Saturday, May 20, 2006

The South Will Rise Again - Effort to Block Voting Rights Act

I saw this story in the "Dallas Morning News" and it is online at the "San Jose Mercury," May 18, 2006 online posting.

click here for article in San Jose Mercury.

A group of Republican lawmakers are working on defeating the extension of the Voting Rights Acts. The arguments are straight out of the Southern Partisan magazine, and a few extra.

The big one is that the South is being picked on. This is a standard argument going back to Reconstruction when giving African Americans civil rights was proposed by ex-Confederates as oppressing the South.

What these opponents of the Voting Rights Act don't mention is that for the act to be constitutional there must be a problem of prior discrimination against minorities voting. It is in the South largely that the Voting Rights Act applies because of former discrimination. The proposal to make the terms applicable to the whole country would destroy the act by making it unconstitutional. This gets dropped.

The other argument is that it is no longer needed, that the abuses are in the past. There are still cases where there is voter intimidation, by flyers that go out before election with vaguely worded threats about arrests if you vote illegally and other things.

The basic reason that there aren't current abuses so much anymore is that the law exists with teeth and is enforced. It is like saying we can cut off the engins of an airplane because it is 20,000 feet in the air.

A many of the elected Republican officials local, state, and Federal get involved with the Neo-Confederate movement, interviewing in the Southern Partisan, showing up at Council of Conservative Citizens meetings.

I would point out that the city of Dallas has refused to have a human rights commission here. Civil Rights in Dallas exists because of the Federal government.

The state governments here still fly the Confederate flag or have Confederate symbols in their state flags and other symbols, and with the big campaign against the Voting Rights Act we now know what these flags mean.
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