When I see George Flaggs’, Vicksburg, Ms.’s African-American mayor’s advocacy for photo ID,1 I think of Fannie Lou Hammer response to Lyndon Johnson’s proposed compromise on democratic participation: “we didn’t come this far for no two seats.”2 When I hear prominent local African-American officials in Mississippi’s capital city call the law “painless,”3 I think did we “come this far for two seats,” even as the spiritual descendants of the Dixicrats fight to prevent Medicaid expansion, successfully imposing disparate impact. When I see the initiative that led to photo ID in Mississippi and realize that the people who signed the petition didn’t show photo ID when signing the petition, I think did we come this far for “two seats?” When I see prominent members of the African-American community fighting to save an incumbent Republican U.S. senator4 who cast his lot with anti-ACA stalwarts, I think maybe we have come this far for “two seats.” Race is a proxy for class. True class warfare is exposed when “less than 10% of voting age whites in Mississippi do not have a driver’s license (“the most common form of government-issued ID required to vote) while almost 30% of voting age blacks are without one.”
So when you see the following, remember the blacks in this commercial are working for someone who has been totally silent on voter constrictions and hasn’t done a thing to help expand Medicaid for the poorest state in the union. And whereas the actors in the commercial are getting paid and there are blacks who support voter suppression and the party that created it, other blacks are disproportionately affected by both of these exclusions. This exposes the survival-of-the-fittest mentality of black leadership even toward the people who are most likely to vote, when given a chance, for them. And whereas Senator Cochran was once dubbed the “King of Pork,” mind you even as blacks in Mississippi were still among the poorest in the nation and plants shut down and moved oversea, since President Obama has been in office Cochran has been about as useful to the state as Ted Cruz or Mike “laughingstock” Lee of Utah.
2. 50 years later, right to vote still threatened: Column
Alan Draper 5:18 p.m. EDT August 26, 2014
Fannie Lou Hamer’s demand of protection for blacks’ right to a political voice still rings true today.
3. Mississippi sails through voter ID test
Emily Le Coz, The Clarion-Ledger 8:35 p.m. CDT June 3, 2014
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