Have you registered to vote yet? If you haven’t, remember that there are forces within your government that wish to keep it that way.
Despite the lack of evidence of the alleged voter fraud pandemic, Republican officials continue to pass voter ID laws that have already proven to disproportionately affect minority voters. Now some of the most prominent Republicans are expressing hope for a low minority voter turnout.
On Monday, House Speaker John Boehner said, “This election is about economics… [Latinos and Blacks] have been hit the hardest. They may not show up and vote for our candidate, but I’d suggest to you they won’t show up and vote for the president either.”
Boehner is essentially admitting that the Republican Party is counting on apathy from minority voters to win this election. Rather than devising a strategy to win their votes in November, the GOP is hoping minorities won’t care about the election enough to vote; and they hope to disenfranchise those that do.
When The Atlantic Wire ran a headline that read, “Boehner says Out Loud He Hopes Black and Latinos ‘Won’t Show Up’ This Election,” other news organizations accused them of twisting the Speaker’s words.
In a well-articulated article, The Atlantic Wire defended their headline:
“Mediate called the headline ‘misleading’ while right-leaning Newsbusters called it ‘slander.’ But we think it’s pretty clear what Boehner said: he hopes that Republicans will do well in the elections because he believes (‘I suggest to you’) minority voter turnout will be low (‘they won’t show up’). ‘Boehner Hopes for Republicans to Win This Election’ would have been a more boring headline, but it would have been just as accurate.”
Boehner’s remarks also echo comments recently made by other Republican leaders.
In June, Pennsylvania House Republican leader Mike Turzai blatantly admitted that the point of voter ID laws is to help Republicans win when he said, “Voter ID, which is going to allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done.”
Regardless of your political affiliation, take a second to think about that. For Democrats, it’s a clear message that any liberal person of color is not welcome at the polls. For Black and Latino Republicans, it should be alarming to realize that your family, friends, and neighbors are being disenfranchised and barred from practicing our country’s most basic constitutional right.
If you’re unaffiliated, or planning to not participate in the election because “all politicians are the same,” at least consider the possibility that you could be abandoning your peers who have a lot to gain by electing a liberal agenda. At least consider the fact that Democrats have historically adopted liberal and progressive values given enough time. At least consider registering to vote.
This article originally appeared in Being Latino.