Dr. Ibram X. Kendi is the host of Be Antiracist. He is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Boston University and the founding director of the BU…
Ari Berman is, without question, one of the leading journalists documenting voter suppression in the United States today. He covers voting rights at Mothers Jones and is the author of Give Us The Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America, which chronicles the history of voter suppression after the Voting Rights Acts of 1965.
Dr. Kendi and Berman discuss the history of voting rights in the United States, the Republican-led attacks they face, and the type of antiracist policies necessary for a multiracial democracy.
For a transcript of this episode, click here.
QUESTIONS TO INSPIRE DIALOGUE
- Dr. Kendi shared his experience of voting for the first time in a presidential election, and how it opened his eyes to the need for antiracist voting policies in this country. Do you remember the first time you voted in a presidential election? What surprised you about that experience? What did you learn?
- Dr. Kendi discusses many of the tactics that are employed to suppress votes in American elections. Have you ever experienced or witnessed voter suppression? What form did it take? And what steps did you take to overcome it?
- Dr. Kendi and Ari Berman point out that unjustified claims of voter fraud have been used repeatedly over time to justify voter suppression. When you heard the widespread, unfounded claims of voter fraud following the most recent presidential election in this country, did you believe they were true? Did you know that this wasn’t the first time this claim had been made to justify racist voting policies?
- The “For The People Act” is currently stalled in the United States Senate. What actions can you take to encourage your representatives to continue the conversation on voting rights reform in this country?
FURTHER READING + RESOURCES
- Give Us The Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America by Ari Berman
- Leaked Video: Dark Money Group Brags About Writing GOP Voter Suppression Bills Across the Country by Ari Berman and Nick Surgey
- The Other Swing Voter by Ibram X. Kendi
- Rigged: How Voter Suppression Threw Wisconsin to Trump by Ari Berman
ORGANIZATIONS TO SUPPORT