For Black America, the 2022 midterm elections will be among the most consequential in American history and will be every bit as important as a presidential election. Not since the post-Reconstruction era in the 19th Century have the interests and aspirations of African Americans been so severely threatened. The white nationalist and supremacist forces of Donald Trump’s MAGA movement not only pose a danger to democracy, they also pose an imminent threat to the hard-fought gains achieved across generations through the Black Freedom Struggle.
Keenly aware of this danger to Black progress, African American advocacy groups are working feverishly to mobilize a massive march on ballot boxes by Black voters on November 8. What’s at stake? The midterm elections will determine the leadership of the House of Representatives and Senate of the U.S. Congress. All 435 seats in the House of Representatives are in play, as well as 35 of 100 seats in the Senate.
This year, more than at any time in recent history, which political party controls the House and Senate matters. There is no mistaking the fact that the Republican Party has become the captive of Donald Trump’s MAGA movement, which is openly opposed to issues and policies of vital concern to Black America — policies like the John Lewis Voter Protection bill, the George Floyd Criminal Justice Reform Act, and HR-40, the bill which will create a federal commission to study and develop reparations proposals for African Americans.
In fact, the MAGA-controlled Republican Party is reaching beyond the House and Senate to fulfill its goal of turning back the clock on Black progress. Republicans have systematically passed scores of voter suppression laws in states across the nation to ensure that Black votes don’t matter! It is reminiscent of the disenfranchisement of Black voters during post-Reconstruction and potentially as destructive.
The midterm elections will decide which party will govern critical state offices, including 36 governors and other down-ballot races such as secretaries of state, attorney generals, and state, county, and municipal courts. The MAGA Republicans are hell-bent on capturing these offices so they can change the vote count in elections if they do not like the outcome. Infected by the “Big Lie,” which perpetuates the belief that there was widespread voter fraud in the 2020 elections and that Joe Biden did not actually win the White House, the MAGA Movement is setting the stage to make certain that their presidential candidate will be declared the victor in 2024.
Democracy is in danger. There is a saying in the Black community that “when White America gets a cold, Black America gets pneumonia.” Black America is in danger. A MAGA Movement “orange wave” in the mid-term elections could destroy generations of Black progress and put the future of African Americans in this nation on life support.
With just a few days left before the day of decision, some pundits are suggesting that low Black voter enthusiasm could contribute to sweeping gains by the MAGA-dominated Republican Party.
This would be disastrous. But African American advocacy organizations are determined to maximize the power of the Black vote. By showing up at the polls in record numbers, Black voters can stem the tide of MAGA-ism and create a climate where the devotees of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “beloved community” can continue the arduous challenge of creating a more perfect union. The future of democracy and the fate of Black America is in our hands.
The stakes in the milestone 2022 midterm elections for Black America and the nation are enormous. As we look ahead, it is imperative that we analyze the impact of these critical elections and develop strategies to promote and protect our interests and aspirations as Black people.
To begin this process, the Institute of the Black World 21st Century (IBW) will convene a post-election National Town Hall meeting on the impact of the midterm elections on the State of Black America and the Pan African World, Thursday, November 10 at 7 p.m. ET at the Cramton Auditorium on the campus of Howard University in Washington, D.C.
IBW has assembled some of Black America’s most influential leaders to share their analyses of the election and perspectives on fortifying Black people for the way forward in these perilous times. It will be one of the most important gatherings of its kind in our time. The Town Hall Meeting is free, open to the public, and will be live-streamed. The world will be watching.
The Institute of the Black World 21st Century is committed to enhancing the capacity of Black communities in the United States and globally to achieve cultural, social, economic, and political equality, and an enhanced quality of life for all marginalized people.
Veteran social and political activist Dr. Ron Daniels is the founder and president of the Institute of the Black World 21st Century (IBW), a progressive, African centered, action-oriented Resource Center dedicated to empowering people of African descent and marginalized communities. As the administrator for the National African American Reparations Commission (NAARC), IBW has emerged as a leading organization within the U.S. and global reparations movements. NAARC has devised a 10 Point Reparations Program and is a stanch support of HR-40, the Congressional Bill that would establish a National Commission to study reparations proposals for African Americans. Dr. Ron Daniels serves as the Convener of NAARC.
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Local Media Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable trust that provides support for the Word In Black collaborative, does not endorse political candidates. Word In Black, however, invites and publishes opinion essays, including this one, from vital voices and opinion makers central to creating equity in Black communities.