America is grappling with racial issues and it’s time to save democracy

I have an urgent alarm for my fellow Americans: stop distracting yourself from being “alert” and deal with the wolf at the door. Firing people for “forbidden” words or beliefs is absurd. It is counterproductive to shame the interracial clueless. But arguing about “wakefulness” right now is the strategic equivalent of how Titanic musicians debate preludes.

The urgency of now is not the social rejection of black-faced guys. It is the political abolition of multiracial democracy.

Americans who value life in a Democratic Republic need to wake up and smell the bear spray. How I “racialize” my white friends and relatives: Don’t ask what “help” minorities need; ask what you must do in a national computation of race to save democracy from those who “would crush the nation, would rather divide it,” as Amanda Gorman put it in her inaugural poem.

Fight for dwindling racial control

Race accounts are not about the struggles of racial minorities. They are about the struggles of white Americans among themselves over declining racial control and how much racism can be allowed now.

In 1619, the answer to that question was all it took to subdue non-whites. In 1787 the three-fifths compromise, the electors and slavery were enshrined in the constitution. After the national reckoning of the 1860s, slavery ended, but white America reconciled by redeeming The Lost Cause and white supremacy with Jim Crow and racial terrorism.

It was supposed to pass civil rights laws in the 1960s and then make up for the white “loss” with 60 years of Southern strategy and Supreme Court withdrawals.

And in the 2016 reckoning of the first black president, a voting minority elected a racist monocrat whose toxic trail left a blatant choice: multiracial democracy or xenophobic autocracy.

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The millions of white Americans who protested the police murder of George Floyd opted for multiracial democracy. So did 40 million white voters who joined the vast majority of black, Latino, Asian and Native American voters to elect President Joe Biden.

The majority of white voters however did not. You voted for a lying egoist whose big lie about winning the presidential election threatens democracy. And they have voted for a platformless party that works to anchor minority electoral rule at extreme costs, including overturning and lying about fair elections they are losing and industrializing voter suppression; Cancellation of votes cast by racial minorities and, when all else fails, instigate violent riots. “Politics is a zero-sum game,” in which Republicans cannot compete without restricting the other party’s voting rights, they told the US Supreme Court.

End the attack on our democracy

There is currently only one national political party that opposes this deep renunciation of Madisonian democracy and the United States Constitution. And your mascot doesn’t have a trunk. I’m not a Democrat, but until the Republicans stop this madness, rescuing democracy requires that votes and money go only to candidates who renounce the Big Lie, xenophobia, voter suppression and violent uprisings.

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Only massive ballot box defeats will end this attack on democracy and undo this new lost cause. Make no mistake, the civil war may still be lost.

My white sisters and brothers who believe in democracy, you are on top. For America’s sake, swing for the E Pluribus Unum rafters.

Connie Rice is a civil rights attorney and the author of Power Concedes Nothing.

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