This week, President Biden correctly called Georgia’s new voter-suppression legislation “Jim Crow in the twenty-first century.” Georgia’s anti-democracy legislation disproportionately targets voters of color and those disinclined to vote for GOP candidates. There are numerous draconian measures in the regressive 98-page legislation, including giving an inordinate amount of control over elections to state officials who are hostile to democracy, Black voters, and non-Republicans.
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who doesn’t work for his own constituents across the state line in South Carolina, has now accused President Biden of playing “the race card” due to his opposition to the radical Georgia legislation. The Hill newspaper reports that “Democrats warn the measures are akin to voter suppression and will disenfranchise minority voters in a disproportionate way.” President Biden is appropriate in calling out the Georgia legislature’s actions for what they are, and his doing so does not constitute playing “the race card,” no matter what the odd-acting and fact-challenged Graham may say. The right accuses us of producing “the race card” whenever we call out their racist actions.
It’s a straightforward assessment to make that Georgia’s SB 202 unabashedly seeks to suppress the vote, particularly amongst communities of color. Instead of making it so that Georgians don’t have to queue for hours just to cast a ballot, Georgia Republicans have chosen to outlaw offering a modicum of comfort, such as water or other sustenance, to those who are waiting in line to exercise their right to vote. That’s just one example of how backwards this Jim Crow-level legislation is. President Biden is correct in his assessment of the legislation, and the erratic Graham is once again in the wrong. Let’s encourage our legislators to support HR 1, which would mitigate much of the state-level harm done to voting rights and which would enhance voting rights for millions of our compatriots.