NEA Statement on Voter Suppression

The National Economic Association (NEA) was founded in December 1969 as the Caucus of Black Economists, to research, analyze, understand, and address the systematic and institutionalized practices of anti-Blackness in generating the economic and social inequalities oppressing the Black community. Since its founding, NEA scholars have been leaders in researching and exposing the structural conditions that perpetuate economic inequality and suppression of Black and Brown communities, in the U.S. and around the world.

The recent voting law passed in Georgia which will have the effect of limiting Black voting as well as the bills introduced in 42 other state legislatures are a systematic expression of the political, economic, social, and physical violence that has denied Black Americans from fully participating as citizens in the political and economic life of our nation.

THE NEA UNEQUIVOCALLY CONDEMNS AND OPPOSES THESE ACTS OF VOTER SUPPRESSION THAT ARE TARGETED AGAINST BROWN AND BLACK COMMUNITIES AND STANDS IN SOLIDARITY WITH THOSE COMMUNITIES.

These bills and laws are part of a long tradition of state-sponsored voter suppression that dates back to the 19th century when southern state legislatures enacted laws and amendments to their constitutions that disfranchised Black men. These included poll taxes, literacy tests, grandfather clauses, and other deceptive means to prevent African American men from exercising their constitutional right to vote and having a say in matters of governance. Additionally, white mobs resorted to violence in order to intimidate, prevent, and retaliate against Black Americans attempting to vote.

During the 20th century, when the right to vote was extended to women, southern states responded with increased violent suppression of the African American vote through lynchings, bombings, and also assassinations of African American leadership. Through the sustained actions of the African American community and their allies, most of these voter suppression tactics were made illegal by the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Anti-Blackness, however, was not abated; campaigns to suppress the Black vote became national rather than just southern. Indeed, the decision in Shelby vs. Holder (2013) which eliminates section 4 of the 1965 Civil Rights Act, thereby enables states to pursue legislation with voter suppression implications. We see this with the voter suppression bills in 43 states that are a reaction to the expanding influence of Black and Brown Americans among active and committed voters.

AS ECONOMISTS, WE ENDORSE THE USE OF ECONOMIC POWER TO PRESERVE CITIZENS’ RIGHT TO VOTE AND WE CALL ON THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY AND OTHER ORGANIZATIONS TO USE THEIR ECONOMIC POWER TO HELP OVERTURN AND DEFEAT VOTER SUPPRESSION LEGISLATION.

THE NEA CALLS ON ALL AMERICANS OF GOOD CONSCIENCE TO STAND AGAINST ANTI-DEMOCRATIC PRACTICES OF VOTER SUPPRESSION.

We invite you to support this statement. For organizational endorsements click on the HTTPS link in the Add an Organizational Endorsement section below, which will take you to another form. The section to Add An Individual Endorsement is at the bottom of the page. Of course, you can do both.

Thank you for your support. If you have any questions, please let us know via the form.

Nina Banks, PhD
NEA President
On Behalf of the NEA Board of Directors

Organizational Endorsements

*Black Onyx Management, Inc.
Marshawn Wolley
President and CEO

Individual Endorsements

Nina Banks, Associate Professor of Economics, Bucknell University
Romie Tribble, Full Professor of Economics/Secretary, NEA, Spelman College
Linwood Tauheed, Associate Professor of Economics, University of Missouri Kansas City
Randall Akee, Associate Professor, UCLA
Mark Ottoni-Wilhelm, Professor of Economics, IUPUI
Nzinga H. Broussard, Senior Director, Global Innovation Fund
Linda Loubert, Interim Chair, Economics Department, Morgan State University
Art Goldsmith, Professor of Economics, Washington and Lee University
Russell E. Williams, Associate Professor of Economics, Wheaton College (Massachusetts)
Zoe Plakias, Assistant Professor, The Ohio State University
Antonio Callari, Professor, Franklin and Marshall College
Katherine Gutierrez, PhD candidate, University of New Mexico
Jeannette Wicks-Lim , Associate Research Professor , University of Massachusetts Amherst
MWANGI wa GITHINJI, Assoc. Professor, University of Massachusetts-Amherst
Akira Motomura, Professor and Chair of Economics, Stonehill College
Manu Raghav, Associate Professor, DePauw University
BART HOBIJN, Professor , Arizona State University
William Darity Jr., Samuel DuBois Cook Professor of Public Olivy, Duke University
Anders Fremstad, Assistant Professor, Colorado State University
Sarah Jacobson, Associate Professor of Economics, Williams College
Katherine C Theyson, Associate Professor of Economics, The University of the South
Bobby Sinclair, Self, Self
Bonnie Wilson, Associate Professor of Economics, Saint Louis University
Chéri Phillips, Assistant Professor of Economics, State University of New York at Cortland
Charles Becker, Research Professor of Economics, Duke University
Tobias Amadeus Brevik, Mx., Florida State University
Elif Sisli Ciamarra, Associate Professor of Finance, Stonehill College
Richard Franklin America, Professor of the Practice, Emeritus, Georgetown University McDonough School of Business
Bernard E. Anderson, Professor Emeritus, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
Daniel Elfeta, PhD, Northcentral University
Chantal Smith, PhD Candidate, Howard University
Sarah Small, , Duke University, Colorado State University
Franklin Obeng-Odoom, Dr., University of Helsinki
Shelley White-Means, Professor, University of Tennessee Health Science Center
Chéri Phillips, Assistant Professor of Economics, State University of New York at Cortland
Robert M Johnson, Doctoral Student, University of Missouri Kansas City
Erzo F.P. Luttmer, Professor, Dartmouth College
Brian Lee Billings, CEO, AE Association
SHREEKANT , PRASAD , CIMA
Charles Betsey, Professor Emeritus , Howard University
Jordan Ayala, Research Assistant, OSUN Economic Democracy Initiative
Lisa Saunders, Associate Professor, University of Massachusetts, Economics