SEN. CRUZ: Okay, so what voter ID laws are racist?
PROF. TOLSON: Apologies, Mr. Cruz. Your state of Texas, perhaps?
SEN. CRUZ: Okay, so you think the entire state of Texas is racist? What about requiring an ID to vote is racist?
Once again, Cruz is attempting to put sweeping generalizations into the mouths of other people. Unfortunately for Ted Cruz, this isn’t a third-grader being asked about their favorite ice cream flavor. The people at the hearing are accomplished professors who have, unlike Ted Cruz, continued their education past the fragile ego of a 14-year-old in the middle of puberty.
PROF. TOLSON: So I think, sir, that’s pretty reductive. I'm not saying the entire state of Texas is racist.
Calling Ted Cruz “reductive” is something every person having an exchange with Ted Cruz should do. It will forever be applicable to any conversation with him. Calling him “intellectually vacuous” would be good, too.
SEN. TED CRUZ: You just said my state of Texas. So you tell me what about the Texas voter ID laws is racist.
PROF. TOLSON: Absolutely. So the fact that the voter ID law was put into place to diminish the political power of Latinos, with racist intent, and has been found to have racist intent—
Prof. Tolson is referring to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that Texas’ 2011 voter ID law resulted in a violation of the Voting Rights Act because of its "discriminatory effect." That’s a fact. In fact, that’s the evidence Ted Cruz was implying didn’t exist. Cruz, having just run into a wall of reality, farts his way forward by reasserting that Prof. Tolson said that all voter ID laws are racist. He asks Asian Americans Advancing Justice President John Yang what his opinion on the matter is. Mr. Yang, like Tolson, isn’t a dunderhead like, say, Republican Rep. Madison Cawthorn, and can see exactly what Sen. Cruz is very messily trying to accomplish, and responds beautifully: “I agree with Professor Tolson. Voter ID laws can be racist.” The “can” in that sentence is a reminder that Ted Cruz is still full of shit.
Cruz moves on to President of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Thomas Saenz, who replies, “There are some voter ID laws that are racially discriminatory in intent.” The “some” in that sentence is a reminder that Ted Cruz is full of shit. At this point, Sen. Cruz, having gotten exactly none of the results he was looking for, tries again to illustrate that left-wing communists are calling all Americans racist.
SEN. CRUZ: How about in practice? In intent, fine, you say there’s some racist with a malevolent intent lurking in the back of their mind. But let’s just talk about as a practical matter. When I go to vote, they ask me for my ID. I pull out my ID. I show it to them. I vote. Is that racist?
Cruz is trying to make it seem as if these three witnesses are suggesting Ku Klux Klan officials are wearing robes and burning crosses while they are writing down the voter ID laws. And while it would surprise no one if it turned out that some of the authors of these racist voter ID laws have literal KKK hoods hidden away somewhere, that is not what they are saying or have said. Saenz begins to reply: “If the law that requires you to do that was motivated by racially discriminatory intent, under our Constitution—“ but Cruz interrupts him at the word “motivated” to perform an exercise of rhetorical theatrics, asking, “What about the effect? Set aside intent. Set aside intent, I’m asking about the effect.”
Saenz goes back to finishing his response:
MR. YANG: Yes, in effect, I think that there are discriminatory effects from a number of voter ID laws.
Having completely lost his attempts to hide how goddamn racist he and the Republican Party are, Cruz goes in on a full make-em-up of what just transpired.
SEN. CRUZ: The record should reflect all three of the Democratic witnesses invited by the chairman maintained to this committee that voter ID laws can be, in many instances, in most instances—I think are the various ways they formulate it—are racist.
The record doesn’t reflect that, nor should it. Cruz is a one-trick pony who says sophomoric things for the cameras. How long it takes him to brainstorm these political theatrics is hard to say. I suspect he spends very little time on them, being that they’re all the same.
Cruz finishes by just misrepresenting facts, saying that “35 states” have voter ID laws, and adds that Democrats and “radical” leftists are attacking the will of the people. As of this story, only seven states have strict photo ID laws, and only four have strict non-photo ID laws. The movement by conservatives to enact dozens of new voter restrictions and more severe voter ID laws that disproportionately suppress the voting rights of communities of color is not something the majority of Americans support.
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