Yesterday, Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (D-OH), the Chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, was arrested with several activists on Capitol Hill during a protest in defense of voting rights. The push for Congress to pass a comprehensive voting rights bill has grown more heated in recent months as Republicans across the country have launched a coordinated campaign to pass Draconian voting restrictions with the aim of reducing the number of people able to vote for Democrats come election time.
After her arrest, Beatty took to Twitter to issue a defiant message stating that she can’t be stopped or silenced. It was a brave move on her part and exactly the kind of behavior we should encourage and expect from our representatives. The Republicans are trying to permanently subject this country to their minority rule by disenfranchising vast swathes of the electorate. Now is not the time for polite, tame politics.
You can arrest me. You can’t stop me. You can’t silence me.
— Joyce Beatty (@RepBeatty) July 15, 2021
Earlier in the day, Beatty had shared photos of other Black female activists protesting with her. The message was proud and optimistic.
Today, Donald Trump Jr. stumbled upon Beatty’s tweet and decided to share it with his followers along with some of his trademark classless commentary.
“This is terrible. I had no idea that Black Women couldn’t vote. How is this not a bigger story?” he wrote sarcastically, mocking the very idea of Black women being denied access to the vote.
Of course, Black women are legally allowed to vote (which was the point of Don Jr.’s tweet) but that doesn’t mean they are allowed to vote in practice. Black women are the backbone of the Democratic Party with 91% of them voting for Joe Biden in 2020 and so they are naturally one of the GOP’s favorite targets. The simple truth is that it doesn’t matter if you can legally vote if the Republicans in your state shut down polling places or put so many regressive laws in place that it becomes functionally impossible for you to exercise your right.
In a single tweet, Don Jr. broadcasted profound contempt for all of the courageous Black activists who have struggled for decades to secure and defend the vote. There is nothing funny about disenfranchisement and this is the last thing in the world that a political figure should be mocking.
This is terrible. I had no idea that Black Women couldn’t vote. How is this not a bigger story? https://t.co/CNxjcE8kS2
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) July 16, 2021
Before long, Beatty responded and put the little internet troll in his place by taking a potshot at his father and then briefly explaining the manner in which Republican-controlled states are working to strip many Americans of their right to vote.
Heads up @DonaldJTrumpJr…
Since your Dad lost, got kicked off Facebook & Twitter for inciting an insurrection that killed 5, & keeps lying about the election, Govs. Kemp & Abbott and Republican states are working overtime to deny Americans' the right to vote. It's a big story. https://t.co/n2VxUcHf7S
— Joyce Beatty (@RepBeatty) July 16, 2021
The broader backlash to Donald Jr’s tweet was swift.
I think you know exactly what they are talking about. Taking away poling places in black communities, etc etc etc.
— Judy LaTorre (@JudyLaTorre6) July 16, 2021
Hoooo baby you really don’t understand America and all the nuances of voting accessibility that are at stake right now.
But we’re not surprised
— PJ – do Justly, love Mercy, walk Humbly (@topined) July 16, 2021
Rehab, babe. It's time.
— Suburban Guerrilla Ω (@SusieMadrak) July 16, 2021
Ain't it tragic that we've gotten to the point in America where an entire political party wants to prevent people from votin', but ensure everyone owns a gun?
— Michael Kelly (@mbkelly001) July 16, 2021
Oh you know Jr, your party’s multiple voter suppression laws are purposely making it harder for ppl to vote.
— Meidas Auntie (@MeidasAuntie) July 16, 2021
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This is a staff report from former Occupy Democrats Editor in Chief Colin Taylor or contributor Rob Haffney.