Opinion | Studying Warning From a Late Columnist

As an alternative of this, white racists merely left the Democratic Social gathering for the Republican one, and stored “racist politics alive” there.

As Wicker put it, “Racist politics, within the remaining evaluation, is determined by exclusion of Negroes from voting.” As he summarized:

“The disenfranchisement of Southern Negroes on this century resulted immediately from the corrupt and violent competitors of Southern Bourbons and Southern agrarians for the Negro vote within the late nineteenth century. Fearing the Negro would tip the stability in opposition to them, the Bourbons raised the flag of white supremacy and aroused the poor-white agrarians in opposition to the Negro; Bourbons and agrarians then mixed within the identify of white solidarity to remove the Negro from the voters as if he didn’t exist.”

Now you see institution Republicans becoming a member of collectively to do the exact same factor with a wave of voter suppression payments throughout the nation.

And this isn’t simply the work of politicians: A majority of Republican voters are additionally in favor of many of those voter restrictions that might disproportionately have an effect on Black folks. In accordance with a Pew Analysis Heart report issued Thursday, a majority of Republicans and Republican-leaning voters now oppose the automated registration of all eligible residents to vote and help extra voter identification legal guidelines and purging voter lists of voters who haven’t just lately voted or confirmed their registration.

Wicker ended on a observe of optimism, that there would ultimately be “white competitors to win the Negro vote,” and “if that’s the case, the competitors absolutely will imply a brand new volatility in Southern politics and society, a brand new freedom for the white politician to maneuver past race to the broader problems with nationwide life, and a brand new alternative for the Negro to have his wants thought-about as an alternative of his pores and skin.”

That day by no means got here.

Within the second, Wicker’s optimism was comprehensible. As columnists, we exist and write within the second, making an attempt our greatest to view occasions in context. However, generally, too typically, we misjudge the that means of occasions unfolding round us.

One factor this column by Wicker has taught us was this: regardless of how hopeful the second, regardless of how nice the advance, by no means — ever — underestimate white supremacy.

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