Sunday, December 02, 2012

Making the Most of the Next Four Years

Late last night a friend sent me a link to a story in the Palm Beach Post that began with the following headline:
Former Florida GOP leaders say voter suppression was reason they pushed new election law
Readers who click the above headline will find a report that Charlie Christ, the former GOP governor of Florida, and Jim Greer, the former chairman of the GOP Party in Florida, have both admitted that the so-called election "reform" laws recently advocated by the GOP had nothing to do with their declared purpose to suppress voter fraud. The GOP passed these laws for one reason -- to suppress black and other minority votes for President Obama's reelection in 2012. Early voting in the 2008 presidential elections enabled record numbers of minorities to vote for the election of the nation's first African American president; so beginning in 2009 the GOP plotted to prevent these minorities from supporting the president's reelection.

Of course, the only thing that's really surprising about this story is that key officials in the Republican Party would have admitted that their party perpetrated such a cynical, racist fraud so soon after their historic defeat, a defeat that they suffered in large part because millions of blacks and other minorities all across the country overcame the racist roadblocks, returned to the polls in unprecedented numbers yet again, and thereby ensured the reelection of the nation's first African American president. In other words, the racists lost because our system of representative democracy still works ... for now.

So what are we going to do with our victory during the next four years? To be specific, what are we going to do to empower HBCUs and other minority serving institutions to provide more effective learning opportunities for black students? Despite escalating tuition costs, a college education is still the best ticket for blacks and other minorities to obtain economic, social, and political equality ... and thereby realize Dr. King's Dream. But if we don't make the most of the opportunities we just won during the next four years, the nightmare we escaped in 2012 will have merely been delayed.

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