Cliff Albright and LaTosha Brown, Co-Founders of Black Voters Matter and April England-Albright, National Legal Director of Black Voters Matter issued a statement following the federal court’s recent decision to strike down the Alabama GOP’s attempt to deny access to Black voters
Today, the Federal District Court of Alabama rightly admonished the Alabama GOP in the Milligan vs Evans case for defiantly refusing to follow its order and create another minority-majority district for Black Voters in the state. Instead of following the order of the Court in Milligan, which will give Black Voters more political representation, the Alabama GOP decided to follow the 1856 Dred Scott decision that said, “Black people had no rights that a White man is bound to respect,” when they refused to draw a map that provided the second majority Black congressional district.
While the defiance of the Alabama GOP is expected due to their long history of creating racist policies, it is important that we still continue to fight for and demand that the full requirements of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act to create majority-minority districts be put in place in Alabama and beyond. Black Voters Matter also firmly rejects the call by many to create an “opportunity district.” Such opportunity districts simply create a 40% Black district in the state and does not guarantee that Black voters will have a meaningful opportunity to elect a candidate of their choice. It also opens up a future where a political party can again misuse their power and easily draw Black voters out of political power again. Black voters and their state representatives must instead stand firm on the requirement that a congressional district, where Black voters represent the majority of the electorate be drawn and put in place because a “piece of justice” is no justice at all.
Increased political representation at every level of government must be our collective goal. Black Voters Matter stands with our litigation warriors including the Legal Defense Fund, Advancement Project, ACLU, the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, Transformative Justice, Southern Poverty Law Center, the Elias Firm, and many others who fight these battles every day to ensure that the rights of Black voters and marginalized communities are heard. We also stand with people, who continue to force American institutions to expand civil and human rights for Black people and marginalized communities in this country. Together, we will win.