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Voter ID laws have instantly taken us back to 1963, and Governors Corbett of Pennsylvania, Walker of Wisconsin, McDonnell of Virginia and their co-conspirators are nothing more than the shadows of George Wallace, Ross Barnett and Orville Faubus, barring the door and ordering Bull Connor to turn dogs and fire-hoses loose on those who dare to protest.

I am certain that Martin Luther King, Jr. would not be sitting by watching this happen.  

Here is what Dr. King said on January 21, 1965:

In the last few days my organization has been working in Selma, Ala., where we have centered the struggle mainly around the right to vote. And there is an accounting, For almost 16,000 Negroes, and only about 250 are registered to vote, not because they don't want to register, but because the registrars absolutely refuse to register Negroes as voters. On Last Monday, we led more than 800 people down to the courthouse. Not a single one was registered. On Tuesday we led a similar number down, and they were only greeted with arrests from the brutal sheriff of Dallas County, and the same thing on Wednesday. And at the pace at which they are registering Negroes in Dallas County, it will take exactly 132 years to get half of the Negroes eligible to vote registered in that county. This is the pattern throughout most of the so-called Black Belt counties across the South.
The GOP's vile return to Jim Crow needs a dramatic and immediate new Civil Rights movement to awaken the conscience of this country.  Dr. King would (far more eloquently) be saying something like this today:
Republican efforts to suppress the vote are blatant, outrageous and racist.  

They are undemocratic, deceitful and unconstitutional.  

They are a sickening affront to everything that people in this country died for in 1776, 1861, 1941, 1963 and 1968.

I read about GOP efforts with fury and despair that the perpetrators have not been made pariahs for their unquestioned crimes against a fundamental right in this country.

These anti-voter laws have been cynically rushed into effect for the 2012 election. Even if there were a "fraud" rationale, no law imposing these burdens should go into effect until 100% of eligible voters have the right ID, obviously impossible for 2012.  

It is nothing more than an unseemly, ugly rush to disenfranchise voters who are disproportionately poor and minority.

We need an immediate, new Civil Rights Movement.  We need to support efforts like
Occupy the Vote and The Brennan Center for Justice.

We need to enlist 93 year old grandmothers and other targets of voter suppression to stage protests and even occupation of State Capitols in PA, WI and the other anti-voter states.

Imagine the evening news showing 93 year old grandmothers being cuffed and frog-marched to police cars after refusing to leave a state capitol in protest against Voter ID.

You know that Martin Luther King, Jr. would be on the front lines of this fight.  We owe it to him to be there too.

Originally posted to Upper West on Wed Aug 01, 2012 at 03:13 PM PDT.

Also republished by DKos Pennsylvania.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The GOP: "You can always go to the Emergency Room."

    by Upper West on Wed Aug 01, 2012 at 03:13:23 PM PDT

  •  Unseemly Haste (0+ / 0-)

    An obvious and blatant attempted robbery of democracy.

    The GOP: "You can always go to the Emergency Room."

    by Upper West on Wed Aug 01, 2012 at 03:18:59 PM PDT

  •  FYI about Wisconsin (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The "Voter ID" part of the Wisconsin law has been put on hold, pending appeals.

    (There are other parts of the law having to do with minimum length of residency, the mechanics of registering, etc. that have gone into effect.)

    And the ruling by the courts (two different judges in two different suits) is based entirely on the Wisconsin state Constitution, meaning precedent from Indiana's SCOTUS case are not relevant; that is, there's a pretty good chance (better than 50-50?) that the appellate courts uphold the (state) unconstitutionality of the law.

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