I totally agree with everything you wrote, and I can clearly see why Black Americans are frustrated. But this article is about how to change that, and the way to do that is by using the power you have. I’m not blaming the victims when I write that Black people vote at a lower rate than other groups. In fact, when they are motivated, they vote at a higher rate, as they showed in 2012. The fear that Black people — and other oppressed groups such as Native Americans — may use the power they have is what Republicans are most afraid of, and that is why they erect the barriers to ballot access they have.

This brings me to my primary point. I am not arguing “vote blue no matter what.” I am arguing “vote blue in large numbers, then hold the politicians’ feet to the fire.” Consider that the first piece of legislation passed by the Democratic House after the 2018 election was designed to make it easier to vote: House Resolution 1, An Act To expand Americans’ access to the ballot box. In fact, three of the seven states with the highest voter turnout in 2018 were Colorado, Oregon and Washington, all states that adopted mail in ballot programs under the leadership of Democrats. The best thing that can happen to Republicans is for People of Color and their allies to throw up their hands and decide either not to vote or to throw their vote away on a third-party candidate. The best thing that can happen to Democrats is for People of Color to turn out en masse, and then to demand action in return.

Thanks for the great comment.

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Mike is an Assistant Professor of Management for Legal and Ethical Studies at Oakland U. Mike combines his scholarship with practical experience in politics.

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