Ayanna Pressley ain’t here to play: “Don’t dare invoke one of the darkest days of terrorism in MY city to stoke fear and derail a meaningful conversation” she says.
Democratic Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley is calling out “Pundits”, media reporters and social influencers, who are misleading discussions about restoring voting rights to convicts.
Sen. Bernie Sanders and others have been campaigning in favor of giving voting rights, an important topic especially when one considering the lengths some have gone through to make sure the poor and People of Color can’t vote. Recently a Harvard University student asked Sanders specifically about allowing convicts “like the Boston Marathon bomber” to vote, and Sanders responded with the nuance the topic deserved:
“I think the right to vote is inherent in our democracy — yes, even for terrible people,” Sanders responded. “Because once you start chipping away, you say, ‘Well, that guy committed a terrible crime, not going to let him vote,’ or, ‘That person did that, not going to let that person vote.’ You’re running down a slippery slope. So I believe that people commit crimes, they pay the price. When they get out of jail, I believe they certainly should have the right to vote.”
Since then several started running with the idea that this is somehow all about Dzokhar Tsarnaev, who was sentenced to death in the April 2013 attack that killed three people and injured many others.
In a series of tweets Thursday, Pressley stood firmly against using context of such tragedy to the issue of voting rights. Millions of incarcerated people have not committed violent crimes of any means.
“Pundits, if you want to talk about re-enfranchising folks let’s talk. Did you know in my state there wasn’t a law on the books that explicitly banned those incarcerated from voting until 2001? That law was a fearful response to those on the inside at MCI Norfolk ORGANIZING.”
When inmates at MCI Norfolk, the Massachusetts Correctional Institution in Norfolk, Mass., started forming a political action committee, suddenly prisoners had their rights stripped.
“They were calling for a more just system and humane treatment of those incarcerated.” Pressley continued, “They were reaching for the ballot to fight modern day slavery. As a nation we are facing a mass incarceration crisis that destroys families and communities.
“Don’t dare invoke one of the darkest days of terrorism in MY city,” she clapped back, “to stoke fear and derail a meaningful conversation about fundamental rights & what justice looks like for the 1000s of black & brown folks who are stripped of their liberty & civic participation for minor offenses.”
Ayanna Pressley said what she said, she wrote what she wrote, and she means it.