Voting law changes reminiscent of Jim Crow

In the aftermath of an election that was declared fraudulent without evidence, legislatures in many states are introducing 200+ changes to voting laws that make it more complicated and/or inconvenient to vote.

It’s reminiscent of the South’s Jim Crow laws instituted after the 13th Amendment abolished slavery and the 15th Amendment guaranteed the right to vote to all citizens, including former slaves. In spite of having lost the Civil War, Southern states instituted Jim Crow laws, which perpetuated racial segregation and discrimination for decades, the aftermath of which the U.S. is still wrestling with.

Below I quote from a speech by the most famous man to escape slavery, Frederick Douglass, 1818-1895. On July 5, 1852, in Rochester, New York, Douglass, a decade before the Civil War, addressing his speech to proponents of slavery, gave his impression of “The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro”:

“What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer: a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciations of tyrants, brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade, and solemnity, are, to him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy — a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages.”

This letter may be considered a continuation of my letter published in the Baker City Herald last Sept. 8, in which I pointed out how many U.S. presidents (10) had slave servants in their households and how slave labor was used to construct the White House and the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. Compensation for the slaves’ labor was paid to the slave owners, not a cent to the slaves.

Gary Dielman

Baker City

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