August 28, 2021

DeJuana Thompson, creator of Woke Vote, smacked down Mehdi Hasan’s suggestion that Democrats “betrayed” Black voters by not passing voter rights legislation.

Other than a salacious soundbite, it’s hard to see what Hasan was getting at when he asked Thompson, who's participating in today’s Make Good Trouble Rally for voting rights, in Washington, D.C., “Is the Democratic party betraying this voting block that was so crucial to its election wins by not prioritizing voting rights legislation in the Senate, by not doing whatever needs to be done to get it passed? By not getting rid of the filibuster?”

It’s not as if the Democrats haven't tried to pass voting rights legislation. And while one could criticize them for not trying hard enough, or smartly enough, that’s not exactly “betrayal.” Second, painting Democrats as traitors to the voting rights movement is probably not a great way to get them to push harder for the cause. Last, but definitely not least, the voter-suppressing Republicans play a big role in the problem, as Thompson was quick to point out.

Kudos to Thompson for her diplomatic but forceful response:

THOMPSON: So, I think there's two issues here at hand. One, it's not just the Democratic party's responsibility to make sure that voting rights are in this country. That's every party's responsibility. However, because you have a group of people who did rally behind a platform and a party based off of information, based off of promises, based off of declarations that were made that they would fight, basically, tooth and nail for those rights, there is an understanding or a thought process that you would get into the same good trouble that we got into getting -- making sure that you were elected, to make sure that we have those rights. So, it's not necessarily a betrayal. What it is is a call to action. It is us saying to you, “Listen, if you can't do the work of the people, not just Black people, the work of the people that sent you to Congress, then maybe we need to take all of our efforts next time and get some people in office who will do that work, both on the Republican side and the Democratic side.”

Voting rights is not a Black issue. It's not a Democratic issue. it's an American issue. And until we see it that way, we will not have those rights. So that's why we're here today, right? We're not here to commemorate what happened in 1963. We respect our elders for what they had to do. But we're actually here to make demands. This is a Make Good Trouble Rally with a list of demands of this government.

You know she hit it out of the park, because Hasan immediately replied, “Yes.”

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