Voter suppression is an act of white supremacy. It’s illegal. And white leadership on both the Republican and Democratic sides of the aisle benefit from it. But not for long.

People of color will soon make up nearly 50% of the population, but we currently make up less than 25% of Congress. In fact, we only represent 10% of the Senate. Since the birth of the United States, instead of enjoying direct and fair representation, people of color have had to go through a white intermediary to advance our political agendas. But that could all change in the upcoming elections.

Donald Trump and the Republican Party’s white nationalist agenda has polarized the nation in such a way that white supremacy on the right and the left is being directly challenged. While people of color have consistently been outraged by the Republican Party’s direct attacks on our communities, anger towards the Democrats for their refusal to defend us against these attacks is reaching a newly heightened fever pitch.

In other words, people of color are sick of both attacks from white people on the right and empty promises from white people on the left — and we’re not going to take it anymore. We want to fight for ourselves, on our own terms, under our own chosen leadership. And we don’t want to wait for white people to tell us it’s OK.

Correction — we AREN’T going to wait for white people to tell us it’s OK.

We have the numbers to take the Democratic Party. We know what we need to do to get the job done. And we are mobilizing.

Currently, white Democrats outnumber Democrats of color 40 million to 27 million. But this is only counting Democrats that were able to vote in the 2016 General Election. One of the dirtiest secrets of the Democratic Party is that while the Republicans take the blame for designing and implementing voter suppression tactics, it is the Democrats that allow them to get away with it. And for good reason.

There are more suppressed voters of color than there are active voters of color in the Democratic Party.

In addition to the 27 million voters of color that cast a vote for Clinton in the 2016 Presidential Election, people of color are sitting on top of a pool of over 50 million suppressed voters. These voters have been prevented from casting a ballot because of illegal (but largely unchallenged) voter ID laws, purging efforts, polling place closures, ADA violations and felony disenfranchisement policies.

Community organizations have long been demanding the Democratic Party both remove these policies in their own territories and challenge the remaining practices in federal court for violations of the Voting Rights Act, but they have refused. Not only have they refused, but they have consistently lied and claimed that they either don’t have the funds to fight for re-enfranchisement or that focus should be on restoring the Voting Rights Act and not enforcing it.

Both excuses are — for lack of a better term — complete bullshit.

The Democratic Party is currently boasting record donations and the portion of the Voting Rights Act that was neutralized in the case of Shelby County vs Holder has nothing to do with prosecuting violator. Absolutely nothing.

So, while the white Democratic leadership is playing stupid, they aren’t being stupid. They are (in)acting intentionally. They are being strategic and they are being calculated.

White Democrats know their numbers. If white Democrats countered GOP voter suppression policies and practices, Democrats of Color would outnumber white Democrats. If white Democrats worked to end voter suppression, they know they would be working to end their control of the Party. If white Democrats worked to end voter suppression, they would lose their jobs immediately.

They know that the removal of voter ID restrictions would add 21 million voters back into the voting pool. Eliminating felony disenfranchisement policies and voter purging systems like Crosscheck would add another 7 million voters back into our ranks. Reopening polling places, expanding them and providing alternatives to in-person voting would enable millions more people of color, poor voters, working class voters, voters living with disabilities and elderly voters to reach the polls.

While not all of these voters will be people of color, the overwhelming majority will be. With only 13 million voters needed to outnumber white Democrats in the Party, anti-suppression efforts stand to completely topple the balance of white authority within the Democratic Party.

It would take even less votes to overtake their Presidential Candidate in the Democratic Primaries and replace him or her with one of our own.

Only 30 million Democrats cast a vote in the last Presidential Primary. Of those 30 million people, 17 million voted for Clinton and 13 million voted for Sanders. People of color cast 8 million Clinton votes for Clinton and 1 million for Sanders. That breaks down to:

12 million white Sanders voters

9 million Clinton voters, and

9 million voters of color

If we came together under the umbrella of Democrats of Color, though, we would only need 3 million more voters to turn out to advance a Presidential candidate of our choosing to the General Elections if Sanders stayed in the party, and even fewer if he decided to run for President as an Independent. And if current trends continue and the Sanders camp splits from the Democratic Party entirely, our odds get even better.

Democrats of Color could easily take complete command of the 2020 Primary Elections., and if we mobilize quickly enough, people of color could also dominate the 2018 Midterm Elections.

Turnout rates in the midterm elections are similar to those in Primary Elections. If we can consolidate our vote and liberate suppressed voters within the next year, we could not only see the Democratic wave necessary to take Congress back from the Republican Party, be we could see a dramatic shift in the color of the Congress that we take back.

By mobilizing active voters of color and doing the work necessary to re-enfranchise suppressed voters, for the first time in the history of the United States, people of color could achieve the direct representation we have never experienced in this nation. If we mobilize all of our voting power, we can end the advancement of white supremacy through the Trump Administration, Congress, and the Democratic Party.

If we actualize the power of the people, we can take it all. And we can make sure we keep it.

To get started visit: #WeAllVote2018

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