Democrats Sue Trump & GOP Under 1871 KKK Act for Threatening Voters of Color

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The Democratic Party has filed lawsuits in four battleground states—Ohio, Arizona, Nevada and Pennsylvania—alleging Donald Trump’s campaign and the Republican Party are “conspiring to threaten, intimidate, and thereby prevent minority voters in urban neighborhoods from voting.” The lawsuits cite the Voting Rights Act and the 1871 Ku Klux Klan Act. In its filing, the Ohio Democratic Party write, “Trump has sought to advance his campaign’s goal of 'voter suppression' by using the loudest microphone in the nation to implore his supporters to engage in unlawful intimidation.” The suits also names Trump adviser Roger Stone and his super PAC, Stop the Steal. Trump has repeatedly urged his supporters to monitor polling booths on Election Day. The North Carolina NAACP has also filed a federal lawsuit Monday seeking an immediate injunction to stop the state and various county boards of elections from illegally canceling the registrations of thousands of voters. The NAACP says African-American voters are being targeted in a coordinated effort to suppress the black vote in the state. For more, we speak with Carol Anderson, professor of African American studies at Emory University. She is author of the new book, “White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide.”

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Video squareStoryOct 16, 2018Trump Won in 2016 Thanks to Voter Suppression Says Carol Anderson, Author of “One Person, No Vote”
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This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: The Democratic Party has filed lawsuits in four battleground states—Ohio, Arizona, Nevada and Pennsylvania—alleging Donald Trump’s campaign and the Republican Party are, quote, “conspiring to threaten, intimidate, and thereby prevent minority voters in urban neighborhoods from voting,” unquote. The lawsuits cite the Voting Rights Act and the 1871 Ku Klux Klan Act. In its filing, the Ohio Democratic Party writes, quote, “Trump has sought to advance his campaign’s goal of 'voter suppression' by using the loudest microphone in the nation to implore his supporters to engage in unlawful intimidation,” unquote. The suits also name Trump adviser Roger Stone and his super PAC Stop the Steal. Trump has repeatedly urged his supporters to monitor polling booths on Election Day.

DONALD TRUMP: You’ve got to go out. You’ve got to go out, and you’ve got to get your friends, and you’ve got to get everybody you know, and you’ve got to watch your polling booths, because I hear too many stories about Pennsylvania, certain areas. I hear too many bad stories. And we can’t lose an election because of you know what I’m talking about. So go and vote and then go check out areas, because a lot of bad things happen. And we don’t want to lose for that reason. We don’t want to lose, but we especially—we don’t want to lose for that reason. So go over and watch, and watch carefully.

AMY GOODMAN: In related news, the North Carolina NAACP filed a federal lawsuit Monday seeking an immediate injunction to stop the state and various county boards of elections from illegally canceling the registrations of thousands of voters. The NAACP says African-American voters are being targeted in a coordinated effort to suppress the black vote in North Carolina.

Meanwhile, a prominent white nationalist is sponsoring robocalls in the state of Utah to urge voters to back Trump over the third-party candidate Evan McMullin. Some polls show McMullin, who is Mormon, could beat Trump in Utah. They ads feature William Johnson, the leader of the white nationalist American Freedom Party.

WILLIAM JOHNSON: My name is William Johnson. I am a farmer and a white nationalist. I make this call against Evan McMullin and in support of Donald Trump. Evan McMullin is an open borders amnesty supporter. Evan has two mommies: His mother is a lesbian married to another woman. Evan is OK with that. Indeed, Evan supports the Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage. Evan is over 40 years old and is not married and doesn’t even have a girlfriend. I believe Evan is a closet homosexual. Don’t vote for Evan McMullin. Vote for Donald Trump.

AMY GOODMAN: The election just a week away, we’re joined now by Carol Anderson, professor of African American studies at Emory University. She’s author of a new book; it’s called White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide.

Well, there’s a lot to talk about in this election—

CAROL ANDERSON: Yes, there is.

AMY GOODMAN: —Professor Anderson. Let’s begin with this suit that’s being brought by the state Democratic parties in key states, saying that the Trump organization—that the Trump campaign is violating the Klan Act. Explain.

CAROL ANDERSON: Yes, and it’s really, in a horrible way, very simple. As I laid out in White Rage, part of what happened is that when African Americans advance, when they gain access to their citizenship rights, you see a wave of policies emanate out of Congress, out of the White House, to knock back those gains, those advancements. We saw that after the Civil War with Reconstruction.

Now, move this forward. Part of what we’re seeing now is the backlash to Obama’s election. And so, we saw a wave of voter suppression laws come up. And when you look at these key battleground states and the things that they’re doing, they’re vintage. They go back to the era of Jim Crow, they go back to the era after the Civil War, when the point was: How do we intimidate these newly freed people who now have their citizenship rights? How do we strip them of their citizenship rights? One was massive voter intimidation, being at the polls with rifles. It is then a series of laws coming on, from literacy tests and grandfather clauses and poll taxes—all of those things for disfranchisement. We move to the Voting Rights Act of ’65, and then we get to Shelby County v. Holder, where this Supreme Court gutted it. And this is what we see as the result.

AMY GOODMAN: Now, I want to go back to the Civil War and after. You mentioned Reconstruction. So, slaves are freed, and what happens?

CAROL ANDERSON: What happens is, is that they don’t get free. They get—they’re immediately hit with a thing called the Black Codes. And the Black Codes required the newly freed people to sign labor contracts with plantation owners and mine owners and lumber mill owners. And they refuse to sign the labor contract, then they could be arrested and then have their labor sold. They’d be put on the auction block, and their labor then sold to the highest bidder. And they wouldn’t be able to leave until that fine was paid off. It also said that they couldn’t carry weapons to be able to hunt, or they couldn’t fish, so they couldn’t even feed themselves. They had to work. And they could not leave that mine owner or that plantation owner for a year. If they left for better wages, better working conditions, they could be arrested, charged with vagrancy, and their labor auctioned off.

AMY GOODMAN: And what about voting?

CAROL ANDERSON: Oh, and voting was just verboten. They could not vote. I mean, and this is why you have to have then the 15th Amendment coming in in about 1870, providing the right to vote, because that thing of moving from property to citizen was so abhorrent, so repulsive to white Southerners, that they went, “Absolutely not,” and did everything in their power to strip African Americans of their citizenship rights.

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Professor Carol Anderson on Police Killings, Trump, the Clintons & Her New Book “White Rage”

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