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Sunday, July 6, 2014

Fighting the good fight against discrimination

The NY Times ran an article this morning titled, College Students Claim voter ID Laws Discriminate Based on Age.

The first two paragraphs:

WASHINGTON — Civil rights groups have spent a decade fighting requirements that voters show photo identification, arguing that this discriminates against African-Americans, Hispanics and the poor. This week in a North Carolina courtroom, another group will make its case that such laws are discriminatory: college students.

Joining a challenge to a state law alongside the N.A.A.C.P., the American Civil Liberties Union and the Justice Department, lawyers for seven college students and three voter-registration advocates are making the novel constitutional argument that the law violates the 26th Amendment, which lowered the voting age to 18 from 21. The amendment also declares that the right to vote “shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of age.”


It's hard not to wonder who the driving forces behind this lawsuit are: the NAACP, Eric Holder's Justice Department, and the ACLU -- or those seven students?

Hmm. Well, your guess is as good as mine. 

In any case, we've been hearing for years how voter ID laws are merely a thinly veiled attempt to repress the black and Hispanic vote.  

I would like to suggest a few similar suits on behalf of the disenfranchised. First, we should demand an end to airline passenger ID's, which are obviously a thinly veiled attempt by Republicans to keep blacks and Hispanics from flying. I look forward to the day when I can don a keffiyeh (check out my picture at right), yell "Allahu akbar," and board a plane without showing an ID. 

Second, we should demand an end to bank ID's. A desire to prevent "bank fraud" is a pretty flimsy -- and racist -- excuse to keep blacks and Hispanics from having access to banks. I want to be able to march into a bank, present them with a check for $100,000, sign the back, and get the cash immediately without being asked for a photo ID. 

Third, we should demand an end to driver's licenses. Claiming the need for "highway safety" is nothing more than a vast right wing conspiracy to keep blacks and Hispanics from driving. The next time a police officer pulls me over for speeding and asks for my license and registration, I'd like to be able to tell him that who I am is none of his business. 

After all, if asking for a voter's photo ID is discriminatory, isn't asking for an ID in these other situations equally so?

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

it will be interesting to see when Blacks will start demanding ID checks.
Once they realize the interest of "hispanics" are different from their own. Charles Rangel, founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus almost lost his seat to an hispanic in the democratic primary recently. If more hispanics realized they could vote in NYC he would have lost. More hispanics now live in his district than Blacks

Black Americans are seeing more and more illegal aliens crossing the boarder, in addition to the 12 million already living here ( mostly Mexican and almost 99% hispanic) If this continues much longer, Blacks will start to fear the loss of their political power to the massive immigration of hispanics.

John Craig said...

Anon --
You're definitely right, that is in the cards. I think both groups are natural Democrats, being at the bottom of the economic ladder, so in that sense they're allied, but there will be conflicts about who deserves affirmative action, who gets which jobs with municipalities and the federal government, etc.

The conflict has already started to occur at the street. In southern California Hispanics and blacks regularly have rumbles in high schools, and blacks know that there are certain areas of Los Angeles where it's dangerous of them to go.

The Dominican who lost to Rangel was reportedly a weak candidate; that seat will undoubtedly go to a Hispanic as soon as Rangel retires.