Trump and Voter's Suppression
By: Olivia du Pont
2020 has been a year full of shock, struggle, and unexpected curve balls. Black people are being killed left and right by police officers, the socioeconomic gap has widened, we are in the midst of a pandemic, and to top it all off, we are approaching maybe the most historically significant election in the United States. Our current president, Donald Trump, is a polarizing figure who you either love or hate. Seen as deviant to some due to his outlandish and bigoted viewpoints on race, social security, community resources, and immigration, and seen as a God to others who share the same viewpoints. Yet such a polarizing figure is not only our current president, but may potentially be our president for another four years. Trump is known for his manipulation, particularly his tactics that allow him to remain on the top, including, voter suppression that has risen in 2020.
According to Kristen Clarke, Executive Director and President of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, new caveats have been put into place in 2020 that are all considered forms of voter suppression. She says, “Today, we see suppression efforts in the form of purging of the rolls, moving polling sites to hostile locations, shutting down polling sites, making it harder for people to register to vote by imposing new 11th-hour requirements. And often, these efforts tend to impact and burden certain people more than others – Black voters, Latino voters, Native Americans, students and others.” Another example, seen particularly in the southern states, is having large white men stand outside of voting polls with automatic weapons to act as a form of intimidation on behalf of the Republican party, urging Black and Brown people to stay home. We even see a similar example in California, with Republican’s creating a fake voting poll, in order to attempt to steal liberal ballots. Lastly, I have heard a handful of Trump supporters comment something along the lines of “Biden atleast seems like a decent guy, but man that Kamala Harris, she is a nightmare.” This only leads me to ask…what exactly is nightmarish about Kamala Harris that is different from Joe Biden? Could it possibly be related to the fact that Kamala is a liberal woman of color and Joe Biden is a white man? Do people not realize that they are a team, working together to defeat Donald Trump and Mike Pence?
Everything listed above, Trump’s manipulation, purging of the polls, moving polling sites to hostile locations, planting people with a specific look outside of the polling locations to intimidate certain individuals, and even something as small as a passing comment are all forms of social control that the Republican party is using to keep Trump in office. Those who wish to keep Trump in office also tend to be white, upper/middle class, from suburban or rural communities, and of traditional households. To these types of individuals, movements such as Defunding the Police, Black Lives Matter, and My Body My Rights are all so foreign and deviant, that they feel the need to support someone who will maintain “traditional values” and “social control,” particularly when the other option is a candidate whom has chosen a Black woman as Vice President. To the common Trump supporter, Black people in power, Black people being able to vote, and Black people having some form of equal rights is so outside of the norm to the point where they see Trump and his radical views as a source of comfort, and feel the need to put mechanisms in place to stop people of color from voting, especially those who are assumed to vote against Trump.
Those who fight against any of society’s norms, i.e., those who fight against inequality, are seen as deviant. Meanwhile those whom are currently in a state of power and privilege, such as Donald Trump, are using tactics as a form of social control to “keep them in check.”
This is potentially the most important election the United States has ever seen. What side of history will you be on?