Tuesday, September 25, 2012

'Screw The Vote'

The Atlantic offers an article on organizations such as "True the Vote" a Tea-Party-based right-wing voter intimidation squad, and King Street Patriots, a poll-obstructing group that wreaked considerable havoc in Houston in 2010 in its highly dubious attempt to "prevent voter fraud," i.e., to prevent minorities from voting.

Poll tax receipt, Harris County, TX 1960
Some things never change. As Michael Moore suggests on his front page (there's no permanent link to an individual item on that page), this kind of Republican bullshit has been going on at least since the poll tax and literacy tests in the 1920s, continuing through caging and similar abuses, and its primary purpose today is the same as it has always been: to prevent people of color from voting.

If I were African American, I might take along some insurance on my trip to the polls. A driver's license would be good (though 21 million Americans don't have them). A passport? how likely is that in poverty-stricken Black communities, though it may be more common in Hispanic neighborhoods.? A military ID? no good, if it doesn't have your current physical address on it.

A gun? would that help prevent the TPers from stopping people from voting? I remember an incident some years ago in which a local Black militant brought an organized Black paramilitary unit, complete with rifles on their shoulders, to march outside selected polling places in Houston. No violence resulted. I do not know if the effort was successful in protecting the vote, but it certainly got the attention of the media.

Seriously, what will it take to assure democracy for every eligible voter, independent of race, ethnicity, color, and wealth?

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