In her recent talk at an Akron Press Club/ Bliss Institute program, Rep.Marcia Fudge covered the entire spectrum of the unfinished business of combatting racism in America. A Democrat who chairs the Congressional Black Caucus, she represents Ohio's new 11th District stretching south from Euclid to Fairlawn - graphic evidence of the liveried Republican map-drawers' free-wheeling ability to redefine the upside of hometown politics.
A compelling speaker, Fudge surveyed the legacy of Martin Luther's King's place in today's world that has met with no more than mixed results in a nation that is more polarized than at any time in a generation.
As we have mentioned many times, the seating of an African-American in the Oval Office has inspired his opponents to the excesses not seen during the two terms served by George Bush. From being the alleged peacemaker with the invasion of Iraq, to the amassing of public debt by a guy who had no inclination to cap it, we allowed Dubya to comfortably enjoy his dream-swept environment.
The political right has been so traumatized, in Ohio and elsewhere, by Obama's successive victories so soon after the Civil War, that it has spent a lot of its time determined to have Obama suffer a similar trauma rooted in a disgraceful legacy.
One of its biggest contracts is called voter repression. And you'd think that by now the Republican public officials who are working deep into the night to purify the vote would at least confess the motives of the their scandalous schemes.
"Cutting back on our voting options has a disproportionate negative effect on certain populations, among them communities of color, urban voters, students, elderly and low income, not just minorities," Fudge told her audience.
There've been too many attempts to stymie the voters with the clumsy efforts of people like Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted to shape the electoral outcomes according to his party's needs. From cutting back early voting periods, to voter IDs, to shortening voting days to align with business hours, to rearranging precincts - even the failed attempt to blockl third-party candidacies to protect Gov. Kasich in November . Etc. etc etc.
State Sen. Nina Turner, Husted's Democratic opponent this year, summed it up with one word: "Immoral."
Without being tempted to predict the outcome of the November balloting, I can vouch for one absolute that will be a leading issue in the campaigns It's the various ploys, sometimes peddled as eradicating voter fraud (Huh!), that will be driven home on the stump from Cleveland to Cincinnati.
You can take it from there.
Oh. And let the honest votes fall where they may.