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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 5/23/13

SCANDAL ABC: Defiance Is Not Dead and What About the Voting Rights Act?

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White Hat's Back On, the finale of this second season, aired May 16, 2013. The cabal of four fears that Billy Chambers, who they think now has the Cytron memory card, will out them all for rigging the election in Defiance, Ohio. Cyrus says they are all going to federal prison if they don't stop Chambers. What a good place for them! Fitz now becomes part of the cabal, brought in by Olivia. Talk about conspiracies.

Interestingly, when Billy Chambers is trying to pry the memory card away from David Rosen, Billy says to him: "You could get some justice for those thousands of Ohio voters who lost their fundamental right of one man [sic] one vote. So come on, Rosen, wake up and smell the justice." We don't know what David's plans are for the future.

Olivia says that if they get the Cytron card back, they can put Defiance to bed once and for all, the genie will be back in the bottle.   Questions galore: Can they put Defiance to bed?   Did anyone even read the memory card that Cyrus now has? Was it real or blank like the one David gave to Billy Chambers, one he had made? If blank, does David still have the good one or a copy of it?   How many blank memory cards did David make? His work table was littered with cards. Did Cyrus really bang the card to death or could it be fixed?


In an interview of Kerry Washington with The Hollywood Reporter (THR) on May 20, this is the end of the exchange:   " THR: Looking at season three, would you like to see a focus on Fitz's re-election? It's one thing that we've only seen thus far in flashbacks.
Washington : It would be really exciting because I feel like we've had some elections where there's been record-breaking numbers of voter turnout in this country, and it would be really fun for people to feel more invested in and familiar with the process than ever before. It would be really exciting, not only for us, but for audiences to go there. If not season three, then hopefully eventually."

It is strange to hear Kerry Washington talking about the re-election of Fitz as if it would be a "typical" and "normal" election, as if the rigging of his first election had never happened! I don't think Defiance can ever be put back into the bottle, as Olivia says it has been. Olivia, you think the rigging would all be forgotten and we could/would all go on like it had not taken place? Collective amnesia? Collective denial?  

Everyone has sold out. Fitz announces on TV what a hero David Rosen is and gives him an important job. All is back to normal on Scandal. Or is it? The rigging has not been exposed. Yes, Olivia as you say in an earlier episode, "We all do terrible things." Agreed. But we don't all rig elections and/or murder people. The ends do not justify the means. Even Olivia finally says, "The things we did to get you [Fitz] here. We went too far." I'll say!

The same is true in the real life backstory because it is impossible that those in power do not know what voting rights activists, including myself, and computer scientists have been writing about election rigging since the presidential election of 2000 in Florida.


Finally, with all the talk about the rigged election in Defiance, Ohio, there is one error in the script that surprises me in light of the fact that Scandal has been well-researched. Reston says to Fitz, ""not when we're talking about the biggest case of voter [emphasis mine] fraud in the history of American politics."   Voter fraud is when a voter deliberately votes more than once, e.g., in her or his own name and then again in the name a dead person. It is rare, despite Republican statements to the contrary, and it is fraud on a very small level. Election [emphasis mine] fraud, on the other hand, is the rigging of elections via the electronic voting machines, which changes the outcome of the election. That is what happened in Defiance.


On July 27, 2006, President George W. Bush signed the latest reauthorization of The Voting Rights Act of 1965.   SECTION 1 says "This Act may be cited as the 'Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks, and Coretta Scott King Voting Rights Act Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2006.' " It continues, "SEC.2 (a)   Purpose - The purpose of this Act is to ensure that the right of all citizens to vote, including the right to register to vote and cast meaningful votes, is preserved and protected as guaranteed by the Constitution." One of the definitions of "meaningful" is having validity. How can our votes be meaningful and have validity if some of us who vote, do not have our votes counted as cast?

  On February 27, 2013, the Supreme Court heard arguments for and against Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which requires that the Department of Justice approve any changes to voting rules made by states that have a history of racial discrimination. During the hearing, Antonin Scalia said that the renewal of the Voting Rights Act by Congress was "the perpetuation of racial entitlement." Many excellent criticisms of Scalia rained down on him. Here is one by Roland Martin (who is also a great fan of Scandal). Ari Berman gives an important history of the racist voter suppression that Section 5's purpose is to prevent, and includes civil rights activist Congressman John Lewis' experiences and words. How can our votes be meaningful and have validity if some of us are not allowed to vote because of suppression of the vote of African Americans?

A decision by The Supreme Court is due in June. Let's hope we can smell the justice.  

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Sheila Parks, Ed.D., is a former college professor. She had a spiritual awakening many years ago and left her career to do peace and justice work full time. She is the founder of the grassroots group On Behalf of Planet Earth (found on FB). (more...)

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