississippi, and we woke up for a day.” “So for us, whether these bills pass or not, the struggle continues. Because of us In another war.” The Republican Party remains committed to formulating voting restrictions through the state legislature. In view of the series of unsuccessful votes they continue to obtain in 2020, they still have a 10-year lead. Holder said that in the Obama administration, the Democrats “focused our resources on the presidential palace, the Senate, and the House of Representatives.” “We consider ourselves a national federal party without having to understand federal power and state legislatures. There is a direct connection with the governor’s composition.” He added: “Secretary of State, the race of the Supreme Court of the states-you know there is no point.” When told of what Hod had said, Lambright-Hynes stopped. Come down. She said: “It’s really very, very sad.” “We can’t see those things here.” This article was originally published in The New York Times. ©2021 The New York Times Company

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