A bunch of racists in South Carolina are trying to hold down blacks by forcing them, and everybody else, to show photo identification before they can vote.
Luckily, Attorney General Eric Holder is on it. As he declared in Columbia, S.C., last Martin Luther King Day, the Palmetto State “failed to meet its burden of proving that the voting change would not have a racially discriminatory effect.” Holder’s deputy, Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez, blocked this provision on December 23, citing “the racial gap that presently exists among photo identification holders in the state.” Specifically, “8.4% of white registered voters lacked any form of DMV-issued ID, as compared to 10.0% of non-white registered voters.” This 1.6-percentage-point gap can mean only one thing: racism.
As a black man, I say, “Power to Holder!” I just hope this brave public servant can find the time to fight all the racists who are imposing on blacks, and everyone else, the extreme indignity of showing ID cards. This undue burden parallels the colored water fountains and lunch counters that vanished 48 years ago. As Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz explained: Photo-ID advocates “want to literally drag us all the way back to Jim Crow laws and literally — and very transparently — block access to the polls to voters who are more likely to vote Democratic.”
Holder should start by cleaning house in his own building.
A bunch of racists at the Justice Department expect blacks, and everybody else, to show picture ID. Justice’s website repeatedly states: “Photo ID is required to clear security at all locations.” As Jeff Aronson observed in the New York Post: “Before a citizen can enter the US Department of Justice’s office to complain about the need to produce a photo ID before voting, that citizen will need to produce a photo ID to gain entry.”
Holder can curb ethnic bias at once by scrapping his department’s photo-ID rule.
Next, Holder should visit Washington’s Union Station. A bunch of racists decided that “Amtrak customers 18 years of age and older must produce valid photo identification when . . . onboard trains, in response to a request by an Amtrak employee,” and under other particular circumstances. Amtrak’s website lists this regulation, which is targeted at blacks, and everyone else.
If Holder tours any American airport, he can watch a bunch of racists in the Transportation Safety Administration demand that blacks, and everyone else, show photo ID before boarding passenger jets. The TSA could not care less about centuries of anti-black oppression. Instead, their agents just sit there, waiting for passengers to reveal their picture-ID cards.
Meanwhile, a bunch of racists determined that blacks, and everyone else, must display photo ID before buying certain over-the-counter cold remedies that contain ephedrine and other precursors of an illegal drug. According to the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005, consumers must present “an identification card that provides a photograph and is issued by a State or the Federal Government.” If Holder entered any Walgreen’s, he could witness this injustice.
Fortunately, we know the names of the racists who approved this law.
After this measure passed the House on December 14, 2005, the Senate adopted this measure on March 2, 2006. The senators who voted to rob the dignity of blacks, and everyone else, included such sitting and departed Democrats as Nevada’s Harry Reid, New York’s Charles Schumer and Hillary Clinton, Massachusetts’s Edward Moore Kennedy, and Illinois’s Dick Durbin and . . . wait a minute: Barack Obama. Hey, how did that happen?
I hope Attorney General Holder is well rested. Battling this outrage will keep him quite busy indeed.
A December Rasmussen survey discovered that 70 percent of likely voters — roughly 92 million people — would make blacks, and everyone else, “show photo identification such as a driver’s license before being allowed to vote.”
What a bunch of racists!
— New York commentator Deroy Murdock is a nationally syndicated columnist with the Scripps Howard News Service and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace at Stanford University.