The Jim Crow Republicans aren't just attacking voting — they want to rewrite history

As the truism warns, those who control the past control the future.


By Chanucey Devega | Salon - Commentary | June 23, 2021



Words have actual meanings. Why do I consistently describe today's version of the Republican Party as the "Jim Crow Republican Party"? Because that political party is now engaged in a coordinated nationwide effort to keep Black and brown people from voting.


Today's Republican Party is attempting to end America's multiracial democracy and replace it with a new form of American apartheid in which Black and brown people are treated as second-class citizens in their own country. These efforts to create a whites-only fake democracy involves many of the same tactics and strategies as the original Jim Crow regime. These include onerous ID requirements, voter intimidation and harassment, limiting access to polling places, claims that some votes (by white people) are more "valuable" and of "higher quality" than others, outright vote theft and vote fraud, an attempt to create one-party monopoly rule and claims that voting is something "sacred," to be "protected" by limiting access to those deemed unworthy.


Today's Republican Party is committed to the cause of racial authoritarianism. It is a de facto white identity organization which supports political violence and terrorism as a way of obtaining and keeping political power indefinitely.


The Jim Crow regime was much more than a set of strategies and tactics designed to deny Black people their equal political rights. It was a society-wide system that sought to undermine Black people's humanity, dignity and self-worth. Today's Republican Party shares that goal.


Lonnie Hollis has been a member of the Troup County election board in West Georgia since 2013. A Democrat and one of two Black women on the board, she has advocated Sunday voting, helped voters on Election Days and pushed for a new precinct location at a Black church in a nearby town.


But this year, Ms. Hollis will be removed from the board, the result of a local election law signed by Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican. Previously, election board members were selected by both political parties, county commissioners and the three biggest municipalities in Troup County. Now, the G.O.P.-controlled county commission has the sole authority to restructure the board and appoint all the new members.


"I speak out and I know the laws," Ms. Hollis said in an interview. "The bottom line is they don't like people that have some type of intelligence and know what they're doing, because they know they can't influence them."