Voting Rights Act Of 1965

Susan B. Anthony “Pardon” A Total Mockery And Embarrassment, And No Intelligent Woman Would See It As Excusing Trump Misogyny

One of the most preposterous and ridiculous events occurred yesterday, on the centennial anniversary of the ratification of women suffrage, the 19th Amendment.

President Donald Trump, the all time misogynist in a very public manner, “pardoned” suffragette Susan B. Anthony for her conviction in 1873, for having “illegally” voted in the Presidential election of 1872, since women were not given the suffrage until 1920.

Anthony “broke” the law in protest the fact that the 15th Amendment, added to the Constitution in 1870, gave African American men the right to vote but not women, although the right for African American men would be taken away over time in the “Jim Crow” South, until restored by the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Anthony refused to pay the fine of $100, about $2600 in modern times, and the judge did not take any action, and she never was in prison for the so called ‘violation”.

So to “pardon” her over a conviction where she did not pay the fine or go to jail is a total mockery of the idea of pardons, but Trump is infamous for that kind of ridiculous behavior!

One wonders if Trump thinks Susan B. Anthony is still alive, since he seemed to think abolitionist Frederick Douglass was “alive”, when both passed away in 1906 and 1895 respectively! But Donald Trump has no knowledge or sense of history, plus a multitude of many other areas of learning!

One can be sure neither Anthony nor Douglass would give Trump the time of day, so to speak, and would be furious with his racism and misogyny! Anthony made clear in her lifetime that she did not want a pardon, as she felt she had done nothing wrong, so this idea of a posthumous pardon is a pure joke, and historians have already deplored it as a stunt by Trump that is totally out of line!

So this attempt by Trump to try to gain African American or women in large numbers voting for him is totally delusional!

Death Of Civil Rights Icon John Lewis, A True Inspiration For Nearly 60 Years

This blogger and author woke up today and was shocked to discover that Civil Rights Icon John Lewis, Georgia Congressman since 1987, had passed away at age 80 of pancreatic cancer.

Lewis was a great inspiration to all of us who believe in civil rights and progressive reforms, and he personally paid the price in the early to mid 1960s, leading to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

He was arrested multiple times and bloodied and injured by Ku Klux Klansman all over the South, but he remained committed to nonviolent civil disobedience and basic human rights.

Lewis was the last speaker to survive, among those who spoke at the March on Washington on August 28, 1963, and worked closely with the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, even though he was just a young man in his mid 20s.

There is a movement on to rename the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama after him, as he was injured on “Bloody Sunday” on March 7, 1965, when marching for voting rights at that site.

Pettus was a Confederate Army General in the Civil War, a Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan, and a United States Senator from Alabama. It is time to remove his name from that bridge, and rename it after John Lewis.

Lewis will be remembered in the annals of history as a truly great man, and one of the most outstanding members historically of the House of Representatives.

Civil Rights Anniversaries In July And August Remind Us Of What Is Unfinished

On July 2, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act, outlawing segregation in public places, employment, and education, based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin.

On August 6, 1965, Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act, outlawing racial discrimination in voting.

On July 26, 1990, President George H. W. Bush signed the Americans With Disabilities Act, which outlawed discrimination against disabled people, including requiring reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities, and imposing accessibility requirements on public accommodations.

These three laws are worthy of applause after 56, 55, and 30 years, but it does not mean that the fight for civil rights is over, not at all, considering that Donald Trump has done everything imaginable to undermine the civil rights of people of color, the disabled, and the poor in general, as well as working to undermine the civil rights of gays, lesbians, and transgender people!

With a more right wing trend on the courts, due to Donald Trump appointments, the battle for those basic civil rights will continue to have to be fought by the American Civil Liberties Union, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and People for the American Way, among other groups engaged in the fight for enforcement of these significant milestones.

Two Secretaries Of State Running For Governor And Suppressing Voter Rights–Brian Kemp In Georgia And Kris Kobach In Kansas

A new level of political corruption is now occurring in upcoming state elections for Governor.

In Georgia, Brian Kemp is the Secretary of State since 2010, responsible for keeping track of voter registration. He is the Republican nominee for Governor, and has refused to allow updating of registration, with 70 percent of 53,000 voters not being allowed to vote being African Americans, and with his Democratic opponent, Stacey Abrams, an African American female, protesting that Kemp should resign as Secretary of State, because he is interfering unjustly with the right to vote. Kemp has dismissed such calls for him to give up his government position as Secretary of State, despite the fact that he will be leaving that position at the end of the year, whether he wins or loses the Governorship race, but trying meanwhile to stack the deck against his African American opponent.

In Kansas, Republican nominee for Governor Kris Kobach, has been Secretary of State since 2011, and has removed nearly 20,000 people from voter rolls, and implemented some of the strictest voter ID laws in America. He has been noted nationally for his charges of voter fraud being widespread, and he has purged voter rolls in the same corrupt way that Kemp has in Georgia, and it will affect voting next month, as it will in Georgia. He has been the strongest advocate of nativism toward immigrants, and headed a White House Presidential Advisory Commission On Election Integrity in May 2017, disbanded without a report in January 2018. Kobach has been a lightning rod for many who have accused him of massive corruption, and discriminatory policies toward immigrants, making him the hero of white supremacists and nativists, even more than Brian Kemp.

Both Kemp and Kobach are close friends of Donald Trump, who, of course, has no problem with what they are doing, since it benefits Republicans.

Effectively, both Kemp and Kobach are working to fix the election results by limiting the right to vote, and all this occurring because the Supreme Court in Shelby County V Holder in 2013 allowed weakening of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and gave states the right to set up new voter restrictions.

Brennan Center For Justice: 19 States With New Voting Restrictions Since 2016

The William Brennan Center For Justice, named after the great former Supreme Court Justice, tracks violations of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, and has exposed the reality that 19 states, since the Supreme Court backtracked on the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in a decision in 2013, have made the right to vote much more difficult, and affecting election results.

In 2016, 14 states had new voting restrictions in place for the first time in a presidential election, with these states including Alabama, Arizona, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin.

In 2017, Arkansas, North Dakota, Missouri, Georgia, and Iowa added new laws.

So 8 Southern states of the old Confederacy (Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, Virginia) are back where they were before the Voting Rights Act of 1965, making it harder for blacks and other people of color, and poor people in general, to be able to have the chance to vote.

But also, the 8 Midwestern states of Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas have gown down the same road.

And Arizona in the West and New Hampshire and Rhode Island on the Atlantic Coast also have made it more difficult to vote.

Look at this list of states, and notice almost all of them, except Virginia, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island voted for Donald Trump.

So we have the possibility that despite public opinion polls that indicate a “Blue Wave”, the restrictions on voting rights could impact election result in November.

11 Democrats, Non-Southerners, Who Became Republicans Over The Past Half Century

It is a well known phenomenon that a massive number of Southern Democratic politicians switched to the Republican Party in the years and decades after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 under the administration of President Lyndon B. Johnson.

But it would be instructive to trace those Democrats, in their younger days, who were not Southerners, who made the switch from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party.

Following is a list of the more prominent such examples, numbering eleven.

In the early 1960s, actor Ronald Reagan, who had been a liberal Democrat and union leader in his younger days, became a Republican, influenced by his wife Nancy’s father, and soon was recruited by Southern California businessmen to run for Governor, and that was the beginning of an amazing transformation in views.

Donald Trump originally was a Democrat, and contributed to New York City and State Democrats, became an Independent, then went back to the Democrats, and finally allied himself with the Republican Party in 2011 and after.

Rudy Giuliani, former Mayor of New York City, started off as a Democrat, and worked for the Robert F. Kennedy campaign in 1968, and voted for the 1972 Democratic Presidential nominee, Senator George McGovern, before becoming an Independent, and then a Republican.

Elizabeth Dole was a Democrat who worked for Lyndon B. Johnson, but later became a Republican in 1975, married Senator Bob Dole, and was a cabinet member twice, sought the Presidential nomination herself, and then was a Senator from North Carolina from 2003-2009 as a Republican.

Vice President Mike Pence left the Democratic Party in the early 1980s, after having supported Jimmy Carter in the 1980 Presidential election, and ran for the House of Representatives and Governorship of Indiana as a Republican.

Condoleezza Rice, left the Democratic party in 1982, and became the National Security Adviser and Secretary of State under Republican President George W. Bush.

Ben (Nighthorse) Campbell left the Democratic Party in 1995, while a US Senator from Colorado, and became a Republican.

Susana Martinez left the Democratic Party in 1995, and later served as Governor of New Mexico as a Republican.

Norm Coleman left the Democratic Party in 1996, while serving as Mayor of St. Paul, Minnesota, and later was a Senator from Minnesota for one term as a Republican.

Herman Badillo, former Bronx, New York Congressman, left the Democrats in 1996, and identified with the Republican Party.

Michael Bloomberg left the Democratic Party in 2001 before running for Mayor of New York City as a Republican, just as Rudy Giuliani had done before him.

Gerrymandering, Creating Barriers In Many States To Vote, And Changing Census By Adding Citizenship Question, All Designed To Help Republicans Overcome Future Diversity Of American Population!

The Republican Party has dedicated itself to using every possible method, no matter how unethical it is, to keep themselves in power, by curbing voting by racial minorities the poor, and college students, knowing they would be unlikely to gain the support of such groups in the voting booths.

So they have utilized gerrymandering to create districts that will always favor the white majority in as many congressional districts and state legislative districts as possible, although some such gerrymandering schemes have started to be repudiated by state and federal courts recently.

They have created as many barriers as possible to different groups being able to vote, as a result of the backtracking of the Supreme Court in 2013, on the enforcement of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 under President Lyndon B. Johnson.

And now, they are trying to mandate a 2020 Census question on citizenship, designed to insure that undocumented immigrants will not fill out the census forms, out of fear of deportation.

All this, being challenged, will lead to the downfall of a party that has lost all morality and ethics, and many decent Republicans and conservatives outside of government positions have already done so.

The future diversity of the American population toward a non white majority within about 25 years is certain, and the Republican Party is fighting a losing battle in that regard!

The March On Washington 1963, Plus 54 Years: Backtracking On Civil Rights And Civil Liberties!

Fifty four years ago, The March on Washington occurred, with the most famous moment being the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr delivering his “I Have A Dream” speech before a crowd of whites and African Americans estimated at a quarter of a million people.

The march was impetus for the passage in the following two years of the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights, with Lyndon B. Johnson picking up where John F. Kennedy left off.

Now, a half century later, the great progress on civil rights and civil liberties has suffered backtracking, partly by the right wing Supreme Court, and partly by the policies of President Donald Trump.

It is very disconcerting and even tormenting that the progress made has been reversed.

But that means the battle to restore and expand what makes America a democracy must not be abandoned because of setbacks, but rather pursued with renewed energy and commitment, in order to fulfill the dream of Martin Luther King, Jr.

The South’s Continuing Impact On Impeding Democracy With Voter Restriction Laws

The South lost the Civil War, but they continue to dominate American politics.

It used to be that the South was Democratic, and that they promoted slavery, Jim Crow segregation, and lynching.

Then, we had a Southern President, Lyndon B. Johnson, who accomplished the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, with the Southern wing of Democrats in Congress bitterly opposing it, and many of them, plus much of their population, abandoning the party and going to the Republicans.

Under Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, they found a home, and worked to undermine voting rights and civil rights, often with the support of those Presidents.

The state governors and legislatures became Republican controlled, and worked to limit civil rights and voting rights, and the Republican majority Supreme Court in 2013 cut back on enforcement of the Voting Rights Act.

As a result, Southern states and many midwestern and mountain states under Republican governors and legislatures started to pass new restrictive laws designed to undermine voting of minorities, particularly African Americans and Hispanics-Latinos.

This led to law suits and now decisions by federal circuit courts in North Carolina, Wisconsin, Kansas, and earlier, Texas, to declare such restrictive laws unconstitutional, a major victory which could affect the Presidential Election of 2016.

There will likely be an appeal to the Supreme Court, a clear cut reason to make sure that the Democrats win the White House and the US Senate, as the outcome for this election is uncertain, and the future of the Court and voting rights in the future hangs in the balance.

It seems likely that the present Court might split 4-4 without Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February, and that would uphold the lower court decisions declaring such laws to be unconstitutional, but no certainly of that.

The South is crucial in our nation’s politics as they hold 22 seats in the US Senate, 31 percent of the seats in the House of Representatives (138 out 435), and 162 electoral votes in the Presidential race. And this does not include the Border states such as Kentucky, West Virginia, Missouri, and Oklahoma, which tend to the same politics of exclusion toward minorities and voting rights.

50 Years Of The Voting Rights Act, And Reluctance To Enforce It By Supreme Court And Many States Now A Sad Reality!

On August 6, it will be 50 years since the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson, overcoming a near century of the denial of the right to vote to African Americans, despite the passage of the 15th Amendment in 1870.

The Southern states denied African Americans the right to vote through all kinds of methods for three quarters of a century, but finally it was a Southern President and many Congressional Republicans joining with Democrats that caused that denial of democracy to be overcome, finally.

And Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush, all Republicans, continued to endorse, promote, hail, and extend the provisions of the Voting Rights Act.

But then the Supreme Court majority under Chief Justice John Roberts weakened enforcement in a Supreme Court decision in 2013 (Shelby County, Alabama V. Holder), effectively giving license to states run by Republican governors and legislatures to pass new restrictions on voting, that would not only hurt African Americans, but also Hispanics, poor whites, the elderly, college students—all being required to make onerous efforts to meet the new restrictions on voting rights, when there was no earlier evidence of voting fraud.

This sad reality has pained John Lewis, Georgia Congressman, who was involved in the movement for voting rights in Alabama (the Selma-Montgomery March), and was seriously beaten, along with others who were killed, fighting peacefully for the basic right to vote.

So while we celebrate the 50th anniversary of this path breaking legislation, we have to hope that the Supreme Court will revisit what it has done by a 5-4 vote in the next term, with the hope that they will reconsider what they have done, based on the discrimination now being practiced in many states across the nation.