(TriceEdneyWire.com) – A clear Black agenda is laid out for the future as civil rights leaders, elected officials, political observers and activists celebrated the close of yet another decade of struggle and victories.
Voting rights, Black political participation, disparate killing and abuse of Black people by police; increasing White supremacy; and disparities in economic and educational systems will remain among the leading issues faced by African Americans this decade. This according to a compilation of the highest profiled stories and reports between 2010 and 2020.
As the New Year of 2010 was celebrated, the euphoria hung heavily in the atmosphere as America had recently elected its first African American president. A decade later, in 2020, the only three African American Democratic presidential candidates (Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick) did not even qualify for the last major debate Dec. 18 due to lack of financial support. Actually, by that time, Harris had already dropped out of the race. This leaves a field of White candidates in the forefront.
According to the latest CNN poll, former Vice President Joseph Biden continues to lead the race for the Democratic nomination. Among potential Democratic voters, Biden leads nationwide with 26%; Sen. Bernie Sanders is in a close second with 20%; and Sen. Elizabeth Warren is at 16%.
Nevertheless, Melanie Campbell, chair of the Black Women’s Roundtable and president/CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, among the most prominent national non-partisan Black voting advocates, is optimistic about the future of Black and women candidates.
“Until people vote, polls are just polls. They’re snapshots in time. President Obama, when he was a candidate, wasn’t doing great. But you see that he made it across the finish line,” Campbell said. “I’m of the mindset that hopefully by January we’ll see.”
Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, a Black woman, is among those being considered viable vice-presidential candidates. Abrams rose to fame across the nation in 2018 as she fought against voter suppression in her campaign against Secretary of State Brian Kemp. He prevailed by only about 55,000 votes.
Voting rights and voter suppression have remained front burner issues for the past two decades since President George W. Bush, amidst much fanfare in 2006, signed the reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. But that hope quickly plummeted in 2013 as the U.S. Supreme Court gutted the Section 5 preclearance clause of the Voting Rights Act, which prohibited certain states and territories from changing voting laws without the oversight of and permission from the U.S. Department of Justice.
The Democrat-dominated U.S. House of Representatives, on December 6, 2019, passed legislation to restore the protections against changes in voting laws that could result in voter suppression. But the bill is not likely to become law under the predominately Republican Senate. And President Donald Trump has threatened to veto it.
While attacks from conservatives on voting rights are seen as the bottom line of voter disenfranchisement across the nation, leading voting advocates also say apathy within the Black community has prevented some gains. Donna Brazile, former chair of the Democratic National Committee, documented that more than seven million prospective Black voters (7,135,303) were not registered in the spring of 2018.
Meanwhile the impeachment of President Trump by the U. S. House of Representatives for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress has won wide applause from Black voters. The charges against Trump are based on his attempt to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political rival, Joseph Biden, by withholding nearly $400 million of military aid from the country.
“Eighty-five percent of African Americans said President Trump should be impeached, the highest of any ethnic group, according to the latest NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll. However, only 41% of Whites do, according to the survey,” reported Richard Prince of Journal-isms.
Trump has become known for blatant insults against Black people. Those insults include his equating the rabid White supremacists who marched in Charlottesville, Va., resulting in the death of protestor Heather Heyer, with protestors who opposed the White supremacists. Trump shocked millions when he said, there were “very fine people on both sides.”
It is this kind of verbiage that has earned Trump a reputation as a racist, an extremist, and as one who has incited the growth and incubation of racism and White supremacy around the nation.
“The number of hate groups operating across America rose to a record high (1,020) in 2018 as President Trump continued to fan the flames of white resentment over immigration and the country’s changing demographics. It was the fourth straight year of hate group growth—a 30% increase roughly coinciding with Trump’s campaign and presidency,” wrote the Southern Poverty Law Center, America’s foremost tracker of racism and hate groups.