FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 6, 2018
Anti-Democratic Forces and Tradition Alive and Well in U.S.
Shameful Power Grabs in Wisconsin and Michigan
A statement by Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr.
In the predawn darkness of Wednesday, a band of sore losers launched a political coup, but not in some distant developing nation still struggling to learn the ways and fundamental principles of democracy.
No, this shameful power grab took place in the Wisconsin State Capitol and was orchestrated by Republican legislators trying to reverse the will of the people who voted for change in last month’s midterm elections.
The Republicans, who control the Wisconsin State Legislature, rammed through a set of bills seeking to limit the authority of the state’s newly elected Democratic Governor and Attorney General. Similar GOP efforts to stifle the power of incoming Democrats also occurred in Michigan.
What we’re witnessing in Wisconsin and Michigan – and two years ago in North Carolina – is an alarming case of retroactive voter suppression.
We’ve seen this kind of antidemocratic behavior by Democrats (Dixiecrats) across the south in the past. Then they used poll taxes, literacy tests, restrictive eligibility requirements and physical intimidation to subvert and suppress democracy. In terms of effectiveness, today’s Republican suppression efforts post-Shelby decision rival schemes and tactics used before 1965 and the Voting Rights Act.
This is the ugly tradition in which the GOP legislators in Wisconsin, Michigan and other states now stand. They celebrate making voting harder and when the votes still don’t go their way we end up with the travesty that played out Wednesday.
The Republicans are saying that they do not trust democracy and after their temper tantrum they are going to take their marbles and go home.
This raw grab for power undermines the fundamental rights of all Americans. It must be resisted and rejected.
Rainbow PUSH Coalition is a multi-racial, multi-issue, progressive, international organization that was formed in December 1996 by the Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. through merging of two organizations he founded Operation PUSH People United to Serve Humanity (estab. 1971) and the RainbowCoalition (estab. 1984). With headquarters in Chicago and offices in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, New York and Oakland, the organization works to make the American Dream a reality for all citizens while advocating for peace and justice around the world. RPC is dedicated to improving the lives of all people by serving as a voice for the voiceless. Its mission is to protect, defend and gain civil rights by leveling the economic and educational playing fields while promoting peace and justice around the world.