What is the weakest subject of the Republican Party

The clash of civilizations in the USA

The United States of America is experiencing a third "reconstruction," says economist Jeffrey D. Sachs in the guest commentary.

The United States is a nation with two cultures. The first culture spawned slavery, the indigenous genocide, the "Jim Crow" laws that enforced white supremacy, and the harassment, lies, and cruelty of ex-President Donald Trump that broke out in the Capitol uprising on Jan. January culminated.

The second culture brought about black liberation, the civil rights movement, President Barack Obama, and now the election of Joe Biden. The white suprematist culture - to which a shrinking minority has subscribed - has always based its power on violence and the curtailment of the right to vote. Therefore, the current struggle for the right to vote is also a struggle for the future of the United States.

The Jim Crow system

The clash of two cultures is currently unfolding across the country and in Washington, D.C. Biden's election victory has incited the white Suprematists to step up their efforts to curtail suffrage. The Republican Party knows that if the election is fair, it cannot gain power in the country. As a result, Republican-controlled parliaments in the US are currently enacting new restrictions on participation in elections targeting non-whites. In Washington, on the other hand, inclusive culture in Congress is driving the most significant electoral reform since the 1960s. Your goal is to guarantee all Americans the opportunity to vote.

Circumcision of the right to vote has long been an instrument of the white Suprematists. Their story is most strikingly illustrated by W.E.B. Du Bois in the book published in 1935 Black Reconstruction in America tells. Du Bois describes in a harrowing, comprehensive way the heroic struggle of African Americans, first, in the Civil War (1861–65), for their freedom, and then, in the years of Reconstruction (1865–77), through education and hard work for their full freedom Emancipation as a citizen. But this emancipation has been cruelly suppressed by violence and terrorism by whites in the south and the indifference or racism of many whites in the north. At the core of the Jim Crow system after the Reconstruction stood, in blatant violation of the constitution, the prevention of African-American participation in the elections.

Racist backlash

The civil rights movement of the 1960s led to the Second Reconstruction, the goal of which was once again to rebuild American democracy - this time by repealing the Jim Crow Acts. Yet heroic advances, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, provoked another racial backlash. When the Democrats from the North passed these laws in Congress against the opposition of the segregationist Democrats from the South, it split the Democratic Party. The Republicans, led by Richard Nixon, then followed their infamous "Southern Strategy" to get the white racists on their side in the 1968 election.

Whites in the south migrated from Democrats to Republicans in droves, while racism itself remained. The "Southern Strategy" was followed by new tactics to exclude voters en masse from the elections. This time these relied heavily on the massive imposing of prison sentences on people of color for minor - often not even real - violations of the law, as a result of which those punished lost their right to vote, often for life.

Targeted against colored people

But the supremacy of the white Suprematists has been crumbling for a long time. Obama's election in 2008, his re-election in 2012 and then in 2020 the election of Vice President Kamala Harris - the first woman and first colored person to hold this office - are evidence of this. In response, Trump shamelessly tried to stay in power by attempting to undermine its outcome: first by trying to convince state Republican officials to falsify the election results, and then by trying to Prevent Congress from attesting the results.

As the New York University Law School's Brennan Center for Justice is currently carefully documenting, Trump's defeat has resulted in a wave of Republican MPs tabled bills to curtail suffrage - more than 250 in 43 states. The Brennan Center sums it up as follows: "These bills will make voting more difficult, target colored people and target precisely those changes in voting - such as postal voting -" that the 2020 election during a pandemic did not only made it possible, but only successful ".

The Georgia case

Biden has rightly described the new Georgia Republicans' no-frills law as a straightforward case of "Jim Crow in the 21st Century." Exactly 160 years after the secession of the southern slavery states with the aim of maintaining and expanding slavery and white supremacy, the USA is now in its Third Reconstruction. The first was needed to abolish slavery, the second to end apartheid, and the third is now to end the curtailment of voting rights and the imposing of prison sentences.

US racism is slowly dying, but it's dying. The US House of Representatives has just passed the most significant draft law on electoral reform and political reform since the Voting Rights Act to the Senate. This Senate bill, named S.1, would set statewide standards to facilitate voter registration and voting, enforce US federal anti-discrimination law, and restore the voting rights of released inmates. The law would also implement several key steps to reform campaign finance.

The Senate will shortly accept Bill S.1, and the Republican Senators representing the white Suprematists will attempt to defeat it through the "filibuster" that requires a law to be passed by 60 votes instead of a simple majority of 51 votes is adopted. This is the same tactic that racial segregation advocates used to thwart civil rights laws well into the 1960s, and which they tried unsuccessfully in the 1960s. Your attempt is likely to fail this time too. Democrats will not stand idly by in their quest to end white supremacy once and for all while racists seek to curtail the voting rights of colored people. The Senate will presumably change the rules to prevent a filibuster of this important law and finally to ensure fair election participation for all Americans more than 230 years after the US Constitution was passed. (Jeffrey D. Sachs, Translation: Jan Doolan, Copyright: Project Syndicate, 5.1.2021)

Jeffrey D. Sachs is Professor of Sustainable Development and Health Policy and Management at Columbia University, Director of the University's Center for Sustainable Development, and Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network.

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