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Opinion: MLK was killed 53 years ago. His fight for Black voting rights has yet to be won

April 4, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 29%. 2 min read.

Dean Obeidallah writes that those opposed to Republican efforts to pass voter suppression bills should channel Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, by calling for more boycotts such as those by Major League Baseball, which moved its All-Star game from Georgia in response to the state's voting restrictions.

Today, it's more about maintaining Republican power, but given that the GOP is overwhelmingly a White party it's not much different.

Indeed, the image of GOP Governor Brian Kemp signing the Georgia voting law -- one that President Joe Biden has slammed as "Jim Crow for the 21st Century" -- appears ripped from decades ago, with Kemp flanked by six White men in front of a painting of the former slave-owning Callaway planation.

King, in his famous "Give us the ballot" speech in 1957, said that if Black Americans could freely exercise their right to vote they could "fill our legislative halls with men of goodwill. " King then added words that still resonate, slamming the "types of conniving methods" being used by Southern elected officials to disenfranchise Black voters and noting that, "The denial of this sacred right is a tragic betrayal of the highest mandates of our democratic tradition. "

These mobile units were effectively deployed last year in Fulton County, drawing more than 11,200 voters in an area where the majority of the population is Black and Hispanic and where the votes overwhelmingly went to Joe Biden -- clearly an important turnout in a state he won by a mere 11,779 votes.

In Texas, the GOP-controlled state Senate approved a sweeping bill on Thursday that, among other things, would require early voting to end at 9 p. m. and prohibit drive-through voting.

One way for the rest of us to pressure them to change their minds might be a remedy King likely would have approved: more boycotts such as those by Major League Baseball, which announced Friday it was moving its All-Star Game from Georgia in response to the voting restrictions.

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