An Open Letter to Joe Scarborough


I watched the roundtable discussion on your show regarding the Voting Rights Act. I’ll first give you credit for recognizing that efforts to disenfranchise voters are not limited to the states that were required to undergo preclearance due to their past. Pennsylvania and Ohio were just as capable of coming up with laws that ultimately impact minorities more than white voters and also other voting groups like students who are more likely to vote Democratic. I’ll give you a pass on not wanting the states you grew up in to forever be tainted by their racist past although in my opinion they are still less enlightened than you would like to believe.

Where we differ is your refusal to acknowledge that Republican efforts to pass new laws are politically motivated in an attempt to restrict minority voting, giving Republicans a better chance to win elections. This not by convincing voters of the value of your policies but by disenfranchising those who would vote against you.

You talked about the reasonableness of showing a voter ID while ignoring all the restrictions associated with them. You didn’t mention in many states that a gun registration would be acceptable whereas a state issued student ID might not. You say it isn’t a poll tax however if in some cases an out of state original birth certificate is required or extensive travel or time is involved to get these ID’s. It is exactly that for those who don’t already have those ID’s that happen to be overwhelmingly minority.

You ignored all the other aspects of the laws being passed. Limiting early and weekend voting, restricting the ability to register voters, allocation of polling places designed to create long lines and discourage voting. You insist to be against making the Voting Rights Act impotent is to insist that Southern Republicans are bigots and racist while no one was making that claim. Let’s just call those Republicans pragmatic in that they recognize it will become their only way to win elections. If not now then soon as their percentage of the population continues to shrink.

Where your logic was the most faulty, was your insistence that the majority of middle America and average voters will agree with the practicality of presenting a photo ID (presuming they ignore all the other related laws being passed). I promise you that close to 100% of the minorities being affected that care enough to vote,recognize both the intent of these laws and their effect. Even if not racist in intent it is definitely racist in their result. Your party may convince themselves how innocuous these laws are, unfortunately, you aren’t likely to convince those who you (your Party, not you personally) are allegedly trying to attract.

BTW, it was not just “one lunatic” in Pennsylvania admitting the true intent to give Mitt Romney the election. Dozens of Republicans across the country have said as much in many ways. Texas is currently implementing redistricting that a Federal court has already found unconstitutional because they now can. Just saying!

Author: enigmainblackcom

William Spivey is a regular contributor to the Inner-City News where he writes about politics and popular culture. He also blogs as “Enigma in Black” where he explores poetry, religion, politics and all manner of things socially relevant. He is also a contributing Blogger at Together We Stand He is the founder of the Facebook pages Average Citizen Forum, Enigma in Black, and “Strong Beginnings,” the title of his soon to be released Political Fiction/Romance novel. William was the winner of a University-wide Essay Contest while at Fisk University titled, “The Value of a Liberal Arts Education. He holds a B.A. in Economics from Fisk and resides in Orlando, FL. His goal is to make his voice heard and make a difference.

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