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The Voice of the Black Community

Opinion

Americans’ right to vote shouldn’t depend on your skin color
Suppression tears at the fabric of entire nation
 
Published Thursday, November 29, 2018 5:35 pm
by James Ewers

Death and taxes are probably the only two constants in life, so they say.


For some of us, we can add another constant and that is the right to vote. However if you pay a skin tax like me, then voting is not a certainty. Voting if you are a person of color will depend upon a lot of factors. It shouldn’t but that’s just the way it is.


Voter suppression in various forms has made its way onto the American social landscape. This current form of oppression reminds some of us of the poll tax many years ago. The poll tax was created to prevent black people from voting, especially in Southern states. It was a required fee and many black people were unable to pay it, thus they couldn’t vote.
During the midterm elections, Rick Scott from Florida and Brian Kemp from Georgia made subtle allegations about the voting rights of certain people. Those certain people happened to be people of color.


When we went to exercise our right to vote, our credentials were questioned. We didn’t have the correct identification, or our names and addresses didn’t match. In too many instances, we were turned away and not allowed to vote. In the Georgia case, Brian Kemp was a state official and was making the rules as he ran for office. If you are a reasonable person, you can immediately see the wrongdoing in his actions.


While Stacy Abrams in Georgia and Andrew Gillum in Florida have both conceded, their campaigns have started investigations, and rightfully so. It is my opinion that the truth is near the ballot box waiting to be discovered. When you gain power in an underhanded way, you will soon be overwhelmed with the truth. It is only a matter of time.


Gerrymandering is also being used to redraw voting lines. Many legislators who believe bad is good are guilty of this act. Even with voting lines redraw, they lost control of Congress. It is my thinking that many people who sided with Mr. T are slowly coming to their senses. They see that the quality of their lives is spiraling out of control. They can see that keeping their healthcare is something that the current administration wants to dismantle.


Racism seems to be kicking up a storm in some states. If you look to the state of Mississippi, the Republican candidate for Senate, Cindy Hyde-Smith has made some insensitive and disparaging comments. She suggested that she would take a front row seat to a public hanging if extended an invitation. As a result, companies like AT&T and Pfizer have asked her to return contributions.


Cindy Hyde-Smith is just the latest example of a candidate who believes they can say anything in the public square with no consequences. She is wrong because America is now paying attention to what happens in the run off election in the coming days. Mike Epsy, former Agriculture Secretary in the Clinton administration is her opponent.


I spoke with Flonzie Brown Wright recently and she is appalled at Hyde-Smith’s comments and is encouraging people in the state to vote in record numbers. Brown Wright said, “We have come too far to turn back now. We have got to keep voting to squash out injustice.”


James Ewers is a Winston-Salem native and Johnson C. Smith University graduate.

Comments

Great Article. Our leader has a lot to do with the insensitive comments being made by other people.
Posted on December 4, 2018
 
Voting laws should be set up nationally which states what is required across the nation. Id should be required and yes, the address should match what is on the ID, otherwise you can have individuals voting more then once and possible for other individuals. When I went to vote my ID did not match where I lived. All that was required was that I had to fill out a form changing my address. It was not a big issue. It took 15 minutes to resolve. No one denied me the right to vote, but it did require that I make changes.
Posted on December 3, 2018
 

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