The recent U.S. Supreme Court decision to reverse Roe v. Wade will have a chilling effect on targeted citizens in America. We as African Americans, people of color, LGBTQIA+, those who live a different lifestyle or have same-sex marriages are next to lose some constitutional and civil rights because of the political and far right conservative religious beliefs of the majority of the justices. Although, both views should be absent from court decisions.
Even if a woman or female youth is raped or impregnated by incest, (in many states) they will have to accept forced birth – unimaginable to any fair-minded, thinking person. It’s a total erosion of reproductive rights. Justice Clarence Thomas further gives credence to my contention that adverse forces will next be directed against certain racial, ethnic and specific communities. He states the court should revisit other long-standing legal precedents, in particular protections and legality of same-sex marriages and contraceptives for women or young girls.
It just so happens Thomas failed to include Loving v. Virginia, 1967, that made it a crime for a Black man to marry or cohabitate with a white woman. He is married to a white woman. Why target others when he benefited from the law and was able to marry the one he loves, regardless of color? Hypocritical, to say the least.
Already, a U.S. senator, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, tweeted out the Supreme Court should look at Plessey v. Ferguson, 1896, and Brown v. Board of Education, 1954. This position suggests America should go back to pre-civil rights and live in a “separate but equal” society. One could take this as being a racist thought from an elected leader. The U.S. Senate has already failed to protect voting rights, and there is a continuing effort to make it more difficult for Black people in America to vote. A Jim Crow attitude is being displayed by our elected officials.
Also, there is no fair immigration legislation being framed because of the extreme right wing of the Senate. White supremacy and domestic terrorism are on the rise. The question becomes, are we headed for a civil or racial war in America in the 21st century?
Now is the time for collective action. We must seize this moment and work to get our young adults registered to vote. We must educate voters why we, as Americans, need to support public officials who represent our concerns and priorities. We as Americans cannot accept going back 50 years and relive the past. We must put in place those tactics and strategies that enabled Roe v. Wade to become a reality in 1973 and other civil rights legislation in the 1960s. We must organize, mobilize and encourage our youth and others to get excited and passionate about creating a political movement that reflects Blacks, people of color, LGBTQIA+, white women and compassionate white males who believe women should have the right to choose.
The Albuquerque NAACP is open to forming a diversified coalition to engage young people, increase voter registration and motivate people to vote for what’s right instead of party affiliation.