4.10.2010

Virginia Gov's Effort to Bring Back Jim Crow

Proclamation for Confederate History Month is a smoke screen to cover more insidious acts of disenfranchisement of Virginia's Black citizens.

What is he doing, you ask? Well in addition to pining for a return to the good ole days of darkie servitude, the Virginia governor has decided to make it tougher for former felons to get back their right to vote.

He is requiring all nonviolent former felons to write an essay addressed to him asking his permission to allow them to vote again, now that they're out of jail, and have legally paid their debt to society.

In most states-48 of them, in fact, it's pretty automatic. Complete your term and you can vote again. Not so in Kentucky and Virginia, however.

Rather than help people who have trouble rejoining society because they seemingly screwed up in the first place, McDonnell has decided to add another roadblock.

In this essay, the former felon has to ask permission to vote again. He or she has to tell why they got arrested, what church they attend now that they're out as well as what community activities they are currently involved in, what types of job they're seeking, and how they are furthering their education. The closing paragraph must state why they feel they should get their rights restored.

Now, if they do this, there is still no guarantee that they will get their rights back. McDonnell, and I'm so sure he is going to read every single essay himself, can still give them an “F” and file their essay in the circular file alongside his desk.

This bullshit, and there is simply no other way to describe it, is a blatant attempt to suppress the rights of poorer citizens and to limit the number of people who may turn out and vote McDonnell's ass out of office.

In fact, the GOP is on record as supporting the change precisely because they feel that former felons tend to vote Democrat when let out of jail. Why is that? Could it be the overwhelming majority of Blacks locked up on bogus drug charges or some other trumped up profiled charge and conviction?

Ya think?

It's a return to the days of Jim Crow and pre-1965 Voting Rights Act, when local governments used every way possible to keep people from exercising their rights at the poll.

Under the Virginia Constitution, a convicted felon loses his or her right to vote, the right to own a gun as well as the right to serve on a jury. About 300,000 Virginians are affected. That's a helluva lot of voters who might not vote republican if given the chance.

So what's next...poll tax...literacy tests-which this is...violence...already doing that....lynching-never been outlawed in America, although 11 federal bills were attempted unsuccessfully....voter fraud...doing that too-think 2000 presidential election or losing ballots ala Ken Blackwell in Ohio..

The Gov's office says it's an opportunity for the poor disenfranchised individuals to tell their stories, not an obstacle for them to hurtle.

Really? I mean, REALLY?

Since McDonnell revamped the system, nobody....ya hear me....nobody has been given back their rights to vote....nobody....applications have been received and applications have been processed...but nooooobody has gotten back their right to vote...yet...

The Virginia Attorney General says she may need more money and more workers to read the essays in order to speed up the process...and every body knows there is no extra money in these days of economic trouble at all levels of government.

The AG says the essays will be judged on whether or not the former felons have fulfilled their obligations and are now contributing to society.

And that bugs me...that society contributing thing...don't recall seeing that in the United States Constitution, anywhere....gonna have to read it again.

Bear in mind, I'm talking about nonviolent offenders. A person convicted of a violent crime, must wait five years before applying in the first place...These people have to submit references with a letter and essay to the Governor, as well as certified copies of all their paperwork to the courts.

This system was put in place before McDonnell took office six months ago.

But back to the essay, the AG says the former felon can have his or her attorney or someone else write the essay for them.

Huh?

Jim Crow 21st century style...
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