Removing Black lawmakers is voter suppression – and the US has done it for centuries

Michael Harriot

When Tennessee lawmakers expelled two Black legislators from the state’s Republican-dominated house of representatives, pundits described the decision as “stunning” and “historic”. Joe Biden called it “shocking, undemocratic and without precedent”. The New York Times characterized it as “an extraordinary act of political retribution”.

Sorry, have you met America?

This tragic comedy always has the same theme: Black voter suppression vs white power. In the comparatively short arc of this country’s political history, this display of unapologetic whiteness is as unusual as water being wet and fire being hot. It is the most preposterous narrative to say the partisanship that defines this political climate is new or even remarkable….