Power of Story
Send a Tweet        
- Advertisement -

Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 1 (1 Shares)  

Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites (# of views)   6 comments
OpEdNews Op Eds

Voting in Mississippi, 2014 and 1964

By       Message Robert B. Reich     Permalink
      (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H2 6/8/14

Author 47089
Become a Fan
  (120 fans)
- Advertisement -

Cross-posted from Robert Reich Blog

Mississippi used its new voter-identification law for the first time Tuesday -- requiring voters to show a driver's license or other government-issued photo ID at the polls.

The official reason given for the new law is alleged voter fraud, although the state hasn't been able to provide any evidence that voter fraud is a problem.

- Advertisement -

The real reason for the law is to suppress the votes of the poor, especially African-Americans, some of whom won't be able to afford the cost of a photo ID.

It's a tragic irony that this law became effective almost exactly 50 years after three young civil rights workers -- Michael Schwerner, James Chaney, and Andrew Goodman -- were tortured and murdered in Mississippi for trying to register African-Americans to vote.

They were killed outside Philadelphia, Mississippi, by a band of thugs that included the sheriff of Neshoba County. The state was deeply implicated: The Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission had kept track of the three after they entered the state, and had passed on detailed information about them to the sheriff.

- Advertisement -

A year after the murders, Congress passed the Voting Rights Act of 1965. It was a direct response to the intransigence of Mississippi and other states with histories of racial discrimination, requiring them to get federal approval for any changes in their voting requirements -- such as Mississippi's new voter ID law.

But last June the Supreme Court's five Republican appointees decided federal oversight was outmoded and unconstitutional, and that Congress had to set a new formula for deciding which states required federal review of voting law changes -- thereby clearing the way for Mississippi's new voter ID law.

Obviously, Congress hasn't come up with a new formula because it's gridlocked, and Republicans don't want any federal review of state voting laws.

I knew Michael Schwerner. He was a kind and generous young man. And he meant a lot to me when I was growing up.

Now, 50 years after his brutal death and the deaths of his co-workers James Chaney and Andrew Goodman -- 50 years after Freedom Summer -- the state of Mississippi and the United States Supreme Court have turned back the clock.

Please urge your senators and representatives to pass a federal law that restores the Voting Rights Act, so Mississippi and other states with histories of repeated violations of voting rights cannot undo what Chaney, Goodman, Schwerner, and thousands of other brave Americans fought to achieve -- equal voting rights.

- Advertisement -

 

- Advertisement -

View Ratings | Rate It

http://robertreich.org/

Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor and Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, has a new film, "Inequality for All," to be released September 27. He blogs at www.robertreich.org.


Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon



Go To Commenting
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

The Republican's Big Lies About Jobs (And Why Obama Must Repudiate Them)

Paul Ryan Still Doesn't Get It

What Mitt Romney Really Represents

What to Do About Disloyal Corporations

The Gas Wars

The Minimum Wage, Guns, Healthcare, and the Meaning of a Decent Society