This video, by Annabel Park’s and Eric Byler’s Story of America project, explains extremely well what Republicans are up to with their “voter ID” and other laws to combat the mythical unicorn of “voter fraud.” Listen as Rev. Dr. William Barber, President of the North Carolina NAACP, explains the history of efforts to prevent African Americans from voting and from achieving any form of political power in the South. One thing enemies of expanded voting are terrified of is “fusion politics” – an alliance of African Americans with Latinos, Asian Americans, and progressive (racially and otherwise) whites. In 1898, for example, the “Wilmington Riots” resulted in white supremacists ousting a duly elected, biracial city government. What happened next? Dr. Barber explains:
The first thing they attacked – there were always five things they attacked – they attacked educational laws, they attacked labor laws, they attacked fair criminal justice laws, they attacked taxes – they wanted to cut taxes so the government wouldn’t have any money to fulfill the promises that had been made to the former slaves – and they attacked voting rights. If your grandfather was a slave, you couldn’t vote; or poll taxes…white supremacy is rewritten into the laws of the state, and by 1910, black voting power is virtually nothing, zero.
Sound familiar? If not, it should, because in many ways it’s the same thing today. That takes us to 2008 and 2012, when Barack Obama put together a campaign “rooted in the idea of fusion politics.” And “guess what, he wins in places like North Carolina, in the south…[with an electorate that’s] broad and it’s deep and it’s young and it’s old and it’s LGBT and it’s black and it’s Hispanic and it’s Asian and it’s people who want to push America beyond the vestiges of racism…But that new electorate scares the whatever out of those who have a homogeneous view of life, it does not fit their world view, so what do you see, an all-out assault once again, this attack on voting rights starts immediately after President Obama is elected.”
But wait, you say, aren’t there numerous cases of people voting fraudulently? Well, no, actually. But listen as Dr. Barber explains how laughably convoluted, implausible, and just completely “ludicrous” mass voter fraud would be. Beyond that, of course, the 15th Amendment is very clear, that “[t]he right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”
What exactly about the 15th amendment don’t these anti-“voter fraud” Republicans understand? In reality, what they’re doing is in blatant violation of the 15th Amendment, as stringent voter ID laws overwhelmingly affect minority and poorer voters, who might not happen to have a driver’s license or other photo ID. So why should Republicans make it harder for these people to vote, given that there’s no “voter fraud,” certainly not of any significance? It’s obvious: they know that blacks, Latinos, and other minorities vote overwhelmingly Democratic, and they want to prevent that from happening. End of story. Any other “reasoning” they give you? It’s just a bunch of bull****. Same thing for any corporate media reporting that presents “both sides” of this “issue.” Utter bull****. So, when these bills come before the Virginia General Assembly in coming days, just remember what this is all about, and let your Delegate or Senator know exactly what you think about this crap (by the despicable Del. Mark Cole) or this crap (by the utterly heinous Sen. Dick Black). Thanks.
P.S. If you’re going to be in North Carolina on February 9, you should check this out.