They used a broad conversation at the annual Congressional Black Caucus Foundation meeting to advocate for Black Americans.
Foundation president and CEO Nicole Austin-Hillery stated “the attacks on our democracy are happening on all fronts”.
They had “a racist view of America, and they all depend on misinformation and often downright deceit.”
Many Black Caucus members, voting rights activists, and community organizers claimed that Republican-led initiatives to remove higher education affirmative action, ban books in schools, and restrict voting impacted Black Americans.
State and municipal conflicts around critical race theory, an academic idea that racism is institutionalized, were one example. Republican politicians have made critical race theory a frequent subject, even though K-12 schools seldom teach it.
Law professor Kimberlé W. Crenshaw, who proposed it, said it was part of an assault against Black history, wisdom, and knowledge.
“We must recognize that what we’re fighting for right now is not just the next election or that,” she said. We battle for our right to be here this century and beyond.”
The CBCF believes 18 states limit race education. Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSants of Florida has been attacked for curtailing race education and prohibiting AP African American studies programs.
Many speakers also attacked the Supreme Court’s college admissions affirmative action ban earlier this year. This prompts institutions to develop innovative ways to diversify student bodies.
Damon Hewitt, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, called legacy admissions a “double standard” that terminated affirmative action yet favored alumni families.
“We fought for it because we know it’s not a handout,” Hewitt said of minority enrollment. “We merit it.”
Since the 2020 election, several politicians have mentioned state-level measures to make voting difficult, notably in Republican-led states that have disproportionately harmed communities of color and been sued.
Civil and voting rights spurred Black Voters Matter Fund co-founder LaTosha Brown to combat restrictive laws and expand voting rights. She stressed that Black Americans were formerly prevented from reading and writing.
Power is not earned in our country. She advised you to dominate this country. “We act politically like we’re not fighting for our lives.”
After former President Donald Trump was charged with seeking to remain in power after losing the 2020 election, Virgin Islands Rep. Stacey Plaskett decried Republican attacks on the country’s key institutions, notably the Justice Department.
She said attacks on democratic underpinnings and the suggestion that some people should not be held accountable were growing the political gulf and distrust of the federal administration.