…at least not in these six southern states –Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee and Virginia. Let’s take a look at something, shall we?
Punishing people with felony records hits African Americans harder than other races: 7 percent of blacks are disenfranchised compared to 1.8 percent of the rest of the country, the study found. The numbers are more drastic in Florida and Virginia. In Virginia, 20 percent of blacks can’t vote. In Florida, that number is 23 percent. (Kentucky, which is safely in Republican hands, is the only other state where 1 in 5 African Americans can’t vote.)
“There’s no question this has a basis in race discrimination,” ACLU Voting Rights Program director Laughlin McDonald told The Huffington Post. “It’s part of the history of the racial minorities in the South. The Southern states adopted a whole variety of measures to take away the right to vote after Reconstruction.”
source:HuffingtonPost – felon voting laws disenfranchise 5.85 million Americans with criminal records
Just why was the Voting Rights Act of 1965 established? Let’s take a look.
This act was signed into law on August 6, 1965, by President Lyndon Johnson. It outlawed the discriminatory voting practices adopted in many southern states after the Civil War, including literacy tests as a prerequisite to voting.
This “act to enforce the fifteenth amendment to the Constitution” was signed into law 95 years after the amendment was ratified. In those years, African Americans in the South faced tremendous obstacles to voting, including poll taxes, literacy tests, and other bureaucratic restrictions to deny them the right to vote. They also risked harassment, intimidation, economic reprisals, and physical violence when they tried to register or vote. As a result, very few African Americans were registered voters, and they had very little, if any, political power, either locally or nationally.
The sheer, blatant racism in the south continues with the disenfranchisement of African Americans. The game is the same, only the rules have changed. The south still has the same old face of hate today as it did before the Civil War was fought. It seems that the more things change, the more they stay the same, at least in the south. We already know that the disproportionate number of people locked up for petty offenses, i.e., the War on Drugs, end up with a felony record, are Black men. We also know that the vast majority of the prison population consists of Black men. This is intentional. There is nothing coincidental about it. If we really think that we have come a long way in changing the mindset of those in the same states that preferred to secede from the union than give up slavery, take the rose colored glasses off and look around. Really, how far have we come? Obviously, not far at all!