Forum Thread

Jim Crow, Never Extinct, Has Expanded His Habitat

Reply to ThreadDisplaying 3 Posts
  • Are you sure you want to delete this post?
    Jim Crow has Returned to Roost, This Time Also in Newer Northern Habitat  

    "Whenever one speaks of crows, its wisest not to be too definite. The behavior of crows can vary widely from place to place. However, we can say that in many places, crows will gather in fall and winter to spend the night in large communal roosts containing several hundred to many thousand birds." (Westerfield 2010) 

    Metaphorically speaking, the above is true in terms of Teapublican legislative maneuvers, and corresponding Red State voter apathy or active approval. "The name Jim Crow is often used to describe the segregation laws, rules, and customs which arose after Reconstruction ended in 1877 and continued until the mid-1960s." (Pilgrim 2012) 

    (Pilgrim 2012) "In Plessy {v. Ferguson 1896}, the Supreme Court stated that so long as state governments provided legal process and legal freedoms for blacks, equal to those of whites, they could maintain separate institutions to facilitate these rights. The Court, by a 7-2 vote, upheld the Louisiana law, declaring that racial separation did not necessarily mean an abrogation of equality. In practice, Plessy represented the legitimization of two societies: one white, and advantaged; the other, black, disadvantaged and despised."

    (Pilgrim 2012) "Blacks were denied the right to vote by grandfather clauses (laws that restricted the right to vote to people whose ancestors had voted before the Civil War), poll taxes (fees charged to poor blacks), white primaries (only Democrats could vote, only whites could be Democrats), and literacy tests ('Name all the Vice Presidents and Supreme Court Justices throughout America's history'). Plessy sent this message to southern and border states: Discrimination against blacks is acceptable." 

    Many Southern states adopted a poll tax in the late 1800s. This meant that even though the 15th Amendment gave former slaves the right to vote, many poor people, both blacks and whites, did not have enough money to vote. "The poll tax was used in the South during and after Reconstruction as a means of circumventing the 14th Amendment and denying civil rights to blacks." (US 2012) Unfortunately, the poll tax was based in ancient English Common Law, continuing in many Northern states, although major cities generally litigated it out of existence. "New York City was one of the first, ending the poll tax in 1901." (Wikipedia 2012)  The 24th Amendment Ended the Poll Tax on January 23, 1964. However, Red states have found a new thoroughly modern version of the Jim Crow laws in such mechanisms as curtailing early voting days and constructing onerous requirements for voter ID.

    Examples: "86 Year Old Ohio Veteran Can't Vote After Government Issued Id Is Rejected At Poll"

                  "Florida tells 91-year-old World War II veteran he must prove his citizenship to vote"

                   "Viviette Applewhite, a 93-year-old African-American woman from Philadelphia, suddenly cannot vote. Although she once marched with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. for the right to do so, and has dutifully cast a ballot for five decades, in this election year she may be denied this basic right. Under Pennsylvania's new voter ID law, Applewhite is no longer considered eligible." (Hair and Dianis 2012)

    New hurdles creating a suspiciously timed gauntlet just before the Federal elections in November are clearly being intentionally directed by the 2010 Teapublican wave that has created misrepresentation at all levels of government. During a period of national economic crisis, not to mention war, the only laws that appear to have been drawn up and passed are primarily regarding abortion and voter suppression to help win back the presidency and consolidate their power nationwide.

    "While many people can easily reach into their wallet and produce a current ID that shows who they are and where they live, that is not true for everyone. At any given time, many eligible voters do not have the types of ID that are called for under photo ID proposals. Who is least likely to have a photo ID?
    18 percent of elderly citizens do not have a government-issued photo ID.
    15 percent of voters earning less than $35,000 a year do not have a photo ID.
    18 percent of citizens aged 18-24 do not have a government-issued ID with their current address and name.
    10 percent of voters with disabilities do not have a photo ID.
    25 percent of African-American citizens of voting age do not have a current, government-issued ID
    Voters who are least likely to have ID also are more likely to experience barriers that would prevent them from getting an ID. They are more likely to have low incomes and not have the money for transportation and to acquire supporting documents to qualify for the ID - ordering a birth certificate from another state can be both time-consuming and expensive. People with disabilities and elderly citizens, especially in rural communities, who no longer drive may have difficulty getting to a county office and waiting in the necessary lines to update their identification." (League of Women Voters 2011)

    Starting with Florida, for instance, the DNC chair reminds us of the year 2000 debacle that occurred there, and what is happening now to suppress in particular the traditional Democratic demographic voting patterns. "[I]f you go back to the year 2000, when we had an obvious disaster and - and saw that our voting process needed refinement, and we did that in the America Votes Act and made sure that we could iron out those kinks, now you have the Republicans, who want to literally drag us all the way back to Jim Crow laws and literally - and very transparently - block access to the polls to voters who are more likely to vote Democratic candidates than Republican candidates. And it's nothing short of that blatant." (Smith, 2011)  The Reverend Al Sharpton even chimed in with some Floridians to corroborate these events. (Sharpton 2012).

    The US House Assistant Democratic Leader Jim Clyburn, long associated with the Civil Rights Movement, outlined the prejudicial photo ID bill recently enacted in his state, comparing it with the Jim Crow laws:  “It was effective then, and if we aren’t vigilant, it will be effective today,” Clyburn said. “We must make sure that people are aware of the danger to our democracy.” (Rosen 2012)

    Rep John Lewis (D-GA), an early and highly respected participant in the Civil Right Movement himself,   took his protest right to the floor of the House of Representatives: "Each and every voter ID law is a real threat to voting rights in America. Make no mistake, these voter ID laws are a poll tax. I know what I saw during the 60s. I saw poll tax. And you cannot deny that these ID laws are another form of a poll tax. In an economy where people are already struggling to pay for the most basic necessities, there are too many citizens that would be unable to afford the fees and transportation costs involved in getting government issued photo Ids. Despite all the voter ID laws across the country, there’s no convincing evidence — no evidence at all — that voter fraud is a problem in our election problem." (Somanader 2011)

    Rep. Lewis further states: "It is so important for people to understand, to know that people suffered, struggled," Lewis says. "Some people bled, and some died, for the right to participate. The vote is the most powerful nonviolent tool that we have in a democratic society. It’s precious. It’s almost sacred. We have to use it. If not, we will lose it." (Goodman 2012)

    Florida continues to grasp at straws attempting to continue its assault on voter registration. "... a judge blocked most of Florida's aggressive new restrictions on how groups can register voters. In his opinion, U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle argued in his opinion that the time limits and penalties thrust onto groups like the League of Women Voters, which ultimately caused them to famously shut down their voter registration drive in the state, was unconstitutional:
    'Together speech and voting are constitutional rights of special significance; they are the rights most protective of all others, joined in this respect by the ability to vindicate one’s rights in a federal court. … [W]hen a plaintiff loses an opportunity to register a voter, the opportunity is gone forever. And allowing responsible organizations to conduct voter-registration drives—thus making it easier for citizens to register and vote—promotes democracy." (Kromm 2012) And then: "A federal judge has refused to stop Florida from removing potentially non-U.S. citizens from its voter rolls." (CBS/AP 2012)

    Moving on to Texas, their voter ID law is before a Federal panel of three judges that is expected to make a ruling by the end of August on a case brought by the Justice Department. Further, a Federal Judge also ruled on third party voter registrars (for voter registration drives):
    “During the 2011 legislative session, the Governor signed two bills that imposed a number of additional requirements,' Costa wrote in his 94-page opinion. 'The result is that Texas now imposes more burdensome regulations on those engaging in third-party voter registration than the vast majority of, if not all, other states.' The judge also struck down provisions that required deputy voter registrars be paid hourly, that prevented registration certificates from being photocopied and that prohibited completed forms from being mailed in to elections officials. A final judgment must still be rendered, Costa declared. Until then, the laws cannot be enforced." (Aguilar 2012)

    The Voting Rights Act of 1965 included specific provisions originally intended as the temporary
    Section 5 that required certain states and counties of others to have any election practices or procedures to be reviewed by the Justice Department or the US District Court in Washington D.C.  It originally covered 7 states and certain other counties. It was repeatedly extended by Congress, and in 1975, the last formulation still in effect "broadened to address voting discrimination against members of "language minority groups." An additional coverage formula was enacted, based on the presence of tests or devices and levels of voter registration and participation as of November 1972. In addition, the 1965 definition of "test or device" was expanded to include the practice of providing election information, including ballots, only in English in states or political subdivisions where members of a single language minority constituted more than five percent of the citizens of voting age. This third formula had the effect of covering Alaska, Arizona, and Texas in their entirety, and parts of California, Florida, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, and South Dakota." (DOJ 2012) Congress extended this version for another 25 years from 2006.

    Recently Alabama, Florida, Texas, and a North Carolina county filed constitutionality suits challenging the Voting Rights Act. (Dade 2012) These cases involve the pre-clearance requirement of Section 5 (Dade 2012)

    Moving North, in Pennsylvania, hurried efforts by the current Republican Governor and legislature are trying to implement additional requirements for voter photo ID that are mucking up the registration of new voters or voters who have moved within the state. (The Committee of Seventy 2012) The state announced that it has provided for a special Voter ID card, but they don't meet even the demand of Philadelphia alone, and have encountered delays. (Rapoport 2012)

    "The number of Pennsylvanians who might not have the photo identification necessary to vote this November has more than doubled: at least 1,636,168 registered voters, or 20 percent of Pennsylvania voters, may not have valid PennDOT-issued ID, according to new data obtained by City Paper. In Philadelphia, an enormous 437,237 people, or 43 percent of city voters, may not possess the valid PennDOT ID necessary to vote under the state's controversial new law." (Denvir 2012)

    The Pennsylvanian House Majority Leader Mike Turzai (Allegheny) publicly boasted about his party's intentional voter suppression measure being passed into law. (Willis 2012) 

    Well, it's no surprise when the caliber of Republican politicians is so low that the Allegheny Party Chairman Jim Roddy pokes fun at the developmentally disabled while calling Obama supporters "mentally retarded". (Colmes 2012)

    Now in Ohio, another vital swing state, as in other areas around the country, they have tried to eliminate the early-voting periods that might favor Democratic voter demographics: "More than half of Florida’s early voters in 2008 were Democrats, and many black voters went right from their church pews to the ballot box on the Sunday before Election Day. That’s why the state’s Republicans severely restricted the practice last year, and specifically banned voting on that final Sunday. Similar restrictions were also passed in Georgia, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Ohio, part of a movement to restrict voting that includes tough voter ID requirements." (Firestone 2012)

    But it gets worse. Much worse. The Romney campaign now denigrates the Ohio state Democratic party and Obama campaign with favoring the civilian component over the military voters who are being exempted from the new cancellation of the early-voting period. There is no such favoritism, for the Democratic suit being brought about in court do in fact include that virtually all voters must be allowed to participate in the early-voting period, not solely the military population.

    "The Obama campaign is suing to reverse a measure signed last year by Republican Gov. John Kasich that scrapped the last three days of early voting for everyone except military voters. Republicans went ahead with the new law even though in 2008, over 93,000 people took advantage of those last three days to vote, and despite the fact that, as Maddow recounted in detail, excessive wait times at urban polling places on Election Day 2004 had led to a congressional report (pdf) urging reform." ( Roth 2012)

    (Firestone 2012) "Then, in an extraordinary lie, Mr. Romney issued a statement Saturday turning the lawsuit around to accuse Democrats of trying to end early voting for the military. “President Obama’s lawsuit claiming it is unconstitutional for Ohio to allow servicemen and women extended early voting privileges during the state’s early voting period is an outrage,” he said. He went on to say that the “brave men and women of our military” make tremendous sacrifices for the country, and that everything should be done “to protect their fundamental right to vote.”

    (Firestone 2012) "The lawsuit does nothing of the kind. It simply seeks to give civilians the same voting rights as servicemen and women. But just as Republicans have twisted the Voter ID issue into a fight against a phony trend of fraud, they are now trying to turn the early-voting battle into a defense of the military against an administration falsely portrayed as anti-soldier."

    MSNBC's Ed Show is providing accurate push-back on this reprehensible misinformation on the second half of this video, featuring an interview with a former Ohioan Congressman who is also an Air Force Reserve officer. (Schultz 2012) Recently on the Maddow Show, the problems of Elections boards administration are further illustrated. (Maddow 2012)The first portion include new reporting on the requirement being encountered at the polls recently to require voters to affirm their citizenship on the  voting forms, even though that law was vetoed by the Republican Governor, which shows just how much disarray the state of Michigan is currently experiencing.

    Finally, its not only special populations such as the elderly and disabled that have difficulties in exercising their voting rights. "Interviews with Latino voters across the country suggested a range of reasons for what has become, over a decade, an entrenched pattern of nonparticipation, ranging from a distrust of government to a fear of what many see as an intimidating effort by law enforcement and political leaders to crack down on immigrants, legal or not." (Nagourney 2012)

    Other studies indicate that there already exist various pressures of daily life that prevent some people from registering and following through to vote: "The survey found that 28 percent of infrequent voters and 23 percent of those unregistered said they do not vote or do not register to vote because they are too busy....Still, 93 percent of infrequent voters agreed that voting is an important part of being a good citizen and 81 percent of nonvoters agreed it is an important way to voice their opinions on issues that affect their families and communities." (Longley 2012)

    (Longley 2012) "Who are the non-voters? The survey found that nonvoters are disproportionately young, single, less educated and more likely to be of an ethnic minority than infrequent and frequent voters. 40 percent of nonvoters are under 30 years old, compared to 29 percent of infrequent voters and 14 percent of frequent voters. Infrequent voters are much more likely to be married than nonvoters, with 50 percent of infrequent voters married compared to only 34 percent of nonvoters. 76% of nonvoters have less than a college degree, compared to 61 percent of infrequent voters and 50 percent of frequent voters. Among nonvoters, 54 percent are white or Caucasian compared to 60 percent of infrequent voters and 70 percent of frequent voters."

    Still, the hurdles thrown up against the American public's right to vote do not justify inaction, especially now when the stakes are so high for the correction of congressional misrepresentation by incumbents who may be either such ineffective or recalcitrant political hacks that the gears of lawmaking have ground to a virtual halt. And the presidential choice is now so obvious that it might seem to be an easy selection to a simpleton. But at least 40% of the simple electorate is being misled into maintaining a congress of baboons, and the election of a slate of presidential candidates surrounded by neocons facilitated by a murder of crows. They are all wont to lead us into oblivion.


    (Westerfield 2010)

    (Pilgrim 2010)

    (Wikipedia 2012)

    Ohio Veteran 2012

    Florida Veteran 2012

    (Hair and Dyanis 2012)

    (League of Women Voters 2011)

    (Smith 2011)

    (Sharpton 2012)

    (Rosen 2012)

    John Lewis 2012

    (Somanader 2011)

    Lewis, US Congress 2012

    (Goodman 2012)


    (Kromm 2012)

    (CBS/AP 2012)


    (Aguilar 2012)

    (DOJ 2012)

    (Dade 2012)

    (The Committee of Seventy 2012)

    (Rapoport 2012)

    (Denvir 2012)

    (Wilis 2012)

    (Colmes 2012)

    (Firestone 2012)


    (Roth 2012)

    (Schultz 2012)

    (Maddow 2012)

    "voting forms"

    (Nagourney 2012)

    (Longley 2012)

    Relevant Links:

  • Are you sure you want to delete this post?
    MoreVets - are you gonna quizzed us on this? This is a lot for my brain to chew. But, thanks for sharing all these history back in my head, good to review what I have long forgotten. For me to move on to the future, I have to be reminded of history, and carefully study where I am today.  If truly history repeat itself, are we repeating the bygone memories of the past? Are we?
  • Are you sure you want to delete this post?
    Yes, it appears we are, and I believe in taking collective responsibility and speaking out against these voting suppression moves. They're not simply tactics, they're really being legislated into American law and therefore claim the lame defense of "states' rights". But that's precisely what the Civil Rights Act of 1965 and it's subsequent extensions of Section 5 is designed to protect us from. 
    Now it appears that we need the protection more than ever before, and in more states than originally intended, which is so sad, with the Republican party trying to drag us back to pre-Civil Rights Movement times, and even to earlier centuries in terms of women's reproductive rights. You can also intuitively feel that this is the real reason why the Republicans were clumsily going after our Attorney General Holder in a transparently false witch hunt, resulting in the congressional equivalent of a legal lynching holding him in contempt. It's no accident that he was picked to be made an example of the showing of Teapublican legislative power in an attempt to intimidate all those who oppose them. 
    It's also hauntingly ironic that AG Holder's sister in law  Vivian Malone Jones was one of two African American women who were initially blocked from enrolling in the University of Alabama even when accompanied by Deputy AG Katzenbach by Governor Wallace. Gov. Wallace  then made a speech about States' sovereignty on the steps of that institution of learning, but had to stand aside when the Federalized Alabama National Guard escorted her back to the school, where she completed her degree, and again ironically enough became employed by the DOJ Division of Civil Rights. AG Holder also began his legal career at the DOJ. 
    Further irony that infuriates me is that AG Eric Holder, like General Colin Powell, is also from the Bronx, and of West Indian heritage. That's just me, having been a resident of that borough (as well all the others). 
    I will not quote Santayana again, but my import is similar.