Monday, September 3, 2012

Jesse Jackson: Beware schemes to hurt minority voters

Republicans are launching "devious schemes" to disenfranchise black voters and others, the Rev. Jesse Jackson said today.

As the Democratic National Convention rolls into town, Jackson initiated a meeting with the Observer editorial board to trumpet this message: The civil rights era launched the New South into what it is today, and voters need to be alert to threats that would erase those gains.

"Schemes of voter purging and voter suppression have never stopped," Jackson said. He called overzealous voter ID laws and other measures "an attempt to take us backwards." Asked whether he thinks the public has adequately stood up to stop such efforts, Jackson said: "Sometimes people catch on slow. People have not caught on to just how devious these schemes are."

Jackson, a Greenville, S.C., native, credited the civil rights era and especially the Voting Rights Act of 1965 with opening doors across the South. The falling of "the cotton curtain," not conservative policies, cleared the way for better education and more opportunities for minorities, black migration back to the South and diversification of the South's economy, he said.

He argued that President Obama has managed to foster slow but steady growth despite obstruction from congressional Republicans. He blamed the banking industry for much of the country's woes. "You rob a bank, you go to jail. A bank robs you, they get a bonus," Jackson said.

Jackson, a presidential candidate in 1984, was quiet and subdued, a distinct contrast from the firebrand speeches he's known for. Asked how he sees his role in national politics today, Jackson said: "I always felt more comfortable on the third rail. ... Raising uncomfortable questions."

-- Taylor Batten


Jim said...

"...Jackson initiated a meeting with the Observer editorial board to trumpet this message: The civil rights era launched the New South into what it is today..."

And just what is it today? Well, among other things, it's a place where one can't safely walk on a residential street on a weekend morning, a sizeable chunk of the populace considers "public benevolence" the family business and public schools are to be avoided if there's any possible alternative.

Great work! And all in just 50 or so years!

Unknown said...

I would like for someone to post a simple, logical, reasonable explanation as to how being required to present a photo ID disenfranchises ANY voter! You have to have a photo ID to buy cigarettes, buy alcoholic beverages, drive a motor vehicle, receive medical care, get food stamps, cash welfare checks, etc. But somehow it is unfair to ask the same people to present these photo IDs to exercise the right to vote.

Anonymous said...

I keep seeing where Democrat voters are more educated and intelligent. So how come they can't figure out how to get an ID? If Republican voters are so dumb, why are conservatives trying to "disenfranchise" their own voters?