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  • Writer's pictureDonald V. Watkins

Regressive Whites Have Won the War Against the Voting Rights Act on All Fronts

By: Donald V. Watkins

February 19, 2024

IMAGE: Members of the Congressional Black Caucus, 2024.

An Editorial Opinion


From the day the Voting Rights Act was signed into law in 1965, regressive Whites across America have used every tool at their disposal to gut it.


They got a big break in 2013 when the U.S. Supreme Court, in Shelby County v. Holder, eviscerated the Voting Rights Act on the grounds that "things have changed dramatically" since the Act was passed in 1965. The Court's ruling opened the way for a wave of voter suppression laws not seen in America since Southern legislatures purged blacks from the voter rolls in the late 1800s.

White supremacy is on the rise in Republican-controlled legislatures, nationwide.  All-white appellate court systems, state government bodies, and election officials are in vogue, once again.

Republicans have gerrymandered legislative districts at the local, state, and federal government levels to ensure "white minority rule" in states where the 2020 census shows a severe decline in the white population from the 2010 census data.

Republicans have erected new barriers and resurrected old ones to suppress voter registration and election-day voting for Black and Brown Americans.  Republicans have also enacting new versions of the white supremacy "Redeemer" legislation that swept the Confederate states in the 1870s.


Rather than avoiding the "political thicket," hyperactive federal judges around the nation have joined in the fray as protectors of the revived white supremacy political agendas.


Racial discrimination against Black voters in Alabama was so bad in 2023 that the ultra-conservative, right-wing U.S. Supreme Court had to order a second Black Congressional district in Allen v. Milligan (2023).


Black Representation in Government Today is Purely Symbolic


Blacks who hold state and federal positions today have zero political and economic power.  Their official titles sound important, but their presence in the halls of power is merely symbolic.  Here are some examples:


  1. Through 44 agencies, the federal government spent $4.7 trillion in response to COVID-19.  Even though Blacks are 13.6% of the U.S. population, less than one tenth of one percent of this money went to Black-owned businesses. Additionally, the Federal Reserve funded up to $600 billion in five-year loans to support financial markets during the pandemic.   Not one dollar of the Federal Reserve’s $600 billion went to Black-owned businesses.  All totaled, Black-owned businesses received an embarrassing 0.06% or less of this $6 trillion investment in America in the three-year response to COVID-19.  Yet, no government official, Black or White or Democrat or Republican, complained about this economic disparity. All of this disparity occurred on the watch of the Congressional Black Caucus, which is famous for its annual gathering in Washington and attendant VIP parties..

  2. On September 18, 2023, the U.S. Secretaries of Education and Agriculture notified 16 governors of a $12 billion disparity in funding between 16 Historically Black Land-Grant Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and their non-HBCU land-grant peers in their states. Out of fear, complacency, and/or incompetency, none of these 16 HBCUs pursued legal action or market-driven strategies to collect the $12 billion owed to these HBCUs.   What is worse, no Black elected or appointed officials in the states where these HBCUs are located advocated for the payment of this money to the affected HBCUs.

  3. Today, Black officials in local and state governments spend nearly all of their time trying to fund special projects for White developers and failed White business owners using taxpayer dollars derived from their financially distressed political constituents.  None of these officials have a publicly articulated Black economic empowerment agenda.

  4. Black officials in state and local government “prostitute” themselves, without political condoms, for White special interest groups on a routine basis, while NEVER fighting for anything of comparable value for their political constituents.  At this juncture, these officials suffer from the political equivalent of sexually transmitted venereal diseases. 

  5. Black elected and appointed officials across the nation are silent about the things that matter to their constituents, especially when it comes to skyrocketing violent crime in their districts and a complete failure to invest money in Black communities. 


Blacks are in a Permanent State of Political and Economic Impotency


The lack of a political and economic empowerment agenda by Black elected and appointed officials has exposed Blacks to a triple-whammy of bad outcomes. 


First, the Voting Rights Act has been gutted.  It was the only political tool Blacks have ever had. 

Second, Blacks serving in elected and appointed positions have been thoroughly neutered and rendered completely useless.  Many of them don’t even pretend to represent their Black constituents.

Third, Black officials have been silenced on the things that matter to their political constituents -- public safety, quality education, economic empowerment, adequate healthcare, safe and secure child care, affordable housing, etc.


Because they are all “whored out” to White special interest groups, Black elected and appointed officials will not or cannot fight for the political interest of Black voters.  Too often, these officials spend their time on their knees administering political fellatio to White special interest groups or taking orders from them.


The most that we can expect from today’s Black elected and appointed officials is that they will gather among themselves, from time-to-time, to engage in “feel good” acts of mutual political masturbation where they hand out awards and plaques to each other for doing absolutely nothing.

Personally, I do not participate in these mutual political masturbation exercises.


Instead of solving skyrocketing violent crime in Black communities, these officials simply opted to get security details for themselves.  




I don’t even bother to learn the names of today’s Black elected or appointed officials. If they had ever stood for anything that was politically or economically beneficial to the Black community, all of us would already know their names.


With respect to the battle for voting rights in America, it is over.  Except for one district attorney in New York, one Black Attorney General in New York, and one district attorney in Atlanta, there are no Black elected or appointed officials who have real political "juice" in America. 

Regressive Whites have WON the voter suppression battles. They also "own" most Black elected and appointed officials.


For the first time in this nation's history, Black in Americans are completely alone and unprotected in a sea of political hostility that targets them.


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