Letter: Jim Crow revisited

May. 11, 2013 @ 01:52 PM

To the editor:

Does anyone else feel that our North Carolina legislators are attempting to march to the past? Does it feel as if each Republican legislator has been assigned a bill aimed at re-establishing the Reconstruction Era?

To cite several: 1) Voter ID’s. Other than to impede voting access of the least fortunate among us, why now?

2) Drug testing for those receiving social assistance. How many ways can we remind them they are perceived solely as free-riders, while dismissing them as voters?

3) Denying ex-cons the vote, people already struggling to find a toe-hold in a society that punishes them after discharge by denying them opportunity.

Does anyone hear “Mississippi Footsteps” in this? While we protest the 2nd Amendment, quietly allowing the 4th, 5th and 6th to be eroded, we are witnessing a systematic attack on the 15th — the right to vote — echoing the 1870’s and the disgrace of Jim Crow.

Does it strike anyone this is aimed at solidifying white power in North Carolina?

My sense is it is the desperate overreach of an incredibly privileged group that refuses to recognize its days are numbered. Rather than gracefully adjusting to the composition of our populace, and responding to its complex needs, the current strategy, after gerrymandering voting districts in North Carolina until they’re almost unrecognizable, is to limit voting. This will ultimately force the justice department to intervene in these bald attempts to disenfranchise many North Carolinians.

While this letter questions the motives of the North Carolina Legislature, it is not a rejection of North Carolina. Seventeen years ago, I chose to live here. There’s so much to like, so many good people, so much to be proud of.

But these bills? Pride is not the emotion I’m experiencing.

Bob McCarthy