Leedonal Moore published November 2022 Global Black Caucus Newsletter in News 2022-11-30 02:27:00 -0500
Message from the Chair
In the spirit of the Truthsgiving, we are incredibly grateful for YOU!
In past emails, I shared that the 2022 election results (not just 2024) would determine whether our democracy would survive. I shared that “winning” meant expanding our Senate seats, holding the House and winning key state races (i.e., Govs in MI, WI, PA and key officials who oversee elections). Because of YOUR help and investment of your time, your money and your network in our democracy over the past few years – we delivered BIGTIME (latest scorecard below).
While our Democracy survived for another day, the storm clouds are still swirling darkly overhead and we have a lot we can learn from this election and much more to do to continue our winning momentum.
Love and Light
Leedonal (Jazz) Moore
• Democrats Abroad Global Black Caucus
• Democrats Abroad Interim Int. Secretary
• DPCA Voting Rep. DACH
Dear Brothers and Sisters, Allies and Volunteers, Family and Friends, Democrats Abroad...
I want to wish you a Happy Giving Thanks Day and reassure you that we do have cause to be thankful.
We as Black Americans understand clearly the myths that were perpetrated about the first Thanksgiving. Still, we celebrate this day as a day to recall our successes during the year, offer gratitude and spend time with friends and family.
I am very thankful for the warm embrace and support given by the GBC Membership and beyond. I am very thankful to all of the great work which is accomplished every single day by our talented and committed volunteers and I am very grateful to have such an amazing Global Black Caucus Steering Committee, which is spread across the whole world and which brings an infinite resource of knowledge and experience to the table, believing in our GBC-Mission to Build and Strengthen our Community & Inspire African-Americans to cast their fundamental Right To Vote.
THANK YOU! 💙🙏🏾👍🏾
Although November has presented us with some difficult days, the last couple of days have given us some hope for the future of justice in America and expands our faith that more people will realize that Black Lives Matter!
Leedonal 'Jazz' Moore
Democrats Abroad Global Black Caucus Chair
#GivingThanks #GlobalBlackCaucus #DemocratsAbroad #ThankYou #BlackLivesMatter #Thanksgiving
Leedonal Moore published October 2022 Global Black Caucus Newsletter in News 2022-10-31 05:34:31 -0400
Message from the Chair
This is the final countdown. We need you to VOTE as if your life depends on it - because it does! Some key things to keep in mind:
- If your friends don’t vote, they’re not really friends.
- Don’t wring your hands – ring some doorbells or phones!
- To all those with “fingers crossed”: no offense, but that won’t help – especially since you can’t knock on doors, text, or phone bank with crossed fingers!
This message is about channeling your energy (and helping you help others in your orbit do so) in these final days. There’s a TON we can do to make a difference in this election and we’ll only win if EVERYONE gets involved.
SO – a few things for you to consume to get fired up and then take action:
- Read this closing argument op-ed from President Biden which articulates what’s at stake really well.
- Go Coach Mike Holmgren! Listen to his endorsement and support of Mandela Barnes!
- Check out this hilarious and poignant Amy Schumer’s Twitter response to Mehmet Oz’s absurd pointthat the decision for an abortion should include local elected officials.
- And, really importantly, read Dan Pfeiffer’s latest Medium post telling you to “get off the pollercoaster”. It’s absolutely spot on regarding the fact that polls don’t vote, people do; that we really don’t know what’s going to happen, AND that, by volunteering and getting involved, we can win this election!
Your actions in these final days will have a profound impact on both of these dates:
- November 9, 2022 – the day after the election. You want to be able to wake up that day and know you did everything in your power to save our democracy!
- January 3, 2023 – the day the next Congress will be sworn in. You have a choice: it can either be a glorious day with elected officials who will protect our freedoms and human rights getting sworn in OR, it can be a non-violent coup filled with election deniers and those who don’t believe in the rule of law.
If you need any help with voter assistance, feel free to contact your local chapter’s leadership. You can also attend Democrats Abroad Global Voter Help Desk on Zoom (https://qrco.de/bbh0zg)
Last but not least, let us know if you voted by pressing the button...
Polls don’t vote, people do – and my money is on the people! Please VOTE!
Love and Light
Leedonal (Jazz) Moore
• Democrats Abroad Global Black Caucus
• Democrats Abroad Interim Int. Secretary
• DPCA Voting Rep. DACH
I VOTED FROM ABROAD! Have YOU?
CONFIRM that your voted ballot arrived at your local election office and will be counted.
You can find the link to track your ballot in your state at www.votefromabroad.org/states. www.votefromabroad.org
If you have any questions about voting, write to us at [email protected]
SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT VOTING to family, friends, and co-workers who are U.S. or dual citizens. Let them know that you voted and that they should, too. Here’s a sample message:
"Hey [Name], hope you're well! I just voted and wanted to make sure that you also received and returned your ballot for the Nov 8 elections. Here to help if you have questions."
❖ Stateside voters can check and update their voter registration at www.iwillvote.com.
❖ U.S. and dual citizens living abroad can use www.votefromabroad.org to register to vote, request a ballot, and get voter help.
❖ WRITE YOUR ALMA MATER to make sure students studying abroad this fall have all the information they need to vote. More details and templates here: http://www.democratsabroad.org/almamater.
THANK YOU FOR VOTING! 💙
🏳️🌈 National Coming Out Day 🏳️🌈
LGBTIQ+ Rights Are ON THE BALLOT ☞ VOTE! This is a FAMILY too! 🏳️🌈
October 11 is National Coming Out Day.
This is a time for us to raise awareness about what it means to come out–even with the significant policy gains in recent years, lived equality remains elusive for many LGBTIQ+ people.
While many LGBTIQ+ people of color are finding more acceptance from family and community; living at the intersections of multiple marginalized identities creates unique barriers to access. As LGBTIQ+ people of color, we face additional hurdles that keep us from being able to come out and be safe and authentic in our everyday lives.
As Beryl “BJ” Jones, an older Black lesbian puts it, “I’m African American. I’m gay, and I live in a highly Caucasian community, and I must be able to operate, or at least function in all of those”. Often finding support, resources, and acceptance in LGBTIQ+organizations or organizations in communities of color can be extremely challenging to navigate.
For so many reasons, this day is loaded with complicated emotions. On one end of the spectrum, coming out is often an acceptance of self, a declaration of freedom, and an unapologetic statement that you are who you are, and proud of it.
On the other end, for lots of Black queer and TGNCI folks, coming out is terrifying. Depending on your situation, being out just isn't safe. So many of us are in living environments that are not supportive and affect our mental health. In many parts of the country and abroad, being outed, or coming out is a catalyst for violence and can cost you your life. This year alone we've lost almost 40 of our Black trans sisters to senseless violence.
Today we honor those who can’t come out, or choose not to. Folks who are protecting themselves at all costs, and finding joy no matter what. We see you.
So, come out today, or never, or whenever you are ready. But remember, you are never alone.
#DemsAbroad #GlobalBlackCaucus #VoteFromAbroad #BlackVotesMatter #BlackLivesMatter #BlackTransLivesMatter #Vote #BlueWave #NationalComingOutDay #NotAlone #LGBTIQPeopleOfColor #Pride #TogetherWeStand #ComingOut
Do you remember that old saying from grade school, “In 1492 Columbus sailed…” Turns out ole’ Chris never set one foot around these parts!
Some of our community may be interested in connecting the dots between Indigenous Peoples Day and why Columbus Day is no longer legit.
I know we as Black folx are constantly dealing with the impacts of living in a world where our very skin is a weapon. Yet, once we realize the expansion of the African Diaspora we can see that Black people exist almost everywhere and in most communities.
Indigenous Peoples Day allows our community to honor and celebrate Indigenous Peoples' legacy. It also allows us to mourn beside those still actively suffering from settler colonialism. While we simultaneously acknowledge how we all benefit from the material violence Indigenous people experience daily.
Hopefully, these resources can springboard our community into solidarity and action!
Get Out The Vote ToolKit
The Global Black Caucus is working hard to reach out to Americans around the world and has assembled this “Get out the Vote” toolkit with ideas on how each and every one of our members can help spread the word!
We stand on the shoulders of generations of Black Indigenous People Of Color, who marched, fought, and died for our rights. We will not let them down!
SIMPLE AND EASY THINGS YOU CAN DO BY YOURSELF OR IN A GROUP TO HELP INCREASE VOTER TURNOUT…
Click Image below for Get Out The Vote Toolkit:
#GetOutTheVote #Toolkit #DemsAbroad #GOTVToolKit #GlobalBlackCaucus #BlackLivesMatter #BlackVotesMatter #MidtermsMatter #Vote
Leedonal Moore published Take Action to Help People with Disabilities Register & Vote in News 2022-09-18 07:32:53 -0400
Take Action to Help People with Disabilities Register & Vote
The CDC reports that 1 in 4 adult Americans (26% or 61 million) live with a disability.
Of all adults in the U.S. with disabilities:
- 1 in 7 have serious difficulty walking or climbing stairs
- 1 in 9 with concentrating, remembering, and making decisions
- 1 in 15 live alone, without help
- 1 in 17 are hearing impaired
- 1 in 22 are visually impaired and
- 1 in 27 have serious difficulty with tasks like getting dressed or collecting mail
According to American Community Survey data, 14 percent of Black Americans have a disability, compared with 12.6 percent of the overall population. 36 percent of disabled Black Americans live in poverty, compared with 26 percent of all disabled Americans. Disabled Black people often have to battle harder to get correct diagnoses and services. This is especially true for “invisible disabilities” such as autism, which educators are more likely to dismiss as behavioral issues in Black children than in white ones.
Black people with disabilities are especially likely to have issues with police officers, who can misinterpret their behavior—such as a deaf person who keeps walking when told to stop—as a threat. When law enforcement assumes a Black person’s failure to comply is because of aggression rather than a disability, the consequences can be deadly.
Please help Democrats Abroad & the Global Disability Caucus help U.S. citizens abroad and in your voting state exercise their right to vote.
Is your #PollingPlace fully #ADA #Compliant?
👉 GAO reports only 17% of polling places were in 2016. American elections *are not* accessible 👈
👉 Contact your Local Election Official and remind them to break down the barriers preventing #DisabledVoting
#Invisible disabilities significantly impair normal daily life for millions of #Americans.
Getting to the #Polls on #ElectionDay may not be possible.
👉 Support #Absentee #Voting so #AllOfUs have a seat at the table! Voters with #Disabilities have the right to vote with assistance.
👉 Bring someone along, such as a friend, family member, caregiver, or assisted living provider, to the #Polls. Learn more at the ADA.gov website, or via AAPD’s Rev Up campaign. Tinyurl.com/voteADA22
👉 Are you abled? Become a Disabled Voter Champion and offer to help those in your neighborhood and community today.
#Voting is riddled with barriers.
Signature match requirements are a barrier to those who cannot sign/consistently sign their name.
Know where to find a notary? Some states require ballot envelopes to be notarized or signed by a #Witness. If you live alone, this is a significant hurdle, especially when voting #Absentee is a necessity.
Domestic voter info: www.votee411.org
Voting from abroad info: www.votefromabroad.org
#BarriersWeFace #EqualOpportunity #CripTheVote #DVRW #MyDisabledLifeIsWorthy #DisabilityVote #Access #WhenWeAllVote #IWillVote #VoteFromAbroad #DisabledVeteran #Accessibility #DisabledLife #DisabledBodiesMatter #SeatAtTheTable #Inclusion #DisabledAndProud #MidtermsMatter #BlackVotesMatter #BlackDisabledBodiesMatter
On this day, 21 years ago, 246 people went to bed the night before in preparation for their flights.
A time to remember those who died, those who served, and those who carry on.
The lives lost on 9/11/2001 ❤️ may they Rest In Peace and our thoughts and prayers go out to all their friends and family today. Lost but never forgotten!
🙏🏾 2,606 went to sleep that night in preparation for their work.
🙏🏾 344 firefighters went to sleep the night before in preparation for their morning shift.
🙏🏾 60 police officers went to sleep the night before in preparation for their morning patrol.
🙏🏾 8 paramedics went to sleep in preparation on the night before for the morning shift of saving lives.
🙏🏾 None of them saw past 10 am on September 11th, 2001.
In one single moment life may never be the same.
As you live and enjoy the breaths you take today and tonight before you go to sleep in preparation for your life tomorrow. Kiss the ones you love, snuggle a little tighter and never take one second of your life for granted.
Wow, we couldn't be prouder of our very own Adrianne George visiting the White House with her family and posing in front of the newly displayed portraits of former President Mr. Obama & former First Lady Mrs. Obama.
The official White House portraits of Barack and Michelle Obama were unveiled on Thursday after being blocked by Donald Trump for four years....
"When future generations walk these halls and look up at these portraits, I hope they get a better honest sense of who Michelle and I were. And I hope they leave with a deeper understanding that if we could make it here, maybe they can, too. They can do remarkable things, too," - Barack Obama
"If the two of us can end up on the walls of the most famous address in the world, then again it is so important for every young kid who is doubting themselves to believe that they can, too. That is what this country is about," - Michelle Obama
Adrianne is currently attending the DNC Summer Meeting representing Democrats Abroad & Democrats Abroad Global Black Caucus. Thank You, Adrianne, Candice, Art, Martha, Ken, Joseph, and Katie! 💙
#DemsAbroad #Representation #DNC #SummerSession #GlobalBlackCaucus #BlackVotesMatter #MidtermsMatter #RepresentationMatters #WhiteHouse #Obama #VoteFromAbroad
👏🏾 Congratulations MaryPeltola 👏🏾
Sarah Palin has lost a special congressional election in Alaska, in a district that was Republican-held for nearly five decades.
The winner, Democrat Mary Peltola, will be the first Alaskan Native to serve as a lawmaker in Congress for the state.
The race was to fill a vacancy left after the former officeholder died.
The seat is up for grabs again in November 2022.
Ms. Peltola was declared the winner on Wednesday by three percentage points in a state that ex-President Donald Trump took by 10 points in 2020.
The former state lawmaker advocated for abortion access, climate action, and the state's salmon populations.
Mary Peltola, who is Yup'ik and grew up in a rural part of Alaska, will also become the first woman to hold the seat.
#Alaska #MaryPeltola #Yupik #AbortionRights #ClimateChange #Salmon #DemsAbroad #GlobalBlackCaucus #BIPOC #RepresentationMatters #BlackVotesMatter #BlackLiversMatter #MidtermsMatter
Leedonal Moore published August 31 - International Day For People of African Descent in News 2022-08-31 05:11:02 -0400
August 31 - International Day For People of African Descent
∙ It is only by facing the painful truth of our past, and not shrinking from our current responsibilities to address systemic racism, that we will forge a better future. ∙
More than 200 million people in the Americas alone identify as being of African descent.
The United States joins others around the world in commemorating the International Day for People of African Descent.
This day was created to promote the extraordinary contributions of Africans and members of the African diaspora around the world and is an opportunity to focus on eliminating all forms of discrimination against people of African descent.
The United States continues to support the International Decade for People of African Descent through shared goals of recognition, justice, and development. Millions more are located worldwide outside the African continent. Whether as descendants of the victims of the transatlantic slave trade or as more recent migrants, they are among some of the poorest and most marginalized groups. Nonetheless, people of African descent are holders of great multicultural richness, and resilience and provide substantive contributions to every field of human endeavor, including health.
Last year, the United Nations marked the first-ever International Day for People of African Descent on 31 August 2021.
∙International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024)∙
The International Decade aims to celebrate the important contributions of people of African descent worldwide, advance social justice and inclusion policies, eradicate racism and intolerance, promote human rights, and assist in creating better, more prosperous communities, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals spearheaded by the United Nations.
#InternationalDayForPeopleOfAfricanDescent #BIPOC #DemsAbroad #GlobalBlackCaucus #MidtermsMatter #BlackLivesMatter #BlackVotesMatter #RepresentationMatters
Leedonal Moore published August 2022 Global Black Caucus Newsletter in News 2022-08-30 04:37:44 -0400❖
Message from the Chair
This past month, our nation made incredible strides forward to fight climate change, make our economy more equitable, compete globally, support our veterans and more. These successes fulfil promises made during the 2020 election by Democrats running for office at all levels. As inflation stabilizes and gas prices drop, we are also seeing that Biden’s thoughtful and effective leadership is helping successfully steer economy through some really turbulent waters.
Know that NONE of that would be the case were it not for YOU! You and millions of others contributed your time, your money and your network to the 2020 elections. And it worked! Your investments helped turn out a record number of voters in November 2020 as well as in January 2021 in Georgia for the final two Senate slots that were open. Because of your efforts, we now hold the White House and both chambers of Congress!
We know what works and we need to turn up the dial now for THIS NOVEMBER and beyond. Democracy, human rights, climate and so much more are on the ballot and we need you to engage your resources as much as you humanly can so that we can carry this momentum through November and far into the future!
I’ve shared before and I’ll share again that I’m bullish on holding and expanding our Senate position by two (the Senate +2 strategy) and on holding the House.
The Inflation Reduction Act propels us forward substantially in the fight against climate change. And yet – it still leaves a lot of room for improvement. I found this blog post from the head of Climate Solutions, Gregg Small, to be really helpful, informative and influential in terms of how to think about what it does and doesn’t do. I was heartened by his pragmatic analysis about this legislation. By expanding our position in the Senate and holding the House, we will be able to build on the foundation that this legislation provides. If we don’t – then further progress will likely stop and we’ll, instead, be bombarded with Republican hearings and witch hunts.
Additional useful information on the Inflation Reduction Act:
The three things everyone should know about this Act – this op-ed by President Biden highlights that this legislation:
- “Lowers costs for working families” (especially by allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices)
- “Takes the most aggressive action ever in confronting the climate crisis”
- “Provides tax credits that will create thousands of good-paying clean energy manufacturing jobs”
- The fact that only Dems voted for it really highlights who cares to help Americans vs. special interests
- State by state Fact sheets share how each state will benefit
In addition to the Inflation Reduction Act, there has been an extraordinary cascade of excellent action over the past month. It may feel like these are all of a sudden happening, but that’s not the case. Elements of these have been in the works since Biden started in 2021. Plus, many of these wouldn’t have happened if Trump won (ie – Trump didn’t actually support NATO).
- Finland & Sweden Accession to NATO
- Passage of the CHIPS ACT to build up the domestic semi-conductor industry (check out this Fact Sheet!)
- Passage of the PACT act to address the burn pits’ impact on service members (here’s the Fact Sheet)
- Killing of senior al Qaeda official, Ayman al-Zawahiri (here are the President’s remarks)
- Stabilization of inflation
- Reduction of gas costs
- And, of course, this is all on top of the monumental American Rescue Plan and the Infrastructure Act!
Keeping the momentum going:
- Just after the summer break, the Senate will move on passage of the Marriage Equality Bill that already passed the House. Sen. Tammy Baldwin is tasked with finding the 10 Republican votes so it can overcome a filibuster. Here’s background on what’s already passed (with 47 Rs signing on in the House!)
- Protecting bodily autonomy: Kansas showed what people really want when Kansans fought and defeated a proposed legislative amendment which would have enabled the banning of abortion in Kansas. This article does a great job enumerating what happened and how it drove huge turnout. And this article talks about the excellent work happening in Michigan, Vermont and California to allow voters to enshrine a woman’s right to choose this coming November.
We have great Democratic candidates, let’s make sure they get your vote in November:
- Marie Perez:
Here’s her main site and her intro video. People are very moved by sitting down with her and deeply relate to the kitchen table issues that affect most voters – especially in rural areas. She is going head-to-head with White nationalist and far-right extremist Joe Kent who beat the current Republican incumbent, Congresswoman Jamie Herrera Beutler. LINK. Kent is the most extreme candidate ever nominated to run for public office in Washington State’s history. Kent routinely uses violent rhetoric and promotes hatred and division. He spreads conspiracy theories and lies, including his repeated claims that the 2020 election was stolen. He is more interested in catering to the White Nationalist fringe of America than actually representing working people. Historically, Democrats write off the WA-3 district as a safely red seat. – But not this year. – The majority of voters in Marie’s district are not extremists like Joe Kent. Marie can win this race if she has your support. Given Kent’s troubling track record, we have our real chance to flip this seat blue, and show that Americans are tired of extreme political agendas.
- Mandela Barnes:
The now Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate in Wisconsin, he is running against insurrectionist GOP Senator Ron Johnson. Mandela’s mother was a Milwaukee school teacher, and his father worked the 3rd shift at a GM factory; he was a community organizer; a Wisconsin State Representative at 27; and at 31, Mandela became Wisconsin’s first Black Lt. Governor. The latest public polling shows Mandela up 7% over Ron Johnson and crucially leading with independent voters. However, because Mandela had to compete in a competitive primary, Ron Johnson began the General election with a massive funding advantage. Over the next several weeks and months, Johnson and Mitch McConnell will launch an all-out attack on Mandela because they know Mandela can win this race. WI and PA are our best chances to pick up Senate seats this year, but to do so, Mandela needs our help.
- Raphael Warnock:
The current Senator is ahead of Herschel Walker by only 4% - an incredibly close race. We can take nothing for granted here!
Love and Light
Leedonal (Jazz) Moore
- Democrats Abroad Global Black Caucus
- Democrats Abroad Interim Int. Secretary
- The three things everyone should know about this Act – this op-ed by President Biden highlights that this legislation:
OPEN SES-A-MESesame StreetOpen your mindOpen your heartOpen your eyesSee childrenOnly childrenSesame StreetCheck your historyCheck your futureCheck your staffBefore it is goneAll goneSesame StreetSay no to discriminationSay no to degradationSay no to self-imposed limitationSee what should beWhat could beSesame StreetOpen your deep pocketsPay for the DamageThat has no PriceOur childrenOur future
- by Malaika Kusumi
Copyrights @ All rights reserved
Quo Vadis, America?
Voting Rights in the United States, past, present, future
- C.Pung, August 2, 2022
“The vote is precious. It is the most powerful non-violent tool we have in a democratic society, and we must use it. ” - John Lewis, late civil rights activist and member of the US House of Representatives for Georgia
The United States is a relatively young democracy that technically provides its citizens with broad access to the ballot box. The rules for voting in federal, state, and local elections in the U.S. today are relatively straightforward: one must be a citizen of the U.S.(in some areas non-citizens are allowed to vote in local elections only), be 18 years old on or before Election Day and must meet your state’s residency requirements. These requirements seem relatively straightforward and progressive in spirit; however, a closer look at the history of voting rights in the United States, and in specific, its history regarding its Black citizens and the right to vote, reveals a deeply checkered and tortuous path towards suffrage.
Historically, voting rights came into effect with the initial ratification of the Constitution by nine of the13 states, with Delaware having been the first to ratify the Constitution on December 7, 1787, and New Hampshire providing the ninth and final vote for ratification. The first federal elections took place from December 1788 to January 1789. All 13 states eventually ratified the Constitution by 1790. In 1790 there were almost 700.000 enslaved people of African descent in the United States, none of which were considered part of the body politic.
The Constitution is the foundational document of our American democracy, but the formation of this document was itself highly contentious. The Federalists, led by John Adams, wanted a strong central government, while Patrick Henry and the Anti-Federalists demanded a Constitution which would ensure specific rights for each individual state. Hence, a compromise was struck and the Bill of Rights was included in the Constitution. Under this agreement, states were allowed to establish their own voting laws, rules and regulations. They chose to grant the right to vote to white male property owners only. In 18th century America, this group of men made up only 6 percent of the total population. However, as the century proceeded and territories expanded west, enfranchisement also expanded. In the 1800s most states gave white male protestant property owners, 21 years of age and older the right to vote. By the 1830s most states had removed property and religion requirements.
The 19th century saw America undergo seismic events which reimagined and redefined voting rights and the body politic at large. The Civil War (1861-1865) resulted in the manumission of America’s enslaved population, and the ratification of the 14th Amendment in 1868 procured citizenship for all people born or naturalized in the United States. Now, all former slaves were citizens, but unlike their white male counterparts, black men - though citizens- still could not vote.
The 15th Amendment was ratified on February 3, 1870; the core objective of which was to ensure all Black American male citizens were given the right to vote and to prohibit states from infringing upon, limiting, or denying this right. The Amendment read:
“The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied by any State on account of race, color or previous condition of servitude.”
For black men, the 15th Amendment to the Constitution meant access to the ballot was in fact legally protected by the federal government. The cumulative effect of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments resulted in hundreds of Black lawmakers being elected to hold office on the local, state, and national levels. Hiram Revels, from the state of Mississippi, became the first Black man to win a senatorial election and be seated in Congress. This period of prolific political representation by black citizens was known as the Reconstruction Era, and it lasted from about 1865 to 1877. During this period a total of 16 African American men served in the US Congress, more than 600 were elected to state governments and hundreds held local positions. Reconstruction provided us with a glimpse of the great potential and possibilities inherent within a fair and just American democracy. Sadly, this era was short-lived. In less than a decade from its inception, the political gains made during the Reconstruction era were rolled back, and the legal groundwork for a future disenfranchisement of the Black vote and voter was deliberately and systematically laid.
Beginning with the Supreme Court decision in the Slaughterhouse Cases of 1873, the scope of Reconstruction laws geared towards empowering black voters was severely restricted. In the United States v. Reese, the Court did irreparable damage to Black suffrage when it interpreted the Fifteenth Amendment as not actually conferring the right to vote on any individual, but rather simply forbidding states to engage in preferential treatment of any one individual. This reading of the Amendment identified the origin of the right to vote as deriving from the states, rather than from the federal government. This gave states free reign in determining how voters qualified, and under what circumstances voting would occur. Ten years later, the Court’s decision in United States v Harris in 1883, found the Klu Klux Klan Act of 1871 to be unconstitutional. It argued that in most cases the federal government could not penalize individuals for assault and murder. Accordingly, the Court argued that this punitive role belonged to the states. This decision had a deeply chilling effect not only on any further expansion of African American voting rights but on African American lives and survival in the United States. The Court’s position inadvertently or deliberately, provided white terrorist organizations, such as the Klan, with an avenue from which they could threaten, attack, and even kill Black voters seeking to exercise their right to cast a ballot with virtual impunity.
Finally, the disputed presidential contest between Rutherford B Hayes (Republican) and Samuel Tilden (Democrat) led to a resolution that effectively eliminated all political advancements made by Black American citizens during the preceding decade, and it all but obliterated the black vote. The presidential ballot returns from South Carolina, Louisiana, and Florida (the last three states under Republican control) were under dispute. The Republicans and the Democrats reached a compromise: Hayes and the Republicans agreed to Democratic control of the remaining Southern states, and in exchange, the Southern Democrats would not block the certification of Hayes’ election in Congress. (In some ways, this ploy sounds unsettlingly familiar to recent events surrounding our last presidential election and attempts made to alter or tamper electoral results.) Hayes became president, the federal troops withdrew from the South, and black men, women, and children were left to confront the perilous terrain of exercising voting rights in the New South - without any federal support. For the next hundred-plus years, African Americans found themselves in an ongoing, costly fight for suffrage.
Almost immediately after the Hayes election, Southern states passed a series of laws to restrict, or completely rescind Black voting rights. Known collectively as the Jim Crow Laws, Georgia’s 1877 Poll Tax required people to pay a tax in order to be eligible to register to vote. To compound the financial duress this placed on voters, all past poll taxes had to be paid off before eligibility could be met. Needless to say, the majority of the recently emancipated Black population simply did not possess the means to pay the tax. Literacy tests further restricted exercising the right to vote. The structure and questions on these tests were deliberately confusing. If one question was answered incorrectly, the applicant was immediately disqualified. During this time, much of the population was illiterate, yet illiterate white men were often given a pass while educated and literate black men were told they had failed the test. The Grandfather Clause of the late 19th and early 20th centuries was yet another tactic used to deny suffrage to the black voter. Enacted by a number of states, these clauses held that if a person’s father or grandfather had voted, or if the person was a descendant of a Confederate or a U.S veteran, they were then deemed eligible to vote. Clearly, the recently freed African American could make no such claim. The end of Reconstruction saw the systematic disenfranchisement of Black voters through multiple de jure and de facto means. In the decade between 1920 and 1930, of the 370,000 eligible Black voters in Georgia, only about 10,000 actually voted. This number represented less than 3 percent of the eligible Black male population. Granted, in 1945 the Supreme Court ruled that the white primaries, a tactic used by some Southern states to exclude African Americans from the political process and to prevent them from voting, were unconstitutional. However, the ruling lacked teeth because enforcement was non-existent, and many of the prohibitive Jim Crow Laws were still in place. White violence, terror, and the fear of reprisal for exercising one’s political rights meant the resurgence of a significant Black voting contingent would not occur within the United States until the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. In reality, tangible change for the Black voter did not occur until the passing of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
In the 1960s, African Americans began to organize peaceful protests against segregation, illegal voting rights practices, and other anti-democratic practices in the United States. One such demonstration was the march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. On March 7, 1965, these peaceful protestors were met by Alabama state troopers and were viciously and violently attacked. The entire event was caught on live television, watched by both a national as well as an international public. Many viewers found the brutality repugnant. Perhaps it was the searing visual impact of this violence, in conjunction with the murder of voting rights activists in Mississippi, that forced President Johnson and Congress to engage in the development of meaningful voting rights legislation, the result of which was the passing of one of the most sweeping and comprehensive pieces of legislature of the 20th century.
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 “…outlawed all literacy tests and provided for the appointment of federal examiners (with the power to register qualified citizens to vote) in those jurisdictions that were “covered” according to a formula provided in the statute” (National Archives, Voting Rights Act, 1965). The Act also required jurisdictions that were particularly egregious in voting rights infringements to obtain permission, or “preclearance’ from the US Department of Justice or the District Court of Columbia before making or implementing any new laws, or procedures, requirements, or voting regulations.
These sweeping legislative changes resulted in the addition of hundreds of thousands of African Americans, and other marginalized peoples to the voting rosters. Many of us hoped, and perhaps even believed the century’s long struggle for full Black suffrage was finally coming to an end. Many also felt the 2008 and 2012 elections of our nation’s first African American president, Barack Obama, was indicative of substantial change and evidence of a now rigorously open voting rights environment. We now know that while we as African Americans, and as Democrats, were deep in the political euphoria of this accomplishment, our Republican counterparts were assessing, systematically planning, and developing strategies to restrict the right to vote in ways many of us had neither anticipated nor quite imagined.
"When there’s a vacuum in our democracy, when we don’t vote, when we take our basic rights and freedoms for granted, when we turn away and stop paying attention and stop engaging and stop believing and look for the newest diversion, the electronic versions of bread and circuses, then other voices fill the void. A politics of fear and resentment and retrenchment takes hold. And demagogues promise simple fixes to complex problems." Barack Obama, Former U.S. President
In 2013, the 5 to 4 Supreme Court’s ruling in Shelby v Holder basically eviscerated section 5 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. This provision required states with a history of blatant discriminatory voting rights practices to first clear any changes in election rules and requirements with the US Department of Justice. It is now becoming very clear to what extent this decision is negatively impacting and potentially altering the political landscape for African Americans, Democrats, and other marginalized peoples. Republican lawmakers saw this decision as a signal to intensify their disenfranchisement campaign. To date, they have introduced more than 250 pieces of legislature across the country aimed at restricting access to the ballot. Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, Florida, Texas, Pennsylvania, Arizona, South Carolina, and New Hampshire are just some of the 43 states in which Republicans have proposed laws to restrict, limit, or eliminate:
- Drive through voting
- The number of voting machines at voting sites
- Polling locations
- Early in-person and Election Day voting
- Absentee Ballots
- Mail in ballot applications
- Mail and dropbox access
In addition, Republicans are implementing much stricter voter identification laws and requirements, such as Georgia’s exact match. In this instance, citizens’ names on government-issued identification, such as a driver’s license, state ID card, or Social Security records must perfectly match the name as listed in the voter databases. If the person’s name deviates in any way from these voter rolls, they will not be eligible to vote. Voters are given about 2 years to rectify the discrepancy. Supporters claim these stricter measures are needed to increase voter confidence after the 2020 presidential election. This position is based on the unsubstantiated election fraud claims by Trump and his base. Opponents, such as Stacey Abrams, believe the perfect match rule will affect Black and Latino voters disproportionately. And since these groups are generally affiliated with the Democratic Party, the new requirement is seen as nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt on the part of Republicans to discourage voter turnout and gain an electoral advantage in the upcoming midterm elections and beyond.
Republicans are also actively disenfranchising citizens by enacting “Use it or lose it” Laws. The United States does not have mandatory voting laws. Yes, individuals can be removed from voting rosters if they move, die, or are imprisoned, “but a minority of states go further and engage in a practice that ought to be seen as glaringly unconstitutional --purging people from the rolls solely because they have skipped voting in several consecutive elections…” (American Bar Association, 2020)
These actions on the part of Republicans should cause alarm; the cumulative effect of which can only be understood as blatant attempts to severely limit suffrage in the 21st century, to once again disenfranchise African Americans and others who do not share their views and to render American democracy anemic and endangered.
The Constitution allows state governments to oversee and determine procedures and rules for local, state, and national elections. This provision gives states and their counties much latitude when it comes to determining who is afforded greater ease of access to voting polls. The Supreme Court’s recent decisions have weakened voting rights for many, but most specifically for African Americans. As far as political offices are concerned, Republicans control 28 out of 50 gubernatorial seats, and “as of July 1, 2022. Republicans controlled 54.27% of all state legislative seats nationally, while Democrats held 44.41%. Republicans held a majority in 62 chambers, and democrats held the majority in 36 chambers.” The Republican Party is in the midst of a moral crisis. Their overt agenda to restrict voting rights is a rogue and un-American one. It is clear these numbers as they stand do not bode well for the continuation of a vigorous American democracy in future elections.
The NAACP and other civil rights organizations are directly confronting this challenge through a number of lawsuits and other legal challenges. Grassroots groups are actively pursuing multiple channels to inform, empower and equip voters. With the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, (H.R.4) Democrats in Congress have proposed legislation that would once again reinvigorate and strengthen the parts of the 1965 Voting Rights which were struck down by the Supreme Court. But in order to effect change, the legislation must be passed. We, as African Americans, know what the path to reversing these recent assaults on our democracy has to be. We have collectively and historically walked this way before.
The tool is the ballot. We must vote!
#VotingRights #BlackVotesMatter #VoteFromAbroad #Vote #DemsAbroad #GlobalBlackCaucus #MidtermsMatter #QuoVadis #America
Leedonal Moore published 99 Problems but a Beach Ain’t One in Poet Laureate Circle 2022-08-01 13:13:44 -0400
99 Problems but a Beach Ain’t One
It is almost unimaginable that a strong ray of hope can shine through in such dark times. After over 100 years and counting, reparations were made to the Bruce family by returning the prime Southern California beachfront to its rightful owners.
In the 1900s, blacks were excluded from most local beaches; thus, Charles & Willa Bruce decided to create a 3-acre beach resort for black residents in what is now known as Manhattan Beach. It became highly successful, thus rearing the ugly head of envy and jealousy from the white residents. Then according to that hateful playbook of racism, there were threats, the KKK, burning of property, and intimidation of beachgoers. It didn’t work. So, what could not be accomplished illegally was accomplished legally by executing eminent domain, which allows the seizure of property without the owners’ permission if the government states it is needed for public use.
Paying an obligatory pittance, the property was confiscated, in 1924, under the guise of building a park for public use; the land, however, remained vacant for several decades. Thirty-six years later, fearing that sleeping dogs might awaken, the city decided to build a park named Bayview Terrace Park. However, it was the first and only black elected official (Manhattan Beach Mayor Mitch Ward 2007) that insisted on the park being renamed Bruce Beach
Born out of a 2020 Juneteenth commemoration picnic held in the park, the advocacy coalition Justice for Bruce’s Beach was founded and spearheaded by Kavon War, an African American resident of Manhattan Beach. This grassroots movement pressured the city council into creating Bruce’s Beach Task Force.
Los Angeles County Supervisors Janice Hahn and Holly Mitchell took up the reigns with the new law being authored by Senator Steve Bradford, who sits on the state’s newly formed reparations task force.
“This is what reparations look like,” said Bradford, insisting that the county is not giving anything to the Bruce family yet simply returning their stolen property.
There are still 99 problems, but the beach “ain’t one for the Bruce family.”
- by Malaika Kusumi
Copyrights @ All rights reserved
Rest In Power Nichelle Nichols 🙏🏾
Nichelle Nichols, who made television history in the 1960s with her portrayal of "Star Trek" character Lieutenant Nyota Uhura, has died at the age of 89. In her breakthrough role, Nichols showed an African American woman in a position of power as the fourth in command of a starship. Actress Whoopi Goldberg described the powerful impact that seeing Nichols in this role had on her as a child: "Well, when I was nine years old, Star Trek came on, I looked at it and I went screaming through the house, 'Come here, mum, everybody, come quick, come quick, there's a black lady on television and she ain't no maid!' I knew right then and there I could be anything I wanted to be.”
Nichols once met Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at an NAACP fundraiser and he shared that he was a "Trekkie" and "Lieutenant Uhura's most ardent fan." At the time, Nichols was considering leaving the show and King urged her to stay, stating: "'Don't you realize how important your presence, your character is? This is not a black role or a female role. You have the first nonstereotypical role on television. You have broken ground'... 'Here we are marching, and there you are projecting where we're going. You cannot leave [the show]. Don't you understand what you mean?'
Nichols did stay on the show for its entire run and went on to make history again in 1968 as part of one of the first televised interracial kisses in a scene with William Shatner, who played the show's lead character, Captain James T. Kirk.
In a later interview, Nichols admitted that, at first, she didn’t see the significance of it. “I come from an interracial family, and so it was kind of boring for me to be talking about something I experienced every day,” she said. “It was not new to me, because I lived it. But I realized it was new on TV, and I had the opportunity to bring it to the world.”
In 100 days, we will be heading to the polls to vote in one of the most critical midterm elections we have seen in recent years.
Be sure to #GetOutTheVote and #VoteFromAbroad these midterms. Check out Vote From Abroad’s website to request your ballot TODAY ✔️.
#DemsAbroad #2022Midterms #Bluewave #GOTV #RegisterToVote #RockTheVote #VoteSaveAmerica #BlackVotesMatter #MidtermsMatter #Vote
Message from the Chair
“Stay on Target” is a great mantra for all of us for the Nov 2022 elections. As a reminder, our democracy hinges on three key outcomes:
- Holding and expanding our position in the Senate by 2 seats
- Holding the House
- Winning key state elections (select Govs, key judge-ships, county election positions, state legislatures, secretaries of state, etc…)
I’m optimistic we can do this – but only if we all put our shoulders to the wheel. The media, however, generally projects less than a snowball’s chance in hell of achieving these goals. But remember – bad news sells better than good news – so the media outlets will, on measure, feature “sky is falling” and “things really suck” news.
That’s why I was so surprised and delighted recently when The Daily (NYTimes Podcast) interviewed Nate Cohn whose polls and analysis affirmed my (and others’) assertions that we have a better chance in Nov than has previously been predicted. Totally worth a listen!
HOWEVER – polls don’t vote, people do. Thus, there are a few key factors that rely on your and others’ help and amplification:
- To win – we must turnout the voters who voted for Joe Biden in 2020. We do that, and we win across the board.
- We need to focus on the issues that will animate and energize that suite of voters – especially around a woman’s right to choose, saving democracy and getting more gun control measures in place (these seem to be very motivating)
- When the economy comes up – per this great blog post from Dan Pfeiffer – we need press that Democrats are the best positioned to address the real issues causing inflation and push the point that Republicans don’t actually have any viable solutions
- Lastly – we can’t let folks get distracted by things like Joe Biden's age in 2024 and whether or not he should run for President again.
I’m going to double-click on this last point for a moment. Again – I’ll invoke Dan Pfeiffer, and feature a different post from him that opened my eyes to this ploy about POTUS’ age to distract Democrats. Unfortunately, Dems tend to have the attention span of a fruit fly and are EASY to distract.
Okay – recite the mantra – “stay on target”….
Over the past few weeks, there have been many articles highlighting that Biden will be too old, he shouldn’t run, he’s not handing off the mantle, etc… It's super easy to get sucked into this debate.
BUT WHO GIVES A D…?! The more that voters think about Joe’s age and 2024 when they are deciding whether or how to vote in 2022 – the more they will be voting for/against whether Joe Biden should be our nation's first octogenarian President and not FOR key and great Dem candidates up and down the ballot. OR WORSE – they just won’t vote because they’re fed up (especially young voters wanting a generational change). Please keep in your mind and heart that if we can expand the Senate by 2, hold the House and win key state and local races, we save our democracy AND we ensure the effectiveness of the second half of THIS term.
If someone tries to engage you in the debate of “do you think Joe should run” I recommend an answer of “I appreciate the temptation to speculate and discuss, but I’m not focused on that right now – we have to make sure we win in 2022 and can’t be distracted by 2024. Want to knock doors/volunteer with me?”
To summarize all of that, the Republican Playbook is:
- Chapter 1 – Voter suppression
- Chapter 2 – Voter distraction
- Chapter 3 – Lie your butt off and make stuff up about opponents
And the Democrats Playbook is and/or needs to be:
Chapter 1 – Voter turnout – even just the coalition who voted in 2020. This especially includes
- Voter protection
- Get Out the Vote
Chapter 2 - Voter persuasion
- A Woman's Right to Choose
- Democracy and Voting Rights
- Guns (common sense gun reform/fighting gun violence)
- Who’s going to have the better response to inflation
- And I just love this framing of a “Freedom Agenda” proposed by – you guessed it - Dan Pfeiffer
And here are just a couple of big actions you can take to help achieve our goals:
- Read about what's happening in voter protection and sign up for Voter Protection efforts all across the US through this awesome collective newsletter of volunteer and professional opportunities in the Democratic ecosystem. here's where you can subscribe.
- Volunteer in some form or fashion to Defend Choice here: www.DefendChoice.org - this was launched by the DNC, DSCC, and DCCC and helps volunteers easily connect with other Democrats in their states, sign up to make calls or send texts through Democrats’ national distributed organizing program, and share their own personal stories about the importance of protecting reproductive rights.
- (for the Washingtonians) Sign this petition organized by Gov Inslee in WA to enshrine a right to choose in our state constitution.
Love and Light
Leedonal (Jazz) Moore
Int. Secretary (interim); Global Black Caucus Chair; DPCA Voting Rep, Switzerland
Unity through diverse & inclusive Leadership!
My grandmother once said to me: Always hear others out and remain open-minded; the day you think you know everything, is the day, you have the most, yet, to learn.
How would I describe myself:
(GER): Angenehm Anders Als Alle Anderen (Pleasantly Different Than Everyone Else)
My name is Leedonal Moore and I also go by the name Jazzmin Dian Moore and although I’m from Mississippi, I'm a Texas State Voter.
I identify as non-binary and I recently celebrated my 40th Birthday in loving company with my Swiss partner and our 12 year old black labrador.
I am fluent in German & English and decent in eight other languages, including Sign-Language.
My passion is fencing, horse riding, cooking and bringing people closer together.
Constantly being internationally relocated, due to growing up in a military household, I learned early on of the importance of staying open minded, adapting fast to new and sometimes very stressful situations and equally staying connected to my bi-racial heritage and upbringing.
Democrats Abroad is the community where I feel at home, where I can be who I am and where I can help others register to vote and help execute publishing different deadlines for each state so that people can properly exercise their fundamental voting rights.
It's been my greatest honor representing Democrats Abroad Switzerland on various news outlets during the 2020 elections.
I’ve been living in Zürich Switzerland for more than 16 years and since most recently also in France, where I am engulfed in the hospitality industry as a Château-Hotelier.
I love to travel and I love to learn about different cultures. I am particularly sensitive to making sure that I properly represent the USA as a mix of many cultures and nationalities and I focus on making sure to not expect that other countries adapt to the “AMERICAN WAY”.
Today I work as a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion consultant for corporations, schools and embassies, as a TV & Radio host and event planer. And zes, i love wearing many hats.
Initially my professional background started off in the beauty industry. While I have a Masters degree in Hair & Make Up and Communication, I worked from 2005 - 2015 as the Art Director & General Manager of a beauty company in Zürich. Hence, i have the ability to have a complete overview of all functions of a business (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Marketing, Communication, Production, Quality, Engineering, Health & Safety, HR, Finance, IT, Logistics & Distribution, Sales & Customer Service) while focusing on both, the clients and employees.
In addition I started early on in investing my time and passion in strengthening marginalized communities, especially the Black and LGBTIQ+ Community.
For my engagements I’ve received various national and international awards such as the Miss Drag Queen Switzerland 2008 title, European TOLERANTIA Award 2016 and an honorary medal for my outstanding work & activism representing Americans living abroad 2016.
If there is one thing we have learned from the past horrible administration, it's that our greatest power is to listen, trust in facts & science, invest in diversity, equity & inclusion, cast our votes and lead by example.
And During a private dinner with one of our former Ambassadors they pointed out that my greatest potential is connecting people of all ethnicities, genders, faiths, sexual orientations - encouraging them to respect, uplift and help each other in leading by example.
- Healthcare is a right, not a privilege
- Black Lives Matter ✊🏿✊🏾✊🏽
- Public Education is a Public Good 🎒📚
- A Fair Wage is a Living Wage
- Women's Rights are Human Rights ♀️
- Love is Love 🏳️🌈
- No Human is Illegal
- Science is Real 🔬
- Voting Rights are Sacred 🗳️
Dear reader, I'm asking you: How can I help?
Love & Light
Leedonal / Jazzmin