• Racists Sure Love Totally Non-Racist Voter ID Laws

    Some of the wildest cheers during last night's Republican National Convention came during South Carolina Nikki Haley's remarks, comparing the state's voter identification law — currently blocked by the Department of Justice — with the purchase of Sudafed

    We said in South Carolina that if you have to show a picture ID to buy¬†Sudafed¬†and you have to show a picture ID to set foot on an airplane, then you should have to show a picture ID to protect one of the most valuable, most central, most sacred rights we are blessed with in America — the right to vote. And what happened? President Obama stopped us.

    Electing politicians and buying anti-decongestants do have something in common, in that both promise to make things better, but mostly leave you drowsy. On the other hand, I don't remember reading about the Sudafed marches of the 1960s. All the historical evidence must be in the very obscure Letter from a Birmingham Meth Lab that Dr. King wrote in one of his low moments…

    But though I was initially disappointed at being categorized as an extremist, as I continued to think about the matter I gradually gained a measure of satisfaction from the label… Was not Amos an extremist for decongestants: "Let boogers roll down like waters and mucous like an ever flowing stream."

    A solid, though totally made-up, case for conflating drug enforcement laws with voter identification measures. The advocates of firmer voter ID measures just have to avoid appearing blatantly racist and they're home free…

    A South Carolina lawmaker and the author of a voter ID law considered discriminatory by the Justice Department testified in federal court Tuesday that, while crafting the bill, he had responded favorably to a friend's racist email in support of the measure…

    Garrard Beeney, who represented the civil rights groups, presented emails sent to and from [State Rep. Alan] Clemmons' personal account between 2009 and 2011, when he was working on the law. One, from a man named Ed Koziol, used racially charged rhetoric to denounce the idea that poor, black voters might lack transportation or other resources necessary to obtain photo ID. If the legislature offered a reward for identification cards, "it would be like a swarm of bees going after a watermelon," Koziol wrote.

    Beeney asked Clemmons how he had replied to this email. Clemmons hesitated a moment before answering, "It was a poorly considered response when I said, 'Amen, Ed, thank you for your support.'"

    So close!

    Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images News/Getty Images

    Tags: Nikki Haley, Racism, Republican National Convention, South Carolina, Voter Suppression


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