Voting while black


This happened:

The Republican-led legislature sought information on the voting habits of African Americans in North Carolina. It used that information to craft an omnibus elections bill that systematically marginalized the African-American vote. And then, when its elections law was deemed largely illegal, NCGOP Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse exerted pressure on GOP-majority county elections boards to continue the policy to the furthest extent they could get away with.

These are confusing times for racist white people. There’s not as many of them to make a difference these days.

And it sort of worked, until the State Board of Elections called 33 of North Carolina’s 100 counties to the carpet and forced them to reinstate voting hours and polling places they persisted in striking.

Still, 23 of these counties were successful in reducing the number of early voting hours, and nine were able to drop Sunday voting altogether, including Forsyth.

But here’s the thing: The Republican Party’s plan seems to be to lock down the vote of white people — or, at least, minimize the effect of black and brown people on our government. But even in a state like North Carolina, which is about 70 percent white, they can only get a third of the counties to play ball.

This problematic math, these diminishing returns, are what’s causing Republican heads to explode in slow motion across the country, not just here at home.

Because even the C students among them — and there are likely a lot of them — have got to notice that people come in all shades these days, and that the demographic is shifting against their favor.

These are confusing times for racist white people. There’s not as many of them to make a difference these days.

That’s the biggest fallacy of Trump’s message — which up until this point has been rife with outright race-baiting: You can fire up the dogs, but if there’s not enough of them to pull the sled, you’re not going anywhere.

It might work in North Carolina, where voter suppression combined with hopelessly gerrymandered districts and unopposed candidates will keep Republicans in the majority in Raleigh.

But what does it say about today’s Republican Party when it still reverts to the timeworn tactic of suppressing the vote to gain advantage, instead of shifting policy to address a changing electorate? And can we expect any candidate from a party whose success is predicated on disenfranchising black and brown people to effectively represent those people if elected?