today in black history

August 03, 2020

The U.S. Senate overrode President Ronald Reagan’s veto of legislation imposing economic sanctions against South Africa in 1986.

Joe Manchin: The New Dixiecrat

POSTED: June 07, 2021, 3:00 pm

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Democrat West Virginia United States Senator Joe Manchin has declared his opposition to his party’s efforts to protect voting rights. As Republicans unleash a coordinated campaign to suppress the votes of Black and Latino voters by imposing unjustifiable restrictions on access to the ballot, Manchin is embracing his inner Jim Crow by aiding and abetting the GOP’s mischief. The senator claims concern that the Democrat’s efforts will divide the nation despite the manner in which Trump Republicans have already splintered the American public. Manchin is the anti-democrat Democrat who the party needs to show the door.

Joe Manchin’s opposition to protecting the vote, and his obvious lack of concern for the rights and humanity of Black and brown people, is an unforgivable sin for which he must pay a penalty. Democrats need to affirmatively declare their support of voting rights or be stripped of their privileges in the Democratic Caucus, including committee assignments on the Hill. Manchin serves no reasonable purpose to the Democrats in the pursuit of a humane policy agenda and the time has come to stop entertaining his thinly veiled racism. He understands the leverage he has these days due to the slim Democratic majority in the Senate, but he chooses to wield that power to feign concern over bipartisanship. There is no bipartisanship in American politics. There is one party, the Democrats, imperfect, but attempting to advance an agenda that addresses the needs of a wide swath of the public. There is another party, Republicans, deeply flawed and now openly racist, that subscribes to White supremacist viewpoints and works at a feverish pitch to recycle disproven theories for the purpose of oppressing Black and brown people. Manchin understands this and has decided to cast his lot with evil.

If no one else, Black Americans need to understand this moment having survived four years of the Trump regime. A Democratic senator representing a state of with a long history of discrimination, has stated unequivocally that he has little concern that Republicans are making voting difficult, attacking measures meant to increase Black voter participation, using public office to intimidate Black voters, and aligning the party with violent militias and white supremacist groups. None of this concerns Manchin but the idea that a strong stand for voting rights will ‘divide’ the nation troubles the senator.

Senator Manchin is living a Robert Byrd fantasy. He wants to represent himself as a New Democrat from the New South when he is simply a modern day Dixiecrat; not the cross burning type but more the ‘respectable’ suited member of the White Citizens Council. As Democrats continue to coddle Manchin, they simply give him more power to derail the administration’s agenda. They need to give Manchin a lump of West Virginia coal and tell him to take a long hike through the Blueridge Mountains. Yes, they will lose the Senate majority but what type of majority do Democrats have with a traitor within their ranks. Yes, and I do mean traitor. It is one thing to be conscientious and desire a more cooperative relationship between the political parties. It is quite another to sabotage your party on an issue as fundamental to democracy as the right to vote.

“As Republicans unleash a coordinated campaign to suppress the votes of Black and Latino voters by imposing unjustifiable restrictions on access to the ballot, Manchin is embracing his inner Jim Crow by aiding and abetting the GOP’s mischief”

Manchin needs to be called out for the hypocrite that he is. He is playing games with the lives of Black people and we have too much at stake to entertain his betrayal during one of the most dangerous periods for Black life since Reconstruction. We are on the cusp of a Civil War and there are elements in this country intent on eliminating Black and brown people. As the United States draws closer to an apartheid state, Manchin positions himself as the reasonable White man only concerned about preserving the Union. It seems we once ventured down that path and it resulted in a bloodbath for Black people.

Joe Manchin deserves the scorn of Black Democrats across the country and every effort must be made to remove him from public office. Somewhere in the state of West Virginia there has to be a Democrat whose mind is not poisoned by the past and who sees that a new majority is rising in America that has no tolerance for White supremacy.


Walter Fields is Executive Editor of NorthStarNews.com.

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