Trump’s War on Black Voters Is Far From Over
Georgia is the most important battleground state since Florida in 2000
The fate of the U.S. Senate will be decided on January 5 in Georgia when polls close for the two seats up for grabs in a pair of runoff elections, as Democrats Jon Ossof and Raphael Warnock challenge incumbents David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, respectively. The results of the elections will determine if Joe Biden gets to install the policies he’s promised and campaigned on or if Mitch McConnell will be empowered to obstruct student loan forgiveness, Covid-19 stimulus checks, health care expansion, and a bevy of other issues that Biden voters are clamoring for. In terms of electoral significance, Georgia is the most important battleground state since Florida in 2000. But unlike Florida during the Bush/Gore saga, the battle for Georgia comes at a moment when the outgoing president is hell-bent on undermining the very nature of the democratic system itself.
While Georgia’s blue flip in the presidential election was cause for the left to celebrate, anyone who knows about voting in the South knows that the next two months will be another fight—one in which America has no rules to play by, especially when it comes to disenfranchising Black voters, who are the key to how the January elections will play out.
I can’t talk to you about the lengths this country goes to stop Black people from voting without talking about the Greenville Food Blockade. And I can’t talk to you about the Greenville Food Blockade without talking to you about an organization called the White Citizens’ Council (WCC).
The WCC was formed in the Mississippi Delta in 1954 in the wake of the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court ruling (which the organization referred to as “Black Monday”). The WCC was, as the name suggests, dedicated to white supremacy; the group of middle-to-upper-class white people fancied itself a more refined version of the KKK, colloquially identifying themselves as the “uptown Klan.” By the early 1960s, Black Mississippians, with the help of the Council of Federated Organizations, a coalition of all the civil rights organizations in the state, had mobilized voter registration efforts. Many of those registering to vote were sharecroppers living on and cultivating land…