On Sunday March 7th. 1965 hundreds of peaceful Civil Right marchers were attacked by armed Troopers as they attempted to march across the Edmund Pettus bridge from Selma to the State capital of Montgomery. Voting rolls in the south were 99% White and 1% African-American. Many African-Americans suffered immense hardships simply because they dared to want to vote . Today many African-Americans simply do not bother, or doesn’t even register to vote.
I am particularly incensed by this because of the abuse that generation suffered to give our generation the right to vote, yet we treat that precious gift with impunity, disregarding the sacrifices that were made so we can have that right. In that march was the reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, John Lewis , and many other stalwarts of the civil rights movement. On that sunday which we now refer to as bloody sunday no one was spared the dogs, water hoses and bludgeoning, as the full force of southern racism came down on innocent peaceful marchers who just wanted to vote.
Edmund Pettus Bridge where peaceful marchers were attacked by Alabama state troopers as they made their way from Selma to Montgomery.
Fast forward to 2012 there is a black president in the White House and there are moves afoot in many southern and mid-western states to suppress the votes of minorities through draconian voter ID laws that disenfranchises largely African-American and latino voters.
Just how far has blacks come in their own country, when a sitting senior Federal Judge in the state of Montana can forward a despicable email which suggests that the mother of the president of the United States had sex with a dog?
The republican party has become a haven for some of the most vile racist people . Many living in this country, including Democrats refuse to call it what it is. After the voting rights bill was signed into law by president Lyndon Johnson many whites sought refuge in the republican party, feeling betrayed by the democratic party they felt was taken over by liberals from the North. I would like to point out that literally everyone involved at the higher levels of the struggle has ben assassinated.
President John F Kennedy, his brother the former attorney general of the United States Bobby Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and the list goes on and on all have been murdered. Today Republicans in an effort to ensure there will not be another black president no time soon, in many states are turning back the clock on voting rights.
ARE BLACK AMERICANS GOING TO STAND BY AND ALLOW OTHERS WHO HAVE NO MORE RIGHT TO THIS COUNTRY THAN THEY DO TAKE THEIR RIGHTS AWAY FROM THEM AGAIN?
This year, more than a dozen states enacted new voting restrictions. For example, eight — Alabama, Kansas, Mississippi, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin — imposed new laws requiring voters to present state-issued photo identification cards. Previously voters were able to use other forms of identification, like bank statements, utility bills and Social Security cards. (new york time .com)
ThE Reverend Al Sharpton has planned a march for Alabama on Sunday, not to commemorate the voting rights Act, but to highlight the serious threat that republicans pose to the voting rights of minorities in this country. Republicans argue that the new laws are designed to eradicate voter fraud. However the numbers do not support their arguments. In fact in most case where voter fraud are alleged, an election commissions are obliged to investigate, the findings revealed thus: Bad data matching , which revealed motor vehicle was wrong in assuming the voters were dead, cases where voters were alleged to have voted , but never did. A few cases of absentee ballots were cast by voters who died before the elections. The few votes left were cases where signatures were not recognizable. This suggest the laws are a solution looking for a problem.(the new york times)
Why then are republicans looking to turn back the clock?
The election of Barack Obama to the presidency has exposed the dirty underbelly of racism in America, many foolishly thought was a thing of the past. President Obama was elected to the presidency without winning the majority of white votes. This reality scared the hell out of the wing nuts on the right and as soon as Obama was inaugurated they conspired to destroy his presidency. Senate Minority Mitch McConnell stated quote “Making Obama A One-Term President Is My Single Most Important Political Goal”(mediaite.com) They have attacked his presidency with a fervor not seen in modern times. Their attack has several fronts. In the congress he is not allowed any legislative accomplishments because of republican obstructionism. They have launched all out wars on immigrants from Alabama to Florida, and from Georgia to Arizona immigrants are under assault from overzealous state law enforcement to include renegade Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, a modern-day Bull O’Connor whom have been accused of serious abuse of minorities. Joe Arpaio sheriff of Maricopa county Arizona has been under federal investigations by the Obama justice department for Human rights violations. For his part Arpaio has allegedly launched his own investigations into the nonsensical birth certificate dribble , he has since announced that his investigations have concluded that the president’s birth certificate is a forgery. This has further cemented what many believed that this old geezer is a loose cannon with a racist tinge.
Whether it is Joe Wilson a congressman shouting “you lie” at the president as he delivers the state of the union address, or an associate Justice of the Supreme court Samuel Alito shaking his head and mouthing “not true”,or it’s Arizona’s classless governor Jan Brewer wagging her finger at the president on the tarmac as he disembarked from his plane, or that despicable life form parading as a federal judge, who forwarded that email , or the countless other instances that has come to light we have seen these instances of the most vile form of racism that many seriously believed they had left behind in the 60’s.
Republican assault have not spared groups like Acorn, a group which has traditionally registered minorities to vote. They have launched attacks on planned parenthood, using surrogates like the Susan G Komen to do their dirty work. Komen is a cancer charity which receives most of its funds from regular donors, received a shock when it announced it would cut funding for planned parenthood. This was definitely a republican attack on planned parenthood which to Komen’s surprised initiated a tremendous blow-back which forced them to reverse that decision. Komen is still reeling from that blow-back and has since hired a consulting firm to asses the damage done to their reputation.(huffington post .com)
The jury is out on what this will all mean by the time the next election comes around, to my mind the next election is the least of our worries. Republicans have systematically elected right-wing operatives to county legislatures state legislatures, governorships, congressional districts and to the US Senate. They have passed radical new laws that looks frighteningly like laws that were around during jim crow. Have you ever wondered why people who commit crimes and paid their debt to society are still not allowed to vote? Well during the sixties African-Americans would be given things like a jar of jelly beans when they turn up to vote, if they failed to guess how many beans were in the Jar they were turned away without being able to vote. Potential voters were given written tests that asked about archaic ordinances that the questioners themselves did not know the answers to. Today voter suppression laws are being instituted broadly throughout the south and midwest as fears over the browning of America grows. Architects and supporters of these laws will tell you they are about the rule of law, they will tell you they are for the integrity of the process. But as I told you before they are about not seeing another black man in the White House.
In many cases these bills are being signed into law with the support of democrats, some of whom are not happy about Barack Obama’s presidency. The Roy Blount Amendment which was recently voted down in the United States Senate had the support of several Democratic senators whom have demonstrated a cowardly craven interest for their own political survival over principle.
Rich companies pay lobbyists to wine and dine law makers,they get what they want. Every person, every group must demand that government work for them. Blacks are taking this assault on their very existence rather lightly it seem. Our people are being arrested and incarcerated at a rate that is way above other ethnic groups, over 2/3 of our children are being born out-of-wedlock, and I am yet to figure out what it is that we are focused on as a people. Did African-Americans think the election of Barack Obama was going to mean a post racial America? It seem to me that his ascendency will actually mean that the causes that are important to black people will be set back and made worse because of his rise. Some are unfairly blaming president Obama for some of the ills plaguing the black community. They mean well, but they also lack a basic understanding of what a president can do, they also lack an understanding of what a first term black president, hated by his enemies can accomplish.
There are about 40 million black people living in these United States. That is a very large country within an even larger country. There are between 5 and 6 million Jewish adherents living in the United States, not all of whom are religious . However with the Jewish population a mere 1/8 of the black population, Jews in this country wield significant clout and power in getting their agenda addressed both here and in the interest of the state of Israel. No politician running for office dare bad mouth Jews or their causes and hope to get elected dog catcher. Conversely anyone wanting traction in conservative circles merely have to disrespect black Americans to become an instant hit.
As Netanyahu comes to the White House to tell Obama what he expects for the state of Israel, I wonder who speak for African-Americans in their own country?