Choices

“Racial segregation had a long and enduring history in America, supported by courts, laws, and elected officials. The pervasive effects of that legacy are still felt today.” from an online resource, https://segregationinamerica.eji.org/.

This is not a post for supporting any political party or cause. This is an examination of government policy and its historical ramifications. When we look at law or policy, we must look at how it was used yesterday to find its influence on our society today. Therefore to look at the filibuster being debated in the U.S. Senate, we must dissect it contemporaneously to dislodge clues by autopsy of any potential vertebra of discovery. The evidence is astonishing against the backdrop of our currently divisive culture.

Take Your Choice: Separation Or Mongrelization” Theodore Bilbo

The filibuster is no other than a delaying act meant to slow down the wheels of government to discourage the body from voting on legislation. It was a stall tactic that turned into a bullying apparatus employed by the political minority. Arising out of an 1806 rule change, the filibuster was not an original procedural function used by the Senate. It has adapted over time by the institution to the 60 vote supermajority rule. 

The filibuster was not created to oppress communities of color yet became dangerous tools in the 19th and 20th-century segregationists’ hands.

“And if all this takes eliminating the filibuster – another Jim Crow relic – in order to secure the God-given rights of every American, then that’s what we should do” Former President Barack Obama

These bloodstained hands stood as the intersecting point between the old south and today’s far-right extremism of the modern era. In 1915 the blockbuster movie, The Birth of A Nation which singlehandedly revived the Klu Klux Klan, was released. This new reign of terror led to The Great Migration, a period from 1916 and 1970. African Americans migrated north for jobs and to escape the southern terror. 

The filibuster was the tool for delaying and killing the legislative measures for racial equality. 

“Of the 30 measures we identified between 1917 and 1994, exactly half addressed civil rights — including measures to authorize federal investigation and prosecution of lynching, to ban the imposition of poll taxes and to prohibit discrimination on the basis of race in housing sales and rentals.” Sarah Binder Washington Post.

Segregationists used the supermajority rule to poke holes in the burgeoning civil rights movement. Invoking a sophisticated version of White supremacy through a multilevel attack. Crafty purposed politicians would Leve attacks on an emotional plain by stoking up the flames of White fear, preservation, and twisted racists intellectualism. Over the aforementioned time period, these thoughts are verbalized in statements such as the following:

“It is essential to the perpetuation of our Anglo-Saxon civilization that white supremacy be maintained and to maintain our civilization there is only one solution, and that is either by segregation within the United States, or by deportation of the entire Negro race.” Theodore Bilbo

(1877-1947) Governor, U.S. Senator-Mississippi.

“All the laws of Washington and all the bayonets of the Army cannot force the Negro into our homes, into our schools, our churches and our places of recreation and amusement.” Strom Thurman

“Those who would mix little children of both races in our schools are following an illegal, immoral, and sinful doctrine…”

The filibuster’s fate is in the hands of the U.S. Senate. We do know that it was often not in the best interest of people of color or uniting America.

Kevin Robinson Executive Director of Accord1

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