said recently that there is a concerted “war on us.” And
who is “us,” you ask? “Us” refers to the people that conservative
Republicans despise: poor, working class, and/or people
of color. That definition is greatly expanded when you
factor in the cross-sections of people that fit into that
description: the unemployed, under-educated, illiterate
and/or non-privileged American.
Now that we’ve defined us, let us define the war…the war is
described as opposing anything that may empower those previously
described; anything that may “even the playing field.”
The war is real, methodical and gaining momentum. The war
has always been active, but not always been seen. Where
it may have been covert, it is now out in the open. The
war on us has systematically gotten at the roots of change.
In America, that would be the vote.
Over the past 60 or so years, great gains have been made in this
country on behalf of the poor, working class, under-educated,
people of color. These gains have benefited the country
and raised its honor before the world. Though that’s fact,
there has been staunch resistance. There have been murderers,
contortionists and disinformation agents; they have been
jurists, activists and legislators. They have used force,
legislation and media to maintain power and control over
the poor, working class, under-educated, people of color.
conservatives made gains in getting their country back to
the good ol’ days, overall they’ve lost. But then, in 2008,
they had an epiphany. They realized that in order to win—and
win consistently—they must destroy the genesis of American
democratic power: the vote.
In any way possible, the conservative Republicans know that in order
to take their country back, they must stop the poor, working
class, under-educated, people of color from voting. The
national mid-term elections of 2010 began a resurgence of
the Conservative movement. Energized by the Tea Party and
the Supreme Court ruling that allows elections to be fueled
by unlimited corporate money, the Conservatives are coming
after the vote. They have come to demolish any electoral
power blocs of the poor, working class, under-educated,
people of color in America.
What they’re doing borders on the criminal. In Florida, Republican Governor Rick Scott
and his administration voted to rescind automatic restoration
of voting rights and some civil rights to tens of thousands
of convicted nonviolent felons in the state, effective immediately!
Sounds like a return to Jim Crow to me!
Scott, Florida Attorney General Pam Biondi, state CFO Jeff
Atwater and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam voted unanimously
to change the 2007 rules—adopted by then-Governor Charlie
Crist, a Republican who became a political Independent.
Those rules automatically restored voting rights at the
conclusion of a felony sentence. Florida now joins Kentucky,
Virginia and Iowa as the only states that deny felons automatic
restoration of their rights to vote in elections.
Under the new rules, Florida felons will have to wait a
minimum of five years after they’ve served their sentences
to apply for the right to vote. More serious offenders
would have to wait seven years. Depending on the political
affiliation of the deciding judge, the ex-felon could still
be denied! In the meantime, Republicans win because they’ve
eliminated a traditionally Democratic-voting bloc of citizens.
When Crist changed the felony voting rules in 2007, it gave
more than 150,000 felons the right to vote, most of them
Black. Scott’s intent is to dilute the Black vote in the
2012 presidential election. What are we going to do about
The Conservatives know that in order to win, they have to
disenfranchise likely Democratic voters from the polls (and
why are they “likely Democratic” voters? Because no person
with any degree of humanity would go for Republican policies).
In the works now are efforts to prevent college students
residing in their college towns from voting there - where
they are living! They’re demanding that the college students
produce I.D. that they’re less likely to have. For example,
if they’re at Ohio State, but are from Michigan, then they
wouldn’t have an Ohio state-issued I.D. Therefore, with
this new Republican legislation, the student at Ohio State—the
likely Democratic voter—would be barred from voting. That’s
how Conservative Republicans are rolling…
The Conservatives are enacting legislation that mandates
poor people have a type of identification card that they
can’t afford. Then, there’s the I.D. that Black people
will need and are less likely to have…one many won’t be
able to afford—a government-issued I.D.
And for the “first-time voter” who generally votes Democratic,
they’re enacting legislation to abolish same-day registration
and voting. That, for the most part, quells the youth vote.
Republicans often rail against the lack of wisdom of young
They’re doing this restrictive I.D. thing all around the
country, even in Texas. But in contrast, their legislation
did make two exceptions: for elderly and gun owners…the
two voting blocs that overwhelmingly voted for Republicans.
They know what they’re doing…but do you?
My point here is, like a bulldozer used to raze a standing
building, the conservative Republicans are razing blocs
of voters. They were transparent in 2010. They said they’ve
come to “take their country back” - to the days of their
founding fathers - when white, male landowners ruled without
opposition. The electoral
power blocs of the poor, working class, under-educated and
people of color of America are under attack. We cannot
allow them to take us back any further.
BlackCommentator.com Columnist, Perry Redd, is the former Executive Director of
the workers rights advocacy, Sincere Seven, and author of
the on-line commentary, “The Other Side of the Tracks.” He is host of the internet-based
talk radio show, Socially Speaking in Washington, DC. Click here to contact Mr. Redd.