So Your Democracy is Dying…

3 min readNov 2, 2020

By now most people are aware of the the post World War II confessional “First They Came For”

It has struck many people that the police can lawfully (I use that word ironically) break into a home, kill Breonna Taylor and have no charges levied against them. They came for a Black Body and left with one.

However they came for Black and Brown People when Prop 184 (Three Strikes) was passed in California in 1994, relegating thousands of people of color to a life behind bars for even the most minor of offenses.

And they came Black and Brown people with the passage of Prop 209 in California in 1996 and once again, people of color were disenfranchised and denied access to quality education due to white fragility.

They came for our voting rights long before this election cycle. As this article from 2016 and this article from 2018. There was no uproar, no lawsuits just complacency because they were not coming for YOUR vote. Only mine and people who look like me. Instead there was media coverage of how Black people did not vote in the same numbers as 2012. Never mentioning the fact of voter suppression in places like Wisconsin and Ohio.

What would the electorate look like if Black Lives Mattered in 2006, 1996, 1986, 1976 or 1966? What would your world look like if you had supported the local, state and federal candidates that fought against the 3 strikes law Proposition 184 and Proposition 209 and all of the other racist/dog-whistle laws of the past 30 years that did not merit your attention.

Because the time to act is not today or 2018 or even 2016. It was when the first voter ID laws were being put into place. It was when polling stations were moved from communities of color. It was when the formerly incarcerated were stripped of their voting rights for life.

Right leaning organizations have been orchestrating campaigns of voter dis-enfranchisement for decades with voter intimidation tactics or litigation to invalidate votes focused on communities of color for decades. They have worked so well that now they are coming for you.

You see if progressive and moderates had honestly and earnestly worked to ensure democracy worked for everyone inclusive of BIPOC, your democracy would not be at deaths door. As Dr. Martin Luther King spelled out 57 years ago:

Letter from a Birmingham Jail Martin Luther King Jr. 1963
Dr. Martin Luther King: Letter from Birmingham Jail, 1963

This has never been a working democracy for BIPOC. It has been a sham and an illusion with promises made but rarely kept. It has been a constant ask for more time and more patience as white progressives have been silently complicit in the sham democracy they are now bemoaning the death of.

The democracy you are fighting so hard to keep alive has never worked for BIPOC throughout our entire existence in this country. The sad reality is that progressives and so called allies have not just accepted but have been complicit in the methods and techniques that are now denying them equal representation and self determination.

And when this election is over, the very real possibility exists that there will no longer be anyone one left to speak for those who neglected to speak up for BIPOC.