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Who are we? That is the existential crisis and perpetual question that America is facing right now. However, even as we disrupt the mythology of these divided states, the more important question is: Who do we want to be? The fabric of America is ripping and the lore of the country is crumbling. A new generation of thinkers and leaders will have to piece her together again. And yet, as the rising majority expands, we battle the dinosaur of white supremacy that refuses to become extinct. As the dying few tighten their grip on power, they are strangling the life out of our democracy. We now have to save it.
The fabric of America is ripping and the lore of the country is crumbling. A new generation of thinkers and leaders will have to piece her together again.
By the year 2044, America will be composed mostly of people of color. Black, Native American, Latinx, Asian American and Pacific Islander citizens will shape American democracy. These rapidly changing demographics are casting a wide net of influence over our culture and a shadow over our politics.
The answer to the question who do we want to be is frequently answered at the ballot box. Which explains the vigorous effort to keep the voting pathway as white and as narrow as possible. Frightened people will do desperate things. And they don’t care about playing by the rules.
As of the end of June, 17 states have enacted 28 new laws restricting voting access. And more bills are moving through state legislatures as you read this. Collectively, Republican lawmakers have introduced at least 389 restrictive bills in 48 states during 2021 legislative sessions, according to the Brennan Center for Justice.
The real “big lie” is that this level of voter suppression is based on Trump’s voter fraud allegations. For Black voters especially, voting rights is an old and familiar fight that has raged on for more than a century. After building the country through forced back breaking and debilitating labor, we’ve long been the target of such tactics. It has been interesting to watch the current white supremacy movement through this lens.
While many celebrate the cultural shift happening in our nation, it’s a different thing entirely to embrace a power shift. And that is the fight before us. Some have called the converging wars against white supremacy, racial injustice, and inequality a revolution. Respectfully, I disagree. It’s an evolution. It’s something that can’t be stopped, even if it can be slowed. And nowhere is this phenomenon clearer than at the ballot box.
Ultimately, it’s in everyone’s best interest to embrace America’s arc as it bends rapidly towards a more diverse, equitable future. Resist its pull if you will. But we all know what happens to things that don’t bend.