I don’t know about you but if you grew up with a certain teaching or dogma and you are now in your mid-forties … it is going to be hard to convince folks that you now reject a philosophy after only a couple of hours later – just saying
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” -George Santayana (16 December 1863 in Madrid, Spain – 26 September 1952 in Rome, Italy) was a philosopher, essayist, poet and novelist.
On March 7, 1965, hundreds of brave unarmed nonviolent women and men dared to March for African Americans right to vote.
The fact is that less than 1% of eligible Blacks could vote or register to vote.
People organized a Peaceful Protest March from Selma to the state capitol in Montgomery. However, as these protesters crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge to Montgomery the police, some riding on horses had, looking back, a predetermined tactical intervention against protesters, police proceeded to engage in “excessive use of force” brutally beating protesters such as #RepJohnLewis some of these officers actually killed using their nightsticks, sprayed water cannons while others used tear gas. These kids had no weapons, they did NOT fight back, but showed courage and strength. We must never forget that some of our fellow Americans died for the right to vote in an adverse harmful environment, hastily retreated while journalists and photographers became witnesses to the violence and suffering .
The brutal reaction by the police was not only caught on tape it forced then President Johnson, who was once against civil rights programs as a Senator to call on Congress for equal voting rights for all on March 15.
The Voting Act of 1965 was signed into law on August 6; is a landmark piece of national legislation in the United States that outlawed discriminatory voting practices that had been responsible for the widespread disenfranchisement of African Americans in the U.S.
A day that started out peacefully quickly descended into an awful ugly March of death for the right to vote called ,”Bloody Sunday”.
Now, some 48 years later, a new “Jim Crow” era has emerged with a major step backward in the fight for civil and voting rights. There are conservative states targeting not only African Americans but also Senior citizens, first time voters, early voting, Students, low income, immigrants and the undocumented though Republicans call them (illegals) Dreamers. In addition, Governors from Republican controlled States are allowing election officials to purge voters, people without birth certificates were given limited or completely denied access to the voting booth failing to meet new voter ID regulations in time and were treated like possible (illegals). This is the 21st Century; we should be on a progressive path toward equality for all not one that will re-engage folks in the act of racism or exclusion leading to suppressing participation in the election process. This year, new stricter voter ID legislation is pending in thirty-one states. This includes, voter ID proposals in thirteen states with proposals to strengthen existing voter ID laws in ten states, and eight states that will amend the new voter ID laws passed in 2011.
We need to push back on all attempts to suppress the right to Vote.
With so much at stake, it is time to stop sitting on the sidelines. If we are going to succeed, Conservative lawmakers NEED to hear our Voices.
We cannot let the naysayers turn back the clock on Voting Rights or the next generation.
Thank You for Taking Action
Franklin D. Roosevelt once said
“Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting.”
It’s time to get to know Kris Kobach, the author of Arizona’s S.B. 1070 law—which had a range of racial profiling features and was largely gutted by the Supreme Court yesterday. Unfortunately the one portion upheld by the Court may still encourage racial profiling by Arizona police during traffic stops and other minor infractions. Codifying racial profiling is essential to Kobach’s long-term strategy of “attrition through enforcement.” But just who is Kris Kobach, and what does he really believe?
Here are the top five things you should really know about Kobach:
1. He works for a racist hate group whose stated purpose is to reduce the number of people of color in the United States. Kris Kobach is counsel for the Immigration Reform Law Institute—the legal arm of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which the Southern Poverty Law Center labels a hate group. Kobach’s boss at the Immigration Reform Law Institute, Michael Hethmon, openly argues that the United States’ transition to a country where the majority of its citizens are people of color will lead to violence. And the founder of Federation for American Immigration Reform, John Tanton, wrote, “I‘ve come to the point of view that for European-American society and culture to persist requires a European-American majority and a clear one at that.”
2. He’s a virulently antigay bigot. Kobach uses divisive politics and has grouped gays and lesbians together with pedophiles. During his 2004 run for Congress, Kobach accused the Human Rights Campaign of promoting “homosexual pedophilia” in an attempt to smear him.
3. He’s a birther. In his bid for Kansas secretary of State, Kobach raised the question of whether President Barack Obama’s short-form birth certificate was sufficient to prove his citizenship. Later, when called on it, Kobach backtracked and said that he believed in the president’s citizenship but still maintained that questioning his birth certificate was valid.
4. He’s a self-serving opportunist. When Kobach takes his anti-immigrant show on the road, he makes a pile of money representing local communities, often running up huge bills. Kobach co-wrote anti-immigrant laws across the country, from Farmer’s Branch, Texas; to Fremont, Nebraska; to Prince William County, Virginia; to Hazelton, Pennsylvania; to Valley Park, Missouri; to Arizona; and Alabama. Kobach’s efforts have netted him more than $6.6 million in legal fees. And while serving as secretary of state in Kansas, Kobach appeared on out-of-state media at least 101 times in just one year, with an astonishing 31 appearances just on Lou Dobbs’ shows.
5. He’s antidemocracy. Kobach ran for Kansas chief elections officer on a flimsy voter fraud platform. Using nonexistent cases of alleged voter fraud as an excuse, Kobach pushed a law that will disenfranchise thousands of Kansans. He claimed that his voter ID law does not suppress the vote of citizens, and especially minority citizens, when in reality the opposite is true. After getting this law passed, Kobach did not take the steps necessary to make it possible for citizens who lacked an ID to get one for free, as the law required. This is no doubt one reason that Kobach’s approval rating among Kansans is in the tank at 32 percent.
This is the man behind Arizona’s S.B. 1070. He’s an opportunist earning millions of dollars while working for a racist hate group, which gives him a platform on hate TV and radio shows to peddle his reactionary vision for America. The next time similarly anti-immigrant legislation surfaces in state legislatures across our nation, see if Kris Kobach is behind the effort. Then you will know the real intent of the proposed law.
Anh Phan is the Anti-Hate Table Manager at the Center for American Progress