In case you missed it, the Charlotte Observer has reprinted a fine column authored by Al Hunt of Bloomberg News under the headline: “Voter suppression is the greater racist outrage.”
As Hunt aptly notes:
“The widespread condemnation of the vile prejudice expressed by a professional-basketball-team owner and a Nevada rancher underscored the progress America has made on race.
On the same day Donald Sterling, the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, was banned from the game for life for making racist comments, another story with more important racial implications was unfolding: A federal judge in Wisconsin struck down a law passed by that state’s Republican legislators that would have made voting harder by requiring state-approved photo identification at polling places.
More than 30 states have sought to impose voting restrictions over the past three years. Supporters of the measures claim they are aimed at preventing voting fraud. Critics say they are designed to disenfranchise, particularly black Americans and members of other minorities, and are the greatest threat since the Voting Rights Act was passed almost a half century ago…..
The two states where the battle is most fierce may be Texas and North Carolina, where Republicans have introduced laws they say are necessary to stop voting irregularities. In Texas, a license to carry a concealed gun is deemed a legitimate form of photo ID, but not student IDs.
In addition to the photo ID requirement, North Carolina also curbed registration drives for young voters and cut back early voting, which is disproportionately exercised by minorities, by one week….
And some Republicans think their party is making a big mistake. Last summer, former Secretary of State Colin Powell told North Carolina business leaders that the only rationale for that state’s new voting laws was to make it harder for minorities to vote.”
Powell was right of course and so is Hunt. Read the entire essay by clicking here.