The NAACP today engaged Attorney General Jeff Sessions in frank discussion on current threats to civil rights including voter suppression, police misconduct and civil rights enforcement issues. The NAACP discussed parallels between domestic driven voter suppression and the alleged election manipulation of our 2016 presidential election.
“The vote represents that sacred sacrament of democracy and any attempts to manipulate, suppress or otherwise reduce the integrity of the vote—whether abroad or domestically –represents a direct threat to our democracy,” said NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks.
In the closed door meeting the NAACP expressed disappointment regarding DOJ’s reversal of course on the largely factual issue of whether the Texas Photo ID law was enacted with a racially discriminatory intent. The Texas law affects over 600,000 individuals in Texas alone lacking the identification required by the law.
Over the past year the NAACP has successfully waged legal battles against voter suppression laws in several states including North Carolina and Texas. During the meeting with the Attorney General, the NAACP pointed out the parallels between the allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 president election and the voter suppression laws passed by several state legislatures that were successfully challenged by the NAACP.
“Our vote is the only thing that makes our democracy real, not just for African Americans but all Americans. We’ll fight against any attempts to corrupt the integrity of our election or the power of our vote regardless of where or whom it comes from,” added President Brooks.
The NAACP also discussed other pressing civil rights including their desire that President Trump nominates for the position of Asst. Attorney General for Civil Rights a lawyer with a record of protecting civil rights, rather than one who has merely defended against civil rights claims. They also highlighted the potential dangers of DOJ pulling back on police investigations and moving away from consent decrees as a means reigning in police departments with patterns of racism and civil rights violations among other items.