If You Don’t Like Being Called Racist, Don’t Talk Racist

Bethany Foster of NYU School of Law’s Brennan Center for Justice points out the empirically obvious, if only one pays attention, in this morning’s Huffington Post

After a month of controversy over Governor Spitzer’s plan to issue driver’s licenses to all qualified New Yorkers, regardless of citizenship status, the perennial voter fraud myth has once again resurfaced. This time the tale is presented under the guise of preventing hit-and-run accidents and sky-high insurance rates by claiming that Democrats are trying to pad their base by encouraging illegal immigrants to vote. Last week, John Fund argued in the Wall Street Journal that the plan “stops just short of being an engraved invitation for people to commit voter fraud.”

… by deliberately registering and voting, a non-citizen risks five years in prison, a $10,000 fine, and deportation. Simply put, by trying to influence the outcome of an election in this country, a non-citizen can be kicked out of this country. No wonder the Brennan Center couldn’t find a single documented case in which a non-citizen, knowing that he or she was ineligible, registered and cast a ballot.

“Voter fraud” was central to the politicization of the Justice Department, and no wonder. The effect of voter fraud initiatives is suppression of minority, presumably Democratic, votes. As Lorraine C. Minnite demonstrated in her fascinating study, “The Politics of Voter Fraud”,  “There is a 200 year history in America of elites using voter fraud allegations to restrict and shape the electorate.”

It is disingenuous to suggest that the suppression of certain voting blocs is an unintended consequence of trying to uphold the law. Baloney! “Voter fraud,” as a political issue, is an attempt to suppress votes, under the see-through cover of law.

“Voter fraud” is code. It means “let’s keep the people with darker skin than mine out of the picture.” That’s all it means.

However, I can see why the somnabulant might be confused. Loud Dobbs, for example, promotes himself as a defendeer of the middle class, yet persists in pundit belches like this comment on Governor Spitzer’s three-tiered compromise license system negotiated with Homeland Security Secretary Michaell Chertoff:

Let’s call it an improvement, because I really don’t care what this governor, this arrogant abuser of his office, and the just absolute disdain with which he holds both the truth and the citizens of the state of New York. This man is sitting here putting together a three-tiered system in which he is going to give voter registration privileges to people he knows are illegal?

You see, it isn’t slander because, legally I guess, it’s “absent malice.” I saw the movie. Meanwhile, repeating this nonsense pegs the speaker as another cog in America’s long, sad history of racism.
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