Stacey Abrams in ALL IN Courtesy of Amazon Studios

If there was ever a time for America to address its sins of the past, that time is now. The landscape of business has changed dramatically due to COVID-19. The coronavirus put life as we know it on pause for at least six months (and possibly longer). The environment is changing, healthcare is changing, the way our children are learning is changing by the day… But the one thing that hasn’t changed in this country is racism.

In the United States of America, racism isn’t a new concept. The creation of this nation was seated on the backs of slaves and the slaughter of indigenous people. The film ALL IN: THE FIGHT FOR DEMOCRACY goes into detail of how racism creeps its way into systems to become “systemic racism”. The system in question? the voting process.

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was groundbreaking. My father was 10-years-old when it happened, and yet, he remembers it like it was yesterday. One of the key parts of the Voting Rights Act was gutted during President Obama’s second term. That part specified that a small cache of states (mostly southern) would have the federal government involved in all of their voting processes. Sounds invasive right? Well, that’s until you research the hatred and racism behind states like Texas, Alabama, and Georgia restricting the black vote.

An example of how important the right to vote is can be seen in the effort to dismantle the Voting Rights Act itself. That one component I mentioned had to be brought to a vote; to end the federal government’s reign as ‘big brother’ in Southern States’ elections. It was passed… by one vote. One. Vote.

Just like racism, voter suppression comes in many forms. For example, many people think they’re not racist just because they don’t use specific derogatory terms to describe someone based on their race. That way of thinking is incorrect. Most often times when black people and people of color are on the receiving end of racism, it usually comes in the form of micro-aggressions. So with voting, you can’t just come out and say, “Poor people, Blacks, and Latinos, can’t vote.” Instead, you chip away at those groups’ access to certain things pertaining to their vote (Georgia’s “exact match” ID law, restricting early voting). Suppression tactics include poll closures, voter intimidation, purging, overly strict Voter ID requirements, and other measures.

I can’t think of a better person to speak on the matter of voter suppression than Stacey Abrams, a woman who would’ve been the first black female governor for the state of Georgia if it wasn’t for current governor Brian Kemp’s cheating. With poll closures left and right and voter purging, the man who was in charge of the state’s voting, went on to directly affect the gubernatorial vote and its outcome.

Abrams speaks candidly on her upbringing, her first impression of the Georgia governorship, and how activism became an integral part of her life. Special guests include Andrew Young, Luci Baines Johnson, Marcia Fudge, and author Carol Anderson.

I give ALL IN: THE FIGHT FOR DEMOCRACY a 10 out of 10. It’s timely, poignant, and details how citizens’ rights are being attacked in the most discrete manner imaginable. ALL IN isn’t just a documentary, it’s a history lesson and a wake-up call.

ALL IN: THE FIGHT FOR DEMOCRACY opens in select theaters on Wednesday, Sept. 9 and Amazon Prime Video September 18. #AllInForVoting

-Jon J.

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