Midterm Elections: Minorities in America Are Under Attack

As Americans head to the polls, important issues are at stake.

The impact of the 2022 midterm election could be far reaching for Lewis High School students.

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The impact of the 2022 midterm election could be far reaching for Lewis High School students.

Alex Ewing, Staff Writer

For more than two-hundred years, midterm elections have served as a chance for voters to express their satisfaction, or more often distaste, with the performance of their government between presidential elections. And some midterms have had more consequential outcomes than others. This year, we have a fundamental choice to make as a country. Will we be governed by the principles of pragmatism and humanism or narcissism and hatred? 

This midterm election the progress achieved by American minority communities is under attack. The LGBTQ community has fought for its basic rights, and victories, including equal marriage, are recent. But for marginalized queer people, a chance for true equality is only getting more distant. 

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has threatened to overturn the landmark ruling (Obergefell v Hodges) guaranteeing the Constitutional Right to equal marriage rights. Additionally, barbaric healthcare and sports bans targeting transgender individuals have been passed at the state level. Parents of transgender children have been investigated by state officials in Texas, and intimidation of LGBTQ individuals has increased dramatically. 

A Republican victory in the midterm elections would spell the end of an era of progress for LGBTQ individuals and undo years of activism and work. Conversely, Democrats have pledged to act on LGBTQ rights, proposing the Equality Act that would end discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity at the federal level.

Senior Ander Boulware, President of the Lewis LGBTQ Alliance, fears for LGBTQ students rights if Republicans make gains this November. “They’re never going to stop. [Their policies] are going to undo all the progress we’ve made, all of it undone,” Boulware said.

LGBTQ individuals aren’t the only Republican target this midterm cycle. John Lewis High School has welcomed immigrants for generations, but the ability of refugees to seek safety in the United States could change based on the result of this election. Thousands of immigrants would be threatened by Republican policies proposing mass deportations to unsafe regions of the world. Places like our school will play an even more important role in supporting immigrants and refugees if further xenophobic policies are allowed to take effect.

Another issue at stake is the right to vote itself. Republican-controlled states have passed restrictive voting laws designed to suppress turnout in minority communities, especially communities of color. People of color often face longer voting lines as a result of White-majority neighborhoods having more polling locations. Voters of color are being struck from voter rolls at higher rates than white voters, and laws restricting the types of IDs that can be used to vote, limiting the window for early voting, and eliminating early voting on Sunday, when many Black churches have Souls to the Polls events, are all thinly-veiled attacks at silencing the voices of minority voters.

Sophomore Jerusalem Hailu is concerned about the effects of voter suppression and the lack of attention and accountability its proponents are receiving. “When you take people off the voter rolls, it is definitely voter suppression. No one is talking about it, so these people are not being held accountable and taking away our voices in democracy. If you’re targeting a certain group of people, how do you expect it to be an equal vote for all?” Hailu said.

It is likely no coincidence that these three issues, which directly affect many students at Lewis, show a stark choice that voters will have this November. Republican proposals advocate oppression and marginalization. The only alternative is an inclusive movement, made up of Democrats, Independents, and Republicans who believe in democracy and equality. 

Lewis is a school that thrives on diversity and advocates for social justice. The stakes for minority students, with no voice in elections, are stressfully high.