For much of the life of the Spew, a consistent topic has one that is largely out of my direct area of expertise: what I call voterfraudfraud. These are the efforts to create barriers to voting based largely on myths of voter fraud. I have been pretty passionate here and on twitter about #voterfraudfraud because voting as a right is so very basic to democracy.
I have always argued that the danger of suppressing the vote greatly outweighs the threat of voter fraud in the US. And then I saw Selma tonight. While its accuracy may not be perfect, it does a nice job of demonstrating the stakes and the risks and the costs of the effort to pass the Voting Rights Act. In the movie, Martin Luther King makes quite clear how basic voting rights are--that one needed to be registered voter in order to serve on juries and that once Blacks gained the real right to vote, they were able to get rid of at least one racist Sheriff.
This movie came out 50 years after the Voting Rights Act and just a short time after a hunk of it was gutted by a blind Supreme Court that had the ignorance to believe that race was not much of an issue anymore. So, its timing is quite apt indeed. 2014 was an awful year for race relations in the U.S. I am hoping that we make some progress in 2015. I would really like to see the last two years of the Obama Administration be spent using the Justice Department to fight against all efforts to suppress the votes of minorities, the poor and the young. These folks are under-represented enough as it is. Making some real progress here would be a fitting legacy for the first Black president.
Voterfraudfraud efforts are an abomination in 21st century democracy.
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