Thanks to everyone who participated in the the No Room 4 Racism campaign so far this month. We had a great response. Now over 50 organizations and individuals have signed up to be part of the campaign. If you haven’t signed up yet please do by clicking here.
Check out our Facebook page Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) for all the pictures and messages people posted about what they think about stopping the school to prison pipeline and equity in education. Follow us on twitter using the hashtag #noroomforracism or at @showup4rj for the messages that people sent about the campaign.
Since the issues we think are important aren’t being covered the way we want this election season by the candidates and by the media, we are making sure to foreground racial justice in our communities.
Join us! Take action for racial justice with this weeks toolkit focused on Voter Suppression.
Issue at hand
Voter suppression has been a problem since the beginning of voting in the United States. Originally, only free, European, White men were allowed to vote. After the ending of legal enslavement of Black people in the United States, there were still many many barriers to allowing African Americans the vote, including poll taxes, tests, threats, intimidation, and in the most intense cases, murder and genocide.
Unfortunately, the right wing in the U.S. has created a false enemy of voter fraud. They have whipped the media and many state legislatures into a frenzy of believing that there is an epidemic of people attempting to vote who aren’t registered or legally allowed to vote. According to the Brennan Center for Justice, voter fraud is less likely to occur then being struck by lightening or winning the lottery.
This fabricated “problem” has been used over the past year to pass a myriad of laws suppressing the voting routes of People of Color, low-income people and other disenfranchised communities. To see a map of the voter suppression laws passed across the country, click here.
What we can do
As White people showing up for racial justice, join us in standing against the intimidation and harassment of People of Color in the lead up to the elections and at the polls.
Below are action items that come in various shapes and sizes designed for your lifestyles. Pick an action or two or more that make sense to you to do in this final lead-up to the election.
2 MINUTE ACTION: In just one click you can spread the word
Send a tweet:
- Everyone deserves a vote. Stand up against voter suppression. #noroomforracism #votersuppression
- Tell @TheJusticeDept to investigate destroyed ballots in VA. http://www.signon.org/sign/protect-the-right-to-5 #noroomforracism #votersuppression
- I thought we got rid of the poll tax. Stand up against intimidation at the polls and everywhere. #noroomforracism #votersuppression
Take action and post on Facebook:
- Think people who register to vote should get to do it? Take action against the slimy actions of conservative operatives in VA to destroy thousands of ballots. Demand the Department of Justice investigate: http://www.signon.org/sign/protect-the-right-to-5.
- Check out the Voting Rights Watch 2012 partnership at the Nation and Colorlines. Great investigative reports and community journalists Share your favorites and stay up to date at http://colorlines.com/brentin-mock/ and http://www.thenation.com/blogs/voting-rights-watch-2012.
5 MINUTE ACTION: Stay informed and Donate
- Sign up for email lists, and donate to organizations leading the fight to protect voters rights
- See voter ID laws in different states
- Follow the latest in voter suppression news and actions
- Follow Melissa Harris-Perrys’ weekly reports on Voter Suppression
30 MINUTE ACTION: Write a message and snap a photo
Protest Portrait: Share one of these images on our Facebook page and write a message about what you want to add to the election discussion.
You can also take a picture of yourself with a statement about your feelings on voter suppression.
- I thought we got rid of the poll tax. I am standing up against intimidation this Election Day. #noroomforracism #votersuppression
- Everyone deserves a vote. I stand up against voter suppression. #noroomforracism #votersuppression
- Voter fraud is less likely to occur than being struck by lightning or winning the Lottery. #noroomforracism #votersuppression
This is a great activity to do at the end of a meeting or when you are with your family or friends. Post your photo on Facebook and ask others to join you!
1 HOUR ACTION: Write to your local paper
Letter to the Editor: Write a Letter to the Editor (LTE) about why voter suppression is an important issue for you, how it impacts your community and how you want to see it addressed by the next president. Send it to your friends, family, organizations, and to the local papers. Post it on our Facebook page.
Here are some key ideas to include:
- According to the Brennan Center for Justice, voter fraud is less likely to occur than being struck by lightening or winning the Lottery.
- We should be making it easier not more difficult for people to vote.
- These efforts to suppress voting by low-income people of color are an effort to disenfranchise the masses from one of our most basic democratic duties.
1 HOUR + ACTION: Take Election Day off
Protect the vote in your area on Tuesday, November 6th.
Make it a priority on Election Day to make sure all people get the right to vote. Request Election Day off from your job so you can volunteer or do some Get out the Vote (GOTV) to help turn out voters, particualrly disenfranchised voters.
The Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law is recruting volunteers across the country to monitor election sites and help protect the rights particularly of frequently disenfrancished voters. To volunteer click here. Or find a local organization doing electoral work and volunteer.