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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 4/12/09

Denial, Denial, Denial--This is the Great Given Guarantee of America

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Message James Nimmo
(OKLAHOMA CITY) If the River of Denial isn't in Africa, then it's running full flood in Oklahoma. The "fair-minded electorate" has not only voted to make Okie gay and lesbian citizens 2nd-class it will now have the opportunity to deny the right of the ballot box to otherwise qualified voters who are too financially or physically disadvantaged to acquire a government-issued photo identification card.

"When the citizenship rights of black people were assured by the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, there were, no doubt, places where the issue would not have survived a popular vote." (, Tulsa, Okla. World) This quote from a recent Tulsa World op/ed blasts the GOPer-majority Oklahoma Legislature for sending to the voters a state question that if passed would require a government-issued ID be presented by all voters. Presently none is required as the State Constitution forbids any interference with a voter's right to cast a ballot. 

Passage of this ballot question would take away rights that are inherent in our citizenship, in other words, our civil rights.  

"All elections shall be free and equal. No power, civil or military, shall ever interfere to prevent the free exercise of the right of suffrage." Article III, Section 5 of the Oklahoma Constitution. 

Nationwide, the GOPers, aka, the Party of No, has cleverly and cynically entrapped some of the traditional Democratic Party voters in a snare to reduce the vote count against GOPers. David Glover, an Oklahoma City progressive activist, said recently, "This is nothing more than an attempt by Republicans to reduce the Democratic vote. That's all it is." Glover continued:

"About 78,000 of the state's 1.2 million voters don't have any type of identification card. Those people are usually the poor, the elderly and the disabled. And new laws which require photo identification would prevent those residents from voting. 

"I spoke with the offices of all three United States attorneys in Oklahoma, with the District Attorney's Council and with the State Election Board and they all said there is no evidence of personal voter fraud in Oklahoma." ( , Norman, Okla. Transcript) (

When properly brainwashed and hoodwinked, people will vote their fears every time. This is why the political demagogues use the solemn phrase "vote of the people" every time there's a hot issue they want to manipulate against the citizenry's best interests. 

Oklahoma, a politically vibrant enclave of ignorance, where diversity of opinions as well as diversity of civil liberties, is becoming an endangered species, often leads the country with negative issues. A vote by the "sheeple" on gay equality was given its due. The fear of gays having the same rights as straights drove Oklahoma to vote in 2004 on its own version of "Defense of Marriage," a forerunner of California's Prop-Hate, known as SQ 711. 

Over 70% of "fair-minded" Oklahomans reportedly voted to keep gay and lesbian taxpayers as 2nd-class citizens. Gay people are forced to pay higher taxes than others yet we're not allowed the equal benefits of the 14th Amendment of the Constitution. (

What's plainly written gets twisted and circumvented by white straight men and women, steeped in religious credulity and cruelty, aided and abetted by compliant minority lapdogs slavering for a crumb of whatever they can get in order to straight-jacket another minority. This is exactly what's happened with marriage equality when it's been allowed to go to a vote of the "fair-minded electorate." 

The most recent example has been the passage of Prop 8 in California. Homo-haters successfully yanked away the right to marry for same-gendered citizens, contravening the California Supreme Court decision from May 2008, that had recognized marriage rights for gay people. Does anyone think for a minute that miscegenation (inter-racial marriage) would have been removed from the law books if it had been "voted" on by the "sheeple"? Or enforcement of integration of public services and accommodations if the question had been on a ballot presented to the "fair-minded electorate"? 

That old saw about nothing in life being certain except death and taxes should be expanded in America to include denial of civil rights for minorities. I think the greatest dread for our enemies is the recognition of our humanity. The recognition and freeing of a suppressed minority causes a paradigm shift, a reordering of the majority power if not its diminution.

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James Nimmo is active in progressive issues and believes no one should be denied their equality because of the accidents of birth and circumstances.
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