During last night's outrageous debate, Donald Trump explicitly refused to condemn white supremacists like the Proud Boys, telling them to "stand by" as if he were their commander. Then, Trump again refused to promise that he would accept election results.
Chillingly, when asked to commit to keeping his supporters non-violent, Trump refused and instead called on his voters to "go into the polls and watch very carefully." Last week, Donald Trump, Jr. invited supporters to join Trump's "army" of poll watchers. Before that, President Trump called on law enforcement to monitor polling places, an obvious civil rights violation.
Trump is clearly inciting his supporters toward violence and planning to intimidate and harass voters of color at the polls.
Republicans have a long history of racist attempts to suppress minority voters. In fact, the Republican Party was prevented from engaging in some types of vote monitoring by a federal consent decree for 30 years until 2018. Their use of voter intimidation was so egregious that decades of Republican and Democratic-appointed judges and Departments of Justice considered them too racist to be allowed.
As the late civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis said, "The right to vote is precious, almost sacred. It is the most powerful non-violent tool or instrument in a democratic society. We must use it." This year, we must stand ready to protect it as well.
The Michigan People's Campaign urges its supporters and the public at large to volunteer as civil rights monitors with our allied organizations. On Election Day, they will safeguard voters' rights, ensure a free and fair election, and be able to call in a crack team of civil rights attorneys to intervene if necessary.