Friday, November 4, 2016

Exclusive: Most important election for civil rights in many years – Cloaking Inequity

Exclusive: Most important election for civil rights in many years – Cloaking Inequity:

Exclusive: Most important election for civil rights in many years

This is the most important election for civil rights in many years. I was in Washington state recently meeting with educators who work on issues of college access and equity and on the way home I decided that I should put together some words about the very high stakes for civil rights in this election since I see that turnout of melllennials and African Americans is down in some close states and there are several percent of voters including some Bernie activists who are not motivated to vote. Since media coverage has been so dominated by scandals and attacks which will not really matter much in our history and there has been so very little serious information about vital issues, I don’t want the election to pass into history without explaining why it is so important and the choice is so dramatic for the future of justice in our society.
We are at a critical point of decision in our society and we have seen the most ugly racist campaign in our lifetimes yet there are people not deciding to vote or to cast a symbolic vote for a third party candidate not thinking that the choice is crucial. Black turnout so far is lagging, many millennial who were supporters of Bernie are thinking about third party votes, and others just don’t see the differences since research has shown there has been extremely little mass media coverage of actual isuses as opposed to polls and scandals.
Since I have spent my entire career studying and working on civil rights issues, I conclude that Hillary Clinton could be the most effective civil rights President in a half century and the election of Donald Trump would be the worst reversal since the election of Woodrow Wilson who resegregated the federal government. Hillary has strongly identified with the two most active civil rights movement now, the Black Lives Matter and the immigrant rights movement and is a committed supporter of the basic nondiscrimination laws and court decisions. Trump has proposed to control the direction of the Supreme Court with appointments on the model of Antonin Scalia, a strong civil rights opponent who sometimes ridiculed civil rights claims while Hillary Clinton has promised to nominate strong progressives. Trump began his career discriminating against minorities wanting to rent his family’s apartments; Hillary as a investigator against discrimination in the South.
In race relations, presidential leadership is very important in creating the climate and incentivizing the direction that attitudes will turn and practices will change. The South, after the Civil War had generation of racial demagogues who continuously reduced rights of minorities and won for governments serving the rich by playing on the racial fears of lower income whites. It produced a terrible politics in which progress became almost impossible and racial subordination permeated society.
When JFK and LBJ called on the country to enact sweeping civil rights laws for the first time since Reconstruction, the laws were enacted, racism Exclusive: Most important election for civil rights in many years – Cloaking Inequity:

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