Voter ID Laws Are Patriotic. They Protect Black Americans | Opinion

Within 24 hours of Independence Day 2022, Biden's Department of Justice (DOJ) announced its plan to sue Arizona for a state law that requires proof of American citizenship to vote in presidential elections.

You read that right: The DOJ is suing Arizona for making sure that people who aren't citizens of the United States don't vote in our elections.

Reasonable Americans may be surprised to learn that the cost of having noncitizens vote in our elections is controversial. Yet from New York City to parts of Maryland, California and elsewhere across America, liberals are attempting to let noncitizens steer our election results.

Hence the Arizona law. Yet adding insult to injury, Kristen Clarke, the assistant attorney general for the DOJ's civil rights division, called the Arizona law "a textbook violation" of the 1993 National Voter Registration Act.

Black Americans voting
ATLANTA, GA - MAY 24: Voters visit polling places across Georgia today to cast their ballots in the 2022 Primary Election on May 24, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. Voters will be voting on U.S. Senate seats, the Governor position, Georgia Secretary of State, and some will be voting for congressional seats, as well as many other positions. Megan Varner/Getty Images

The truth is the exact opposite: Not protecting our elections from non-citizens is what hurts the Black community. We have struggled for equal voting rights for as long as we have been American—only to have the Left invoke our fight in the name of extending what is rightfully ours to those who are not citizens.

Average Americans get this. Support for a voter ID requirement has increased from less than 70 percent of likely U.S. voters in 2018 to 90 percent of Republicans and 60 percent of Democrats in 2021. Americans across the board believe that an ID requirement maintains the integrity of our elections—and this includes Americans descended from slaves. In a survey by Monmouth University Polling Institute, well over 80 percent of non-white participants supported voter ID requirements; an ANES study found that this included 66 percent of Hispanic respondents, 56 percent of Black respondents, and 61 percent of those who did not self-identify as White, Hispanic, or Black.

So why are we still calling a voter ID requirement racist?

According to Democrats, voter ID laws disproportionately affect Black people and "communities of color" and are therefore racist. But there is more to the story.

It's true that a small number of descendants of U.S. slaves born during legalized segregation of the mid 1900's were often born at home or in institutions of the South that did not certify their birth. As a result, around 100,000 descendants of U.S. slaves do not have a state-issued birth certificate. This lack of documentation may affect their ability to get identification in their current state of residence.

The solution to this consequence of segregation is easy: Implement a reasonable vetting process using a combination of DNA and public records to confirm the person's connection to at least one recent direct blood line ancestor living in the U.S. prior to the individual's birth.

Yet, rather than focus on finding a solution, liberals instead have chosen to fetishize the problem, cultivating a victim consciousness and nurturing a delusional savior complex.

The truth is, this war the Democrats are waging against voter identifying themselves as U.S. citizens is not about us. It's about them—specifically, a tacit (and sometimes not so tacit belief) that relaxing these laws will help their chances at victory.

And yet, it is undeniable that allowing noncitizens to vote weakens the power of Americans to decide our destiny. What could hurt Black Americans more?

It's mythical to believe liberals can hurt descendants of slaves without harming the whole citizenry, and vice versa. Nowhere is the interdependence of Americans clearer than in the outcomes of our electoral process. We must ensure equal protections under the law—including when it comes to voting.

Hopefully, the rest of America is learning what more Black Americans are awakening to every day: The Left has divorced the American people.

Descendants of slaves and all Americans have every right to protect our political interests and maintain shared political power in our home. Liberal policies that do not confirm American citizenship before voting are an unpatriotic tool used to weaken us. And there is nothing "woke" about undermining the American people.

Pamela Denise Long is CEO of Youthcentrix® Therapy Services, a business focused on helping organizations implement trauma-informed practices and diversity, equity, inclusion, and antiracism (DEIA) at the systems level. Connect with Ms. Long online at www.youthcentrix.com or @PDeniseLong on social media.

The views expressed in this article are the writer's own.