Joy Reid on Voting

Joy Reid gave a powerful discourse on the critical importance of voting April 6, 2024, at the Apollo Theater where she discussed her new book, Medgar & Myrlie: Medgar Evers and the Love Story That Awakened America, with Rachel Maddow. I highly recommend you watch the whole discussion if possible, which includes not only Rachel and Joy but also some comments from Reverend Al Sharpton. I’ve included several noteworthy quotes below. The audio of the interview is available as a free podcast as well.

[There] is a systematic attempt to wage economic warfare on a group of people, particularly in southern states, who have the numbers that if they voted at scale would flip elections.

Joy Reid

Texas, Arizona, Nevada, Mississippi, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Florida, which is one of the highest percentage of black people in the country. The systematic ways in which they’re trying to demoralize black voters and demoralize brown voters and demoralize white liberal voters and demoralize LGBTQ voters, it’s about reducing the percentage of people who will be willing to or able to participate so that they can win. That is the way fascist governments thrive.

Joy Reid

[Democracy is] just a word that we say a lot that I don’t think people necessarily know what that means: demos, the people. It means the people get to decide. Well, how are the people deciding when 40% of Americans vote in a primary, and then everyone is stuck, you know what I mean?

And then everyone’s stuck with whoever that 40% choose in the general, and then like 60% vote in the general. Well, that means that demos did not decide that. That isn’t democracy. …

I was in Broward County, it was one of the bluest counties in Florida and one of the worst turnouts, 30 some odd percent. You get a Ron DeSantis in because, you know, they say he won a great victory. But a million people didn’t vote that voted in the previous election. That is subtraction, not addition, and that’s not democracy.

Joy Reid

We are not in a place right now as a country of 330 million people where we can count on a few heroes to fix this for us. We need mass participation.

Joy Reid

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