Voting on Your Own Recognizance 2
As a follow-up to the item I posted on Thursday, I offer some quotes from a Religion News Service article entitled, “Black pastors move to counter new voter ID laws”:
“We must vote because we must counteract the corrupt and diabolical strategies of those who are trying to take away our vote by passing laws to suppress and diminish our voting rights,” said the Rev. Julius Scruggs, president of the National Baptist Convention, USA, at a news conference Wednesday (Sept. 5) during his denomination’s Annual Session in Atlanta.
On Thursday, the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network scheduled a luncheon during the Democratic National Convention to declare a “state of emergency over voter suppression” and call for black pastors to spend the next 30 days helping people get IDs so turnout by black and Latino voters “is not compromised.”
“There is a suppression law that’s under attack, that’s in the federal courts, but we aren’t waiting on that final decision,” said the Rev. Ralph Canty, interim general secretary of the Progressive National Baptist Convention and a pastor in South Carolina.
“Many of us are doing all that we can to help people get ID. It’s difficult for older people. It’s requiring a whole lot of extra effort.”
Eric McDaniel, associate professor of government at the University of Texas at Austin, said people are more likely to vote if they have a reason, whether it’s excitement about voting for Barack Obama as the first black president in 2008, or fear that voting rights are being restricted.
“If you can say, ‘You may not like Obama but some people are trying to take away your vote,’ that changes things significantly,” said McDaniel, author of a book on black churches and political mobilization. “That provides them with more ammunition to get them out to the polls.”
So here’s the question: why do African-American pastors think black people and senior citizens are so stupid and/or incompetent that they are incapable of doing what millions and millions of others have done in order simply to be able to function in society? Isn’t that, you know, racist and ageist, or something?
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