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The Voting Rights Act and Real Voter Suppression

BCN editor’s note: please contact the author for reprint permission.

This week marks the 49th anniversary of the signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. It was a long time coming. Justice, sometimes, takes a while. But this monumental piece of civil rights legislation tore down some of the last strangleholds of eugenics-based social policies. Jim Crow was righteously trampled as the nation marched toward equality.

We hear a lot about voting rights today, mostly from liberal groups like the ACLU, NAACP, Planned Parenthood, League of Women Voters, La Raza and others who paint the false picture that these rights are being threatened by laws meant to strengthen the integrity of our voting system. Voter ID laws are demonized left and right…well, on the left at least. Yet, in every case where Voter ID laws have triumphed, voters do too. Voter turnout among minorities increased by 6% in Georgia and 8% in Indiana where these laws were in effect. A case brought by the ACLU in Georgia was thrown out of court by a federal judge because the ACLU could not produce a single witness who was unable to vote because of the state’s Voter ID laws.

ULTIMATE-VOTER-SUPPRESSION (1)Yet these same groups have no problem supporting the ultimate act of voter suppression–killing voters before they’re born. Abortion is an incredibly violent act of suppression. If anyone wants to talk about political influence or power, 56 million less human lives (including a hugely disproportionate 15-18 million in the black community) translates into a much smaller voting bloc. Of course, we don’t assume that people should ever let pigmentation guide their vote. Principle is a much better unifier.

Many claim voting rights are sacred. Human life is sacred. And voting is meaningless if you’re dead. Which, is quite ironic, considering voter fraud often consists of the miraculous votes of those who’ve passed away. The dead have more of a right to vote than the millions of unborn who will never get that chance.

Recently, the Wisconsin Supreme Court upheld, by 4-3, that state’s Voter ID laws (see ruling here). The ruling asserted that requiring a voter “to present acceptable photo identification in order to vote” is not unconstitutional. They also concluded, as the Supreme Court did in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board that “the burden of time and inconvenience associated with obtaining acceptable photo identification are not undue burdens on the right to vote”.  They continued explaining that photo ID is a “condition of our times” and many of our lives’ efforts require photo identification.

In another ruling (see here) by the same court, with a margin of 5-2, the majority concluded that the “requirement to present photo identification is a reasonable regulation that could improve and modernize election procedures, safeguard voter confidence in the outcome of elections and deter voter fraud.”

The ACLU, NAACP, and scores of liberal groups fan the flames of fear acting as if this is the 1960s and (Democrats…wait did I say that?) are trying to suppress the black vote. As always, these groups are like the boy who cried wolf; they’re just louder and their cry is “racism”! Sadly, it renders the word meaningless when it’s used at every turn. Poll taxes and literacy tests, an extension of eugenics-based social policies, were deeply racist. Those were real acts of voter suppression. Literacy tests were crazy. No, really, they were insane. Take a look at Louisiana’s literacy test from 1963/1964. It was a series of 30 questions that the voter had to answer in 10 minutes—with zero mistakes. Good luck with that! These despicable practices disenfranchised many blacks in the South.

The VRA crushed those practices and gave teeth to the law by allowing the federal government to prosecute those who tried to violate the civil rights legislation. Interestingly, Democrats boast (falsely) of how they’ve “worked to pass every civil rights law” in this country. The vote tallies for the Voting Rights Act of 1965 don’t mesh with mainstream media’s liberal narrative. You won’t ever see or hear these numbers from today’s so-called “journalists”. It takes citizen journalists to actually educate the public.

VOTING-RIGHTS-ACT-FACTSHEET_2 The GOP voted in overwhelmingly larger margins for all of the Civil Rights Acts (1957, 1960, 1964, 1968…not to mention being the sole party to pass the Reconstruction Amendments and pass every Civil Rights Act prior to those legislative fetes). In the VRA,  94% of Senate Republicans voted for it; only 69% of Democat Senators did. Whereas 6% of the GOP voted against the VRA, a whopping 24% of Democrats did.

Democrats have much less to boast about than they’d like us to remember. In the Senate, 54% of Democrats voted against an amendment to the VRA giving the Attorney General prosecutorial power to pursue those who used poll taxes to intimidate or deny any American’s voting rights. Only 22% of GOP voted against the amendment.

So, there you have it. A few more facts about an Act often talked about but never really discussed beyond the fear-mongering.

The Radiance Foundation supports the right of every American (of age) to vote and for the integrity of the ballot to be protected. That’s not voter suppression. That’s democracy.

RyanBombergerRyan Bomberger is the co-founder and chief creative officer of the Radiance Foundation.

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2 comments

  1. This is my first time reading Black Community News. So glad I found out about it. But most of all, I’m elated to read the writings of young blacks who research and document, instead of pontificate. Love it. Am going to link this in my Op Ed piece in the South Florida Times, the Miami Herald (if they publish it), and the Florida Courier, etc. Keep on having the Courage to Carry Christ’s Cross. God bless you.