It should surprise absolutely no one who is Black that the U.S. Department of Justice has deemed the state of Florida to be a prime example of the critical race theory it hates so much. OK, so the justice department didn’t say that exactly, but CRT is essentially an examination of systemic racism, and voter suppression that specifically targets Black people is an example of systemic racism at play.
According to The Guardian, the justice department said in a court filing Wednesday that Florida Republicans intentionally targeted Black voters last year through voting restrictions that conveniently came after Republican losses during the 2020 election.
From the Guardian:
The department told a federal appellate court that a lower court had correctly evaluated claims of racial discrimination when it came to Florida’s new law. In March, US District Judge Mark Walker blocked new restrictions on the availability of absentee ballot drop boxes, regulations for third-party voter registration groups, and a ban on providing food and water to people standing in line to vote. The US court of appeals for the 11th circuit paused that ruling earlier this year while it considers an appeal from Florida officials.
So, we already know how Republicans are going to respond. They’ll say that all this means is that the Biden administration has gone “woke” and is now “race-baiting” at the highest level. But there are facts here that can’t be ignored.
It is a fact that ex-President Donald Trump responded to losing his bid for reelection by throwing a yuge temper tantrum and spreading, without a lick of evidence, propaganda regarding massive voter fraud. It is a fact that Republican legislators across the red state country leveraged that propaganda to propose and pass restrictive voting laws under the guise of voter security despite the fact that voter fraud in America is extremely rare.
Another fact is that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis—the man who denies the existence of systemic racism while using his government power to control the way Black history is taught in schools on behalf of white fragility—literally proposed a redistricting of Florida’s congressional map in order to dilute Black voting power in the state calling it a “race-neutral” design. In other words: He saw largely Black districts on Florida’s voting map and said, “Nah—we gotta break that up.” So there is a pattern of behavior here that can not be ignored (as hard as the GOP may try).
Anyway, the justice department ruled that Florida’s 2021 voting laws violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, which prohibits racial discrimination in voting practices.
“The district court’s core factual findings are that, in the face of surging turnout in the 2020 election, the Florida Legislature responded by enacting provisions that impose disparate burdens on Black voters,” justice department attorneys wrote. “Which were chosen precisely because of those burdens to secure a partisan advantage. The court’s findings of discriminatory intent are a permissible view of the record based on the entirety of the evidence.”
Of course, lawyers for the state of Florida deny any claims of racial discrimination. In a statement of appeal, Florida attorneys wrote that “facially neutral laws regulating drop boxes for vote-by-mail ballots, the return of voter registration forms, and activity at or near a polling place fall squarely within the state’s power to manage.“ The filing also charged that “this Court must address when a State’s facially neutral election laws have a discriminatory effect and invidious purpose in violation of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, and when those laws violate section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.”
The Guardian reported that “the justice department’s voting section has filed challenges to voting laws in Georgia, Texas and Arizona, in addition to filing several briefs in other voting disputes.”
And it’s about damn time.