The Secretary of State of Ohio, Jon Husted, has apologized to the U.S. District Court Judge who ruled against him last week. The Judge, Peter Economus, ordered Husted to reinstate the three-day “early voting” days and hours, which Husted had eliminated as a supposed confusion-eliminating measure. Husted, however, brazenly defied the judge’s order, telling all Ohio county voting officials to ignore the ruling until the order was heard by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals – a Republican-leaning court. The Directive reads, in pertinent part, as follows:
"Announcing new hours before the court case reaches final resolution will only serve to confuse voters and conflict with the standard of uniformity." And, possibly sensing that Judge Economus might not like his “Directive,” Husted further wrote, "I am confident there will be sufficient time after the conclusion of the appeal process to set uniform hours across the state.”
Judge Economus, is apparently not used to having his orders disobeyed, stayed, or questioned. And so he then ordered Husted to personally appear before the court and explain himself. Husted, possibly fearing for his own personal liberty, quickly reversed himself and apologized to the court. You see, once inside the courtroom, the judge could have found Husted “in contempt of court” and had him taken into custody on the spot. Husted’s “apology” reads as follows:
"The Secretary apologizes to the federal district court for creating that misimpression and has rescinded [the] Directive…The Secretary's intention was not to create a stay of this Court's order as Plaintiffs have suggested," according to a motion filed by the state. "The Secretary would never intentionally contravene an order issued by the federal district court or any other court-and this case is no exception. Therefore, the Secretary has today rescinded Directive 2012-40."
It must be noted that Husted’s actions have been supported by Ohio’s Gov. Columbus Dispatch on Aug. 19: “I guess I really actually feel we shouldn’t contort the voting process to accommodate the urban—read African-American—voter-turnout machine.” Preisse is the chairman of the Republican Party in Ohio’s second-largest county and a close adviser to the governor.and the Republican-led state legislature. Why is this happening? Why are Ohio Republicans fighting so desperately, even risking jail, to limit voting in Democratic counties? Franklin County (Columbus) GOP Chair Doug Preisse answered these questions in a news report by the
So, unlike the faux “voter ID” cases throughout the nation, the Ohio situation is based not on fraudulent claims of “voter fraud,” but on openly stated, plain old ordinary, garden variety white racism/white supremacy.
Rep. John Lewis' (D-GA) powerful speech at the DNC last week, put all of these efforts to “suppress the vote” in proper historical context:
“I’ve seen this before. I lived this before.” Lewis described in graphic detail his role in the struggle for the franchise by African Americans during the 1950s and ‘60s. He described how poll taxes and literacy tests were par for the course as means of keeping blacks from voting, a subject I have written about here: http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-new
“We were met by an angry mob that beat us and left us lying in a pool of blood,” he said to thunderous applause and cheering from 20,000 delegates, activists, and onlookers.
“Brothers and sisters, do you want to go back?” he shouted. A unanimous and loud “No!” came up from the crowd to meet his question.
“Or do you want to keep America moving forward?”
The one word slogan, “Forward,” was the overall theme of the convention.
Lewis has predicted that a Romney win in November will signal the return of racial segregation in the United States. It may not be as blatant and egregious as occurred for the 100 years following the Civil War. There will be no "Whites Only" or "Colored" signs on water fountains and bathrooms. No. This new and improved form of segregation will be centered in shutting out of black and other undesirable people from education, jobs, housing, voting – a reinstitution of all of the old institutions of racial and class segregation, but with a subtlety that will not allow for direct confrontation. Facilities and events that were once "open to the public" will suddenly become "private" or for "members only," and thus accessible only to those whom the owner or "management" determines to be "qualified." As Lewis put it, Old Jim Crow has been succeeded by his son, James Crow, Jr., Esquire.