11/17/2005

Daily Kos: "[N]iggers in the state capital with their feet on the desk"

"[N]iggers in the state capital with their feet on the desk"
by orthogonal [Subscribe]
Thu Nov 17, 2005 at 02:31:26 AM CST

"Do you want to see niggers in the state capital with their feet on the desk?"
"This newspaper believes in white supremacy, and it believes that the poll tax is one of the essentials for the preservation of white supremacy." From "Suffrage in the South" Part I, published January 1st, 1940.

"TAKE THE NEGRO OUT OF POLITICS, WAS THE FIRST NECESSITY, the southern Democrats agreed.... AMONG THE SUFFRAGE RESTRICTIONS PUT FORWARD AT THIS time was the requirement of poll tax payment as a prerequisite for voting." From "Suffrage in the South" Part II.

Georgia's former poll tax was called "the most effective bar to Negro suffrage ever devised." The International Encyclopedia of Elections, Congressional Quarterly, Inc., 1999.

* orthogonal's diary :: ::
*

"Between 1896 and 1903 every southern state possessing a substantial Negro population amended their constitutions to permit official white primaries and to prohibit--by ingenious laws--both Negroes and uncooperative poor whites from voting.... by 1900 the Negro could no longer count on the Federal government to assist him in overcoming his hopelessly unequal political position." -- from "The Development of Negro Power in American Politics since 1900", originally written for the Hattiesburg Freedom School by SNCC/COFO volunteers.

"[P]ass the word around that Mister Nigger is not wanted at the polls." -- gubernatorial candidate Eugene Talmadge, in 1947, quoted in the free online edition of the book JIM CROW GUIDE : The way it was, 1990.



So how far have we come in the in 65 years since "Suffrage in the South" was written?

A team of Justice Department lawyers and analysts who reviewed a Georgia voter-identification law recommended rejecting it because it was likely to discriminate against black voters, but they were overruled the next day by higher-ranking officials at Justice, according to department documents.

published today in the The Washington Post.

(Reminiscent of how scientists and doctors at the FDA were overruled by political appointees on the morning-after pill?)

Georgia's new law will require those without a driver's license to pay for a special voter ID card -- and that card will be available in only 59 of Georgia's 159 counties. None of the cards will be sold in Georgia's most populous city, Atlanta.

Where does this come from? More than one hundred years ago, Frederick Douglass proposed an explanation: "It comes from those who would smooth the way for the Negro's disfranchisement in clear defiance of the constitution they have sworn to support -- men who are perjured before God and man." From The Reason Why The Colored American is not in the World's Columbian Exposition, 1893.

Daily Kos: "[N]iggers in the state capital with their feet on the desk"

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