Opinion: MLK White Moderates Warned Us About
By blocking voting reform today, the senses. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema are the white moderates Dr. King warned us about.
American multiracial democracy is a recent and fragile invention. After all, Dr. King was protesting for the protection of rights supposedly guaranteed by the 15th Amendment but denied for nearly a century by anti-democratic schemes that kept black Americans from voting. The passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 finally guaranteed black suffrage and led to a dramatic increase in voting and substantial representation. But conservatives on the Supreme Court have significantly undermined that law, and now voting rights are under attack again by Republicans in an effort to maintain and secure power.
Manchin and Sinema’s assertion that they want a two-party solution to suffrage is, at best, a refusal to face political reality. At worst, their supposedly moderate stance in defense of filibuster hides anti-democratic extremism reminiscent of many of the worst times in American history. To paraphrase Dr. King, by choosing order over justice, they remain the nation’s great stumbling block in the quest for a fully inclusive democracy.
“Voting Rights: An Ongoing Fight for the Ballot” is presented by CITIZEN by CNN on Wednesday, January 19 at 2 p.m. ET. Join Dana Bash, John King, Abby Phillip and Manu Raju and RSVP at www.cnn.com/citizen