Dear African American Voters of Alabama,
In less than a week, you’ll go to the polls to elect either Republican Roy Moore or Democrat Doug Jones as your new U.S. Senator. The differences between the two men couldn’t be clearer, and the results of the election couldn’t be more consequential. Jones built a reputation as a tough, no-nonsense U.S. attorney whose accomplishments include prosecuting the remaining two Ku Klux Klan perpetrators of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing that killed four African-Americans girls. Moore, on the other hand, went to a black church in Alabama two days ago, cynically hoping to trick African Americans into supporting him.
Moore apparently expects black voters to overlook or not care about the fact that nine credible women have accused him of sexually harassing or assaulting them when they were underage girls in their teens. One of Moore’s accusers claims she was only 14-years-old when the then 32-year-old district attorney removed her clothing and inappropriately touched her body.
All of Moore’s accusers recall events that have the ring of truth: Some can describe Moore’s home in the woods where they say he took them. Others can produce corroborating evidence of a relationship, such as Moore’s handwriting on a greeting card or an inscribed high school yearbook that bears his signature.
Beyond that, Moore expects black voters to forget his blatant racism. More told CNN as recently as last December that he still didn't believe President Barack Obama was an American-born citizen. Moore also said that U.S. Congressman Keith Ellison, who is Muslim, should not have been allowed to serve after being elected in 2006 because he chose to be sworn in with his hand on the Koran rather than a Bible.
"Islamic law is not comparable to our law," Moore said.
And just last month, while campaigning, Moore took an apparent dig at the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act, saying "new rights" created in 1965 were the source of our "problems" today.
Roy Moore’s visit to a predominantly black church is reminiscent of Donald Trump’s condescending campaign pitch to black voters—that black communities were so terrible that black voters had nothing to lose by supporting him. As it turns out, that was a lie. As we all know now, there was plenty to lose. Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump’s hand-picked Attorney General, has been relentless in trying to rollback Obama era reforms aimed at rooting out police brutality and corruption. Trump, himself, has been leaser beamed focused on trying to destroy Obamacare, seizing every opportunity to undermine a healthcare system that aids the poor in order to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy. Trump’s Federal Judge appointees have been nothing short of an unmitigated disaster—a collection of nearly all white, conservative males who will be handing down rigid rulings against women and minority rights for decades to come.
On all issues of importance to the black community, Roy Moore is in lockstep with Donald Trump. And just like with Trump, a vote for Moore is a vote against minority and women’s rights, and is a tacit endorsement of sexual harassment and assault.
Barring impeachment, there’s little we can do about Trump until 2020. But the same is not true about Roy Moore. We can use those voting rights we obtained in 1965 to for his opponent, Doug Jones. We can cast our ballots and keep creepy Roy Moore and his cowboy hat out of the senate.
We are counting on you to help us stop Moore and Trump from devastating our communities and rolling back decades of progress on issues that impact our community. There is so much more work to be done to achieve equality and to ensure the next generation is afforded every opportunity to thrive unencumbered by racial prejudices and institutional racism.
Our lives will not be improved instantly be defeating Roy Moore, but for sure, we pay an unimaginable price if he is elected. We are only going to get one chance to do the right thing and to get it right!
About the Author: Areva Martin
Areva Martin is America's Advocate. She is a TV talk show host and commentator on compelling legal, political, women’s, children’s and celebrity issues. A Los Angeles based civil rights attorney and Founder of the Special Needs Network, Areva is a nationally recognized and out-spoken autism advocate and attorney fighting for the rights of underserved communities.