“We’re just not going to do this...I’ve talked to many of the
other supervisors and they agree. The list is bad. And this is illegal.”
– Florida's Leon County Elections Supervisor, Ion Sancho
According to the June 8, 2012 Miami Herald, Governor Rick Scott continues to defy the Justice Department's order to cease and desist in Florida's attempt to suppress or otherwise deny “minorities,” the elderly, and youth the ability to vote in the upcoming November presidential election. Yet, kudos are in order for all 67 of that state's county election supervisors, who have declared that they will not enforce the governor's edict. Those supervisors aver that the governor's action is not only illegal in that it violates both Florida's state constitution and the U.S. Constitution, but that it is plainly, simply, morally wrong.
What is it with Florida (and the other over two dozen states) who flatly refuse to accept that the first three words of the Constitution, “We The People...,” mean and include all of the people? The contention by Gov. Scott and the other Republican-run statehouses and legislatures that “voter fraud” is not just loose in the land but rampant has been debunked by every reputable observer who's bothered to take their claims seriously.
In Florida, it is not just “voter I.D.” laws that work to disenfranchise voters, but a whole raft of initiatives which are aimed at significantly – fatally – reducing the numbers of eligible voters. They have re-instated the ban on felons voting; virtually dispensed with “early voting;” tightened voter registration rules and time constraints to the point of ridiculousness; and, of course, called for stringent “voter I.D.” measures. Eighty-seven percent of the affected voters are “minorities.” And, to be sure, they are mainly Democratic Party voters. But beyond party affiliation, they are Americans first, right? Wrong, says the governor and his minions. They seek to “purge” the voting rolls of “illegal” and ineligible voters by making them prove to an “election judge” that they really are “Americans” first; then, and only then, can they be Democrats.
Meanwhile, black people nationwide are shaking their heads in disbelief, and asking themselves, and anyone else who will listen: Will these shenanigans ever end? The racism here is so blatant, upfront and in-your-face as to be breathtaking. American blacks are asking where was all this faux “concern” over voter fraud during each and every presidential election since 2000 – especially in 2000? The answer is obvious, of course, and can be summed up in three words: .
These people have never accepted President Obama or his presidency as “legitimate.” Oh yes, he may be “legal” but as far as most so-called “conservative” Republicans are concerned, he is not now and never will be legitimate. Recently, a so-called “conservative” white radio talk show host blurted out that at least Romney looks like a president is supposed to look. Any doubt what that means? Thus, every legal and extra-legal means to unseat Obama and replace him with a proper looking man (always a man for them) is in play.
For black people these efforts are disturbingly reminiscent of what we thought were long ago and bygone eras in America's sordid racial history. Black people have a long and short term institutional memory which harkens back to Slave Codes, Black Codes, Poll Taxes, Literacy Tests, Night Riders, fiery Freedom Rides, water hoses, mounted police, and vicious, “specially trained,” snarling dogs. And when all of that failed to stop them from exercising their basic and full right to citizenship, there was always the whip and the rope to finally, fatally, drive the point home and help them get their minds right.
And so, to the governor of Florida, and the other folks so very, very worried and concerned about “voter fraud” these days, know that your time is passing right before your eyes. Speaking of time, the late, great author James Baldwin once said (in paraphrase), "You have taken my mother's time, my father's time. You took my grandfather's and grandmother's time. You took my great grandfather's and great grandmother's time." Well, I am sorry, but.....time is up. You cannot and will not have my time nor my children's time. It grieves you to face this, I know; but it's been in the works since first set foot on that idyllic Bahamian island in October of 1492. It's been in the works since that first African was dragged of that filthy slave ship in Jamestown, Virginia in 1619.
At this point, it is unclear whether Obama will win. But it is also irrelevant. Black people have faced 43 presidents prior to Obama, and we have survived, even thrived, under every one of them, despite their best efforts to destroy us. If Romney is elected (whether "fraudulently" or otherwise), we will survive him, too.
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