In an interview with Politico, Rev. Al Sharpton, a civil rights activist and former presidential candidate, said he and others are in talks to host town halls and rallies in senators’ home states, including Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) who have stated their opposition to the filibuster.
Sharpton in his extreme thinking said that when Manchin and Sinema keep supporting the filibuster, it equates to “supporting racism,” which would be how he would go after them.
“The pressure that we are going to put on Sinema and Manchin is calling [the filibuster] racist and saying that they are, in effect, supporting racism,” Sharpton reviewed to Politico. “Why would they be wedded to something that has those results? Their voters need to know that,” explained his aversion to the filibuster.
If laws that are capable of transforming the world are not enacted, according to Sharpton, civil rights activists will have a difficult time creating support for the 2022 midterm elections.
“Many of us, and certainly all of us in the civil rights leadership, are committed to policies and laws and causes, not to people’s political careers. We’re not into that. We want to change the country,” Sharpton told Politico. He believed that when a lack of evidence to prove they are fulfilling their responsibility is there, “it is not in our concern to be aggressively involved.”
Sharpton is part of a broader left-wing movement to end the filibuster in order for Democrats’ S.1 election and voting rights bill to pass.
Earlier in March Manchin said that he would “never” abandon his support for the filibuster, whereas to Sinema “changing her mind” is not an option she would consider.
Since the Senate is equally divided 50-50, with Vice President Harris casting the deciding vote, their opinions on the filibuster are critical. The majority of bills must earn 60 votes to meet President Biden’s desk.
The filibuster under progressive Democrats’ view is an antiquated relic that can be used by McConnell’s minority Republican Party to disrupt Biden’s agenda, and repealing it is what they want. They warn of a repetition of how the filibuster was used to delay civil rights legislation during the 20th century.
Senate Republicans said at a news conference on Wednesday that they are willing to go to any length to stop the voting rights bill, predicting that Democrats will eliminate the filibuster to usher in the dramatic reforms.
Black civil rights activists, voting rights advocates, and elected officials are stepping up their lobbying efforts to convince Senate Democrats to abolish the filibuster, claiming that unless they either keep the law or pass voting rights legislation, an option of both should be dismissed.