Many people are worried about their right to vote after the Supreme Court’s decision to dissolve stipulations of the Voting Right Act (VRA) that racial/ethnic minorities could not be discriminated against while voting. Members from the NAACP, Gays and Lesbians Task Force and others involved with immigration are now working together on an initiative to restore this injustice that has far reaching implications. Here’s more:
A broad cross section of social justice organizations — from environmentalists to immigrant reform-focused — came together last week to announce a concerted fight to restore voting rights lost when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled a key provision of the Voting Rights Act unconstitutional last week. Among the groups assembled for the “tele-townhall” conference call were the NAACP, the environmental groups Sierra Club and Greenpeace, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, NCLR, Voto Latino and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, all of which were represented by their leading directors pledging pro-active fights against voter suppression efforts.
Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, said that his organization’s 2.1 million members “are ready to fight” to preserve voting rights in America by “knocking on doors, making phone calls and lobbying Congress.” Brune said that the same people the Sierra Club is fighting for attacking clean energy and climate change protection laws are the same people who are trying to restrict voting.
“We know that to protect our environment we must protect our democracy,” said Brune.
Well before the Supreme Court decision, the Sierra Club joined forces with the NAACP for what’s called the “Democracy Initiative,” a coalition dedicated to defending progressive election reform initiatives and protecting the right to vote.
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force executive director Rea Carey said the SCOTUS decision on DOMA was sweet but, “The sweetness does not erase the bitterness.”
“Those who seek to deny any of our votes seek to deny all of our votes,” said Carey. “I do have hope and we can’t stand for this, the LGBT community will not stand for this.”
Finally organizations are banding together because they see the far reaching implications the VRA decision could not only have on African American voters and Latinos, but also to the LGBT community. As I have written about over the past few weeks it is time for us to be united more than ever. This imbalance seems to loom over the marginalized groups in the country.
But imagine how much could be done if we actually sought out common ground with each other. If we collectively spent time uniting under one cause, equality. My intersectionality of my race and sexual orientation has been a blessing in that I can see the strengths these groups share. We would have better rules in place to protect our rights. We would no longer have to tiptoe around when we are seeking out equal rights.
But how do we do this? How do we go about encouraging this union without it disintegrating? Those are the areas we need to address so we can see more unity and become the real movement for equality.