Republicans Continue To Revive the Jim Crow Rhetoric and Tactics They Say Don’t Exist Anymore

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As we get closer to the mid-term election, we long for the times when preparing to vote was a matter of volunteering for a voter registration drive, working for a candidate’s campaign, familiarizing ourselves with the issues.  If we moved since the last election, we need to update our voter registration information.

These days getting ready to vote entails checking to make sure our voter registration information is correct and finding out if the ID that was valid to prove eligibility to vote 2 years ago remains valid in 2014.  For many Americans, voting is a process that can mean losing a day of work – with that journey to the out of the way poll station and the hours waiting in line.  While Democrats are looking for ways to expand the vote and bring the experience voting back to advanced world standards, Republicans continue to restrict the vote and convey their displeasure with voting rights advocates who have the gall to encourage minorities and poor people to vote.  Although some Republicans are coming around to re-enfranchising ex- felons the prevailing sentiment within the Koch controlled party is one of disgust with popular elections.

If we had any doubts about the GOP’s obsession with the “good old days” of Jim Crow, we only need to remember that some Republicans went on record to describe a voter registration drive in Ferguson, Missouri as disgusting.

Republicans are all for voter registration drives as long as they don’t involve registering democrats, minorities and poor people.

Of course, no one suppresses the vote like Republicans in Texas.  The state’s Attorney-General, Greg Abbott, is the Republican choice to replace Rick “Oops” Perry.  While nothing can motivate Abbott to oversee the distribution of tax payer dollars at a cancer center, it only took a propagandistic speech by Catherine Engelbrecht to give Abbott the incentive to shut down a voting rights organization.

Late last month, Dallas News told the story of a 2010 police protected by bullet proof vests with their weapons drawn raiding a house where Houston Votes was involved in the sinister business of registering poor people to vote and the role of Engelbrecht in making it happen.

By that summer, Houston Votes had come to the attention of the King Street Patriots, a Houston-based tea party group.  At the group’s regular meeting in Houston, its leader, Catherine Engelbrecht talked about the New Black Panther Party.  She then played a Fox news clip of an unidentified black man saying: “We have to exterminate white people off the face of the planet.”

The clip was 5 years old.  It came from a forum in Washington about media coverage of Hurricane Katrina.  But after the clip ended, Engelbrecht showed a picture of a house in Houston.  She said it was the office of the New Black Panthers, at Main and Dowling street.

Engelbrecht gave Abbott all the incentive he needed to raid the house where Houston votes was registering poor people to vote.

Texas police served a search warrant before confiscating the group’s computers, hard  drives and documents.  Big surprise.  After a year long investigation, Abbott concluded Houston Votes hadn’t done anything illegal.  But his real objective was fulfilled because the group’s funding dried up leaving them unable to continue registering voters.  To add insult to injury, Abbott saw to it that the group’s records were destroyed in 2013.

Not surprisingly, Abbott came up with a defense for the unwarranted raid and investigation.

Houston Votes had to fire more than 10 people for either falsifying or inappropriately duplicating registration forms, so there was some wrongdoing that was akin to ACORN-type political operations that deserved looking into,

You can count on Abbott to spend whatever it takes to defend it and take an active role in its realization.  He defended gerrymandering by arguing it was all about discriminating against Democrats. Don’t be surprised if he uses the same argument in the upcoming trial on the Voter ID bill.

If an organization that helps poor people register to vote has to fire people for breaking the rules, that’s good enough for Abbott to shut that organization down.

During the 2012 election season, Republicans hired the firm of longtime Republican operative, Nathan Sproul  to register Republican voters and throw away the registration forms of Democrats. Sproul provided the Bush campaign with the same “service”.

If the organization had to rename itself after getting caught breaking voter registration rules and that organization belongs to Nathan Sproul, Abbott welcomes its assistance in his quest to keep the vote white.

North Carolina deserves honorable mention for sending voters on a trip back to the future in record time.

In the couple of years of Art Pope’s version of Tea Party rule, NC passed a Vote Suppression measures that competes with the big boys like Texas.  Aside from the standard restrictive Voter ID and registration provisions and reduced voting opportunities, NC Republicans waged war on student voters. They eliminated polls stations at public (and predominantly black) colleges and made every effort to disenfranchise the students.

Voting rights groups and the DOJ are challenging the Texas and North Carolina laws.  The Texas law will be considered this month, while the NC law will be considered in June 2015.

Meanwhile, North Carolina’s law enforcement is arresting people, including a former candidate for the State’s senate for leaving voter registration leaflets on people’s cars.  As reported by Think Progress, Ty Turner was arrested for distributing literature based on an ordinance that wasn’t enforced before. After all, nothing threatens law and order more than registering people to vote.

Image: screen grab from A little Reality 


18 Replies to “Republicans Continue To Revive the Jim Crow Rhetoric and Tactics They Say Don’t Exist Anymore”

  1. Voter suppression and gerrymandering is PROOF that Republicans CAN’T win elections fair and square ANYWHERE! They are losers! So to tilt the scale, they must resort to these tactics. Republicans must cheat in order to win. They lie too! So what else is there to say about the Republican Party today? You stink!

  2. “So what else is there to say about the Republican Party today?”

    Treasonous anti American traitors.

  3. Laura Ingraham on fauz had her blond curls in an uproar because registering Ferguson Voters are ‘The Politics Of Division’

    Rafael Cruz: ‘The Average Black’ Does Not Know The Minimum Wage Is Bad
    According to this communist blacks are too stupid to add.

    And there is this which I thought went out with Fair hosing act: Redlining Makes A Comeback In ‘Post-Racial’ America

  4. DON’T FORGET OHIO. The GOP in this state want to change a moderate state into a Confederate cesspool.

  5. If you can’t beat them, cheat them. It’s the Republican way. Careful Repugs the world is watching. They see what you are doing and making note of it. No longer can you look down your nose at any other country about their abuse of people’s rights. Before you call yourself fixing another country, clean up your own backyard.

  6. For those who come here regularly, you’ve probably read in my comments where I’ve said that Republicans have become so confident that a majority of Americans secretly agree with them that they are emboldened and are showing their true selves to us, and the world.

    I for one am glad they are doing this because it gives us an honest look at what this country would be like if they had control. I truly believe that the RW is seriously mistaken in their beliefs and that they will find out that the majority of Americans are NOT with them, but in fact, are against their policies.

    Republicans have hoodwinked Americans for so long but we now see their true agenda, and it ain’t American in any way, shape or form. It is, in fact, very un-American

    The time to show them the error of their ways is now. The GOP must be stopped in its tracks. The hatred, bigotry and intolerance of the RW has no place in America, period.

  7. Re felon voting: If you aren’t willing to follow the law yourself, then you can’t demand a role in making the law for everyone else, which is what you do when you vote. The right to vote can be restored to felons, but it should be done carefully, on a case-by-case basis after a person has shown that he or she has really turned over a new leaf, not automatically on the day someone walks out of prison. After all, the unfortunate truth is that most people who walk out of prison will be walking back in. Read more about this issue in this congressional testimony: [ ].

  8. Yes TerryLF…you are on point with your comment / observations. The down and dirty Republicans even fawn and praise PUTIN (of all people) now-adays. Notice how he is their new hero. And they are disrespectful to our own President in more ways than one. The hatred is amplified in so many ways for us to see that they don’t even try to hide their disdain and pure hate for the President anymore. When they should be united in times of crises, they choose to be super annoyingly critical of every move he makes or don’t make. As IF they know better! Fools.

  9. The dirty Rethuglycant bastards know that they can’t win playing a fair game.

    The Democratic party was definitely Asleep
    at the wheel the last time the congressional districts were drawn.

    Just wait until the next Census. There is absolutely NO WAY that all those gerrymandered districts stay in Place.

    Until then, the BEST thing to do is get yourself and as many folks as you can to REGISTER and VOTE.

  10. apocryphal saying…

    ‘if ya ain’t cheatin’ ya ain’t tryin”

    sometimes attributed to R. Nixon…

    just sayin’

  11. As the wife of a former inmate,( on false chargers from a vengeful ex wife ) I resent your implications. My mate was a “model” inmate, and has been a model parolee, and is only kept on parole as it makes money for the state of Texas, thanks to good for nothing Gov. Perry. The reason many go right back in ? Despite the fact its illegal to discriminate, its a law no one enforces, so It’s hard to find work, most won’t hire you, hard to find an apt, many won’t rent to you. So homeless and out of work, many go back to the crimes that put them in jail to begin with. All of this is due to this mistaken idea that no matter how long they were in jail, they still must be punished, suspected, hated. They did their time, all the punishment, and bigotry must end or you have just what you said, a revolving door.. that we as a society, have created.

  12. Sorry but I must disagree with you and agree with Esta. After you have served your sentence, and completed all stipulations ordered by the court’s judgement, one should be free from further punishment. All citizen rights need to be restored without contingencies, without barriers, without strings attached. If they go back into the criminal world and get caught again, yes then they deserve to lose their rights again. The way it works, those who have been caught and served time in the judicial system continue to pay a price long beyond the terms of their sentence and way beyond their release from incarceration.

  13. The problem with gerrymandered districts is that it continues to lock in the party which did the gerrymandering. The result is continued party majority which means they get to draw the districts again the next time. Districting should be non partisan period. The problem is the party in power would never think about passing such a law because it would be suicide for them.

  14. I dont think redistricting should ever happen. Districts should be drawn up arbitrarily once and thats it for ever.

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