By: Dr. John E. Warren
While many are watching developing court cases and the treatment of Blacks and people of color as both victims and perpetrators in the judicial system, we must not lose sight of the coming changes around us designed to both distract and disable.
I speak specifically of the following: (1) the redistricting or redesigning of all the Electoral Districts in the United States, based on the 2020 Census; (2) the new Voter Suppression laws in over 22 states restricting voting hours, locations, and conduct while waiting to vote; (3) the local campaigns against Critical Race Theory resulting in the removal of books in school libraries and restrictions on how issues of race can be taught; and (4) a very close look at all people running for office in 2022 and where they actually stand on the issues just mentioned.
The Conservative Right, with all its Trump supporters, is counting on low voter turnout as a result of the above-mentioned restrictions. They are also putting those who are in agreement with them in key positions within each state’s vote count and certification process. The greatest weapon we have is our ability to engage the process at every level. We must now start serious voter registration; we must now look very closely at the new electoral boundaries and changes in all districts, from Congressional Districts to State Legislative, County, Municipal, and School Board Districts.
We must start now and begin looking at the impact of these proposed changes. In some cases, it is already too late to engage the Redistricting Commissions for final changes. Many of these commissions sought to use the internet as a substitute for outreach and citizen engagement in the process. Many of these commissions, both here and around the country, were appointing and stacking the commissions even before the Bureau of the Census released its report.
As a result of those activities, we must now engage in the five “P’s” if we, as the potential victims, are to overcome the “changes”. The “P’s” are: Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance. We must start planning now how to make new friends and form new alliances where necessary to get the desired outcomes under changing district boundaries and practices. We must know who is in office, who is running for office and whether their interests are our interest before we rush to commit our votes while others are still bargaining for their agendas.
Changes are coming. The only issue is whether we will be prepared to meet and overcome the changes. Something to think about.