Congressman Emmanuel Cleaver, a member of the (liberal) Congressional Black Caucus, apparently feels African Americans should vote, or give back their color. No, really.
Congressman Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), the chairmen of the Congressional Black Caucus, issued a powerful challenge to black voters on Thursday, saying that eligible African Americans who choose not to vote “ought to give us their color back.” The comments came during Cleaver’s address at a CBC forum on voting rights, criticizing an apparent lack of respect from black voters who opt not to exercise their right...Cleaver cited the history of Jim Crow laws in the South that worked to prevent blacks from voting, with policies ranging from grandfather clauses to literacy tests. “It says: Before you can vote, you must recite the Constitution,” Cleaver said. “And of course nobody’s going to be able to recite the Constitution, so they can’t—they’re then rendered to be too illiterate to vote.”Cleaver’s address coincides with the implementation of new voter ID laws that have been referred to as a modern method of voter restriction by civil rights groups. The new laws have been adopted by several states including Pennsylvania and Georgia, and require citizens to have specific forms of photo identification in order to cast their vote.Civil rights activists contend that poor lower class voters, specifically minorities, will be alienated by the law.
The irony is that it was southern Democrats who tried to leverage Jim Crow laws to keep voter suppression intact;
Through the 1930s, legislative dominance by Southern Democrats was buoyed by strong party allegiance in the south and a weak Northern Democratic party. Legislators were more concerned with passing relief bills for an economically depressed constituency than with helping blacks regain suffrage in the South. Black leaders referred to the New Deal as the "Raw Deal," as blacks' concerns were largely ignored. Roosevelt needed the votes of Southern Democrats to pass relief legislation, and he feared losing Congressional support by introducing any provisions for civil rights.
But this misdirection should come as no surprise. Democrats continually project their own guilt onto their political rivals. Suppress votes, stuff ballot boxes and then blame Republicans for not playing fair. The only sad part of it is that they continue to get away with it and the Congressional Black Caucus continue to come across to their constituency as heroes when in fact, Democrats have a history of voter suppression.
Getting back to the original notion, what exactly can we infer from the comment "give back their color"? It's not clear except that had a Republican said it, it would be front page news by now.Democrats wrote the book. When it comes to voter suppression, the Democrats have a history of doing it, starting after the civil war till 1965. Using what has come to be known as the Jim Crow laws; Democrats would do anything to prevent blacks and poor whites from voting.They passed laws to make voter registration more restrictive, created the poll tax, and other methods to suppress voting like literacy and comprehension tests (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Literacy_tests”). They also were responsible for creating segregation of blacks.To pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965, it took the Republicans to help pass it, even though the Democrats had a majority in congress.Voter picture ID will not suppress voting. If you are registered to vote, your address is already on file and you need a picture ID to drive, cash a check, register for college, and conduct other official business.