21 comments
nancy a heitzeg
nancy a heitzeg

was that a ghost standing in line or was it a klansman?

Panyia
Panyia

This reminds me of when Gandhi was talking about democracy.  He seems to enjoy the thought of democracy because it is about the people but it is ironic in the sense that in such a democratic nations, we tend to focus on ourselves instead of others.  I wonder how our country would be like if we were to be more like what Gandhi was talking about when he said that being democratic means sacrificing the self for the "others".

McKenzieDaul
McKenzieDaul

Of course once again this is an effort to separate people of color from whites, or low class to high class. Seems to have no rational behind it besides the fact that criminalizing specific groups of people will keep them out of the vote, giving those high class white men a greater chance for victory. We want to separate those who challenge the ideas of the government instead of acknowledging the issues of the system and fixing them. Great article again! 

Thanks! 

 

Miss_Schmitt
Miss_Schmitt

I have heard the argument Voter ID many times.  The first time (2002), was when I heard my own mother claim the Senator Wellstone was attempting to bus hundreds of students into Minnesota to vote for him in the election.  These claims were spouted in the wake of his death and my mother was, sadly, not the only person who felt nothing at his loss. 

But, I have not heard the argument from anyone who was able to calmly and rationally explain why it was a good idea.  Instead, I have heard petty bickering, name calling and disgustingly BLATENT derogatory racial slurs.  Although they have tried to be less obvious, now that they have switched the picture, the intent to negate the rights of well deserving Americans to vote is still very vivid.

pmlarsonmiller
pmlarsonmiller

It is deplorable that people of color and the poor are disproportionately targeted and sucked into the prison industrial complex, and even if they are spit back out for a few minutes, they are not considered citizens with a political voice. I think of all people those who have been unjustly targeted due to their color should have the right to use their voice against this right-wing white dominated attack on their rights.

 

Unfortunately, I think that for many people, the only reason not to vote yes to the VoterID legislation is due to the fact that even people who are valued moreso than people of color and the poor will be impacted. Gasp! White, middle class students whose parents can afford to send them out of state may not be able to vote. And oh, i don't know, we really shouldn't impede military personell from voting, that would be awful. And the elderly? It would be too bad if this prevented them from voting. But what about the millions of Americans who are disenfranchised through the prison industrial complex? They are who we're most afraid of, right?

 

So it's going to come down to: does our fear of ex-cons voting outweigh our fear of valuable citizens voting?

 

Thank you for this article, Nancy. It's been wonderful reading this blog the past few weeks.

JaimieBeavers
JaimieBeavers

We are talking about this same issue in my Social Policy for Social Change class right now and it affects so many people. First of all I am a student and I know every time I move I don't update my driver's license or I.D. to match the address because I move so often. it also affects the elderly who may be unable to get an updated I.D. due to relocation to a nursing home or just because of lack of mobility. I agree with you Nancy something needs to be done about this so those who want to vote are able to regardless of the address on their I.D. or if they simply do not have a government issued I.D. card.

KayWhitlock
KayWhitlock

Superb, Nancy.  The criminalizing themes and narratives are at the heart of politics now - and our ability to expose, deconstruct, and subvert them may determine the course of the 2012 elections at all levels.

 

Other themes emergent:  criminalizing poverty; criminalizing union membership; criminalizing hunger. 

 

Thank you so much for this essay. 

nancy a heitzeg
nancy a heitzeg

From The New Jim Crow :

 

"Jarvious Cotton cannot vote. Like his father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and great-great-grandfather, he has been denied the right to participate in our electoral democracy. Cotton’s family tree tells the story of several generations of black men who were born in the United States but who were denied the most basic freedom that democracy promises—the freedom to vote for those who will make the rules and laws that govern one’s life. Cotton’s great-great-grandfather could not vote as a slave. His great-grandfather was beaten to death by the Ku Klux Klan for attempting to vote. His grandfather was prevented from voting by Klan intimidation. His father was barred from voting by poll taxes and literacy tests. Today, Jarvious Cotton cannot vote because he, like many black men in the United States, has been labeled a felon and is currently on parole."

 

http://www.newjimcrow.com/excerpt.html

 

Also an excellent piece in this book in yesterday's NY Times

http://www.newjimcrow.com/excerpt.html

 

 

nancy a heitzeg
nancy a heitzeg

 @Panyia Gandhi would be such a pleasant change of pace here :)

 

thanks panyia -- great comment

nancy a heitzeg
nancy a heitzeg

 @McKenzieDaul "We want to separate those who challenge the ideas of the government instead of acknowledging the issues of the system and fixing them."

 

this is exactly it

 

thanks McKennzie

 

 

nancy a heitzeg
nancy a heitzeg

 @Miss_Schmitt So true

 

there are no rational arguments for this -- only irrational biases and fears.

 

And oh Paula Wellstone!!

 

miss him  every day -- May he Rest in Peace

KayWhitlock
KayWhitlock

 @pmlarsonmiller It is deplorable, pmlarsonmiller.  And, of course, it is not coincidental.  This nightmare won't end quickly or easily, but it will end - thanks to people like you who are helping to spread the word and expose this injustice for what it is. 

nancy a heitzeg
nancy a heitzeg

 @pmlarsonmiller Amen!! to this -- "I think of all people those who have been unjustly targeted due to their color should have the right to use their voice against this right-wing white dominated attack on their rights

 

well all of it really - i fear you are right about the ulitmate concerns

 

and great to have you here! appreciate the contributions..

KayWhitlock
KayWhitlock

 @JaimieBeavers Well said, JamieBeavers.  Your personal take on this as a student is helpful and illuminating. 

nancy a heitzeg
nancy a heitzeg

 @JaimieBeavers hey Jamie -- so glad to hear you are discussing this in classes

 

yes it is an unnecessary burden on so many people --  it is too easy for many of us to take for granted the question of state-issued ID and how access to them is really a privilege

KayWhitlock
KayWhitlock

 @nancy a heitzeg Nancy, that second link is to Michelle Alexander's book.  Can you please post the correct link to the piece in yesterday's NY Times?   Thanks.