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What To Do When You're Stopped By Police - The ACLU & Elon James White

What To Do When You're Stopped By Police - The ACLU & Elon James White

Know Anyone Who Thinks Racial Profiling Is Exaggerated? Watch This, And Tell Me When Your Jaw Drops.


This video clearly demonstrates how racist America is as a country and how far we have to go to become a country that is civilized and actually values equal justice. We must not rest until this goal is achieved. I do not want my great grandchildren to live in a country like we have today. I wish for them to live in a country where differences of race and culture are not ignored but valued as a part of what makes America great.

Sunday, September 09, 2018

Opinion | The Republican Approach to Voter Fraud: Lie - The New York Times

NewImage



"By Carol Anderson



Dr. Anderson is a professor of African-American studies at Emory University.

He was a proud Korean War veteran. He was also black and lived in Texas. That meant that by 2013, Floyd Carrier, 86, was a prime target for the state’s voter suppression campaign, even though he was “Army strong.”

In an election that year, when he handed his Department of Veterans Affairs card to the registrar, he was turned away. No matter that he had used that ID for more than 50 years without a problem. Texas had recently passed a burdensome and unnecessary law that required voters to show a state-approved ID with a photo. His card didn’t have one.

The North Koreans couldn’t break Mr. Carrier, but voter suppression did. “I wasn’t a citizen no more,” he told a reporter last year. “I wasn’t.”

Voters across the country are now realizing that they, too, have crossed into the twilight zone: citizens of America without full citizenship rights. The right to vote is central to American democracy. “It’s preservative of all rights,” as the Supreme Court said in its 1886 ruling in Yick Wo v. Hopkins. But chipping away at access to that right has been a central electoral strategy for Republicans.

Anthony Settles, a Texas retiree, had been repeatedly blocked from the ballot box because his mother changed his last name when he was a teenager, and that 50-year-old paperwork was lost in what he described as a “bureaucratic nightmare.” After spending months looking for the wayward document, and then trying to get certified by the name he has used for more than half a century, he knew, beyond all doubt, that he had been targeted.

“The intent of this law is to suppress the vote,” Mr. Settles told a Washington Post reporter in 2016. “I feel like I’m not wanted in this state.”

That was the point. Demoralize people. Strip away their voting rights. Debase their citizenship. Dilute the diversity of voters until the electorate becomes homogeneous. Lie and say it’s because of voter fraud. But most important, do all of this in the name of saving democracy.

Rampant voter fraud does not exist. There is no epidemic of illegal voting. But the lie is so mesmerizing, it takes off like a wildfire, so that the irrational fear that someone might vote who shouldn’t means that hundreds of thousands who should can’t cast ballots, in part because of the increase in voter ID laws across the country in recent years.

The best way to understand the lie is to understand how it began: on Election Day in 2000. What happened then affects who will show up to vote in less than two months, and how confident they’ll feel when they get to the polls.

Florida’s electoral malfeasance in the 2000 vote is infamous. But that election in St. Louis was also a disaster, and it taught the Republicans an important lesson: Block people of color from polling places by any means necessary. And it showed them, point by point, how to create a voter suppression road map that is paying dividends today.

The St. Louis Board of Elections had purged some 50,000 names from the voter rolls, primarily in key Democratic precincts. And it had failed to notify the people who had just been stripped of their vote, as the law required.

So when those voters showed up to cast their ballots, they were told they were no longer registered. Besieged precinct workers couldn’t get through on the jammed phone lines to check much of anything. Some opted to send frustrated would-be voters downtown to the Board of Elections office to resolve the issue there.

This combination of poor record keeping and ill-prepared officials meant that hours and hours dissolved as the clock on Election Day wound down. When the polls were about to close, the lobby was still packed with people waiting to cast their ballots.

Democrats filed for an injunction to keep precincts open to accommodate voters who had been caught in the Board of Elections runaround. A circuit court judge agreed and ordered the polls to stay open for a few more hours.

Republicans were not having it. Senator Christopher Bond said the voting extension “represents the biggest fraud on the voters in this state and nation that we have ever seen.” Others made the case that this was just a Democratic maneuver that would result in hundreds of fraudulent votes.

Republicans filed an appeal to close the polls. A state appeals court obliged. Shortly after the circuit court’s decision, the doors slammed shut on hundreds of people waiting in lines to vote.

Then things got worse.

Missouri Republicans twisted this clear case of election board wrongdoing into a torrent of accusations against the Democrats and the overwhelmingly black residents of St. Louis. Missouri’s Republican secretary of state, Matt Blunt, called the effort to keep the polls open an attempt “to create bedlam so that election fraud could be perpetrated.” Senator Bond went further: It was a “brazen” and “shocking” effort to commit voter fraud.

It was, of course, nothing of the sort. Instead, it was an illegitimate purge of approximately 49,589 eligible voters by the Board of Elections. It was also sloppy record-keeping and bureaucratic malfeasance. But, for the Republicans, that was not the point. Rather, it was about fine-tuning a voter suppression master plan. They learned three key lessons from the bungled election.

The first lesson was that demographics were not destiny. The voting-age population was becoming less white and more African-American, Latino and Asian. In 1992, nonwhite voters made up 13 percent of the American electorate. By 2012 that figure had risen to 28 percent. That growing share of the electorate favored the Democrats. A poll by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies in the late 1980s found that only one in two black Republicans thought his party cared about problems facing the black community. In the 2000 presidential election, nine in 10 black voters, 62 percent of Hispanic voters and just over half of all Asian voters backed Al Gore.

The Republicans’ response to this? Block people of color from the ballot box. Consider the brutal clarity of Paul Weyrich, a founder of the Heritage Foundation and the American Legislative Exchange Council, which eventually helped write voter suppression legislation that spread like a cancer across the country: “I don’t want everybody to vote,” he said in a 1980 speech to conservative preachers in Dallas. “Our leverage in the elections, quite candidly, goes up as the voting populace goes down.” The Republican Party learned that voter suppression, done ruthlessly and relentlessly, could deliver victory.

The second lesson was the importance of controlling the machinery that decided the rules for voting, the conditions upon which those votes would be cast, and whose vote counted and whose did not. In 2000, the Florida secretary of state, Katherine Harris, proved this point beyond all doubt. Ms. Harris, a delegate at the Republican National Convention that year and a co-chairwoman of George W. Bush’s Florida campaign, used her power to undermine the recount.

She was in good company. She had the full support of the presidential candidate’s brother, Gov. Jeb Bush, who surreptitiously sent in his fixer, the Republican lobbyist Mac Stipanovich, to keep the secretary of state focused.

The key was to override the state’s law that identified “intent of the voter” as the “gold standard” for a manual recount in Florida. Was the hanging chad clear on the ballot but unreadable by the machine? Had the voter written in the preferred candidate’s name instead of marking the oval? When some of the counties had volunteers hand-count a representative sample of the ballots, they focused on the voter’s intent.

Ms. Harris and Mr. Stipanovich sent in an undercover ally, Kerey Carpenter, a lawyer, to give guidance to Palm Beach County’s canvassing board. Al Gore was gaining ground fast, which could have prompted a full-blown recount. But Ms. Carpenter’s supposedly unbiased legal advice tilted the scales. She raised the standard for “intent” so high that Mr. Gore’s lead fell to only six votes at one point, according to David Margolick’s reporting of the recount in Vanity Fair.

Then she persuaded the chairman of the canvassing board to get Ms. Harris’s opinion on whether a full recount was even necessary. Of course, the preordained answer was no. The voting machines had to be completely broken, not simply malfunctioning, the secretary of state ruled. Then Ms. Harris moved up the deadline for when the manual count had to be completed, to a date well before two major counties, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade, had even decided whether to do a recount.

In one egregious case, the standards that determined which absentee ballots were valid and which were not varied. The most salient factor became the political tilt of the county. Republican-leaning counties got much more leeway in counting overseas ballots that were completed, but not necessarily postmarked, on Election Day.

As a result, George W. Bush, who lost the popular vote, carried Florida by 537 votes, won the Electoral College and became the 43rd president with a key assist by the Supreme Court.

This win, unlike any other, showed Republicans that the people in control of the levers of the electoral and political machinery could give an aura of legality to wanton purges, bureaucratic runarounds and other chicanery.

The final and perhaps most important lesson from 2000 was to lie. Lie often. Say the lies loud; say them with pride. Lie over and over and over. Lie without shame. Lie until the truth is drowned out, dead. Lie until no amount of evidence could convince anyone otherwise. Lie until there is no other narrative.

Senator Bond seemed to learn this well. He repeatedly claimed that Democrats were using the names of dead people and dogs to vote. He insisted that other people were creating fake addresses at vacant lots. Just as the best lies hold a kernel of truth, Senator Bond chose wisely.

Some prankster had indeed registered a 13-year-old springer spaniel, Ritzy Meckler, to vote. Yet there is no record anywhere of Fido, Rover, Lassie or even Ritzy casting a ballot. Similarly, the myth of a swarm of fraudulent voters using the addresses of vacant lots to tilt the election to the Democrats, while tantalizing, collapsed under scrutiny. An investigation found that the city had wrongly listed 65 of the 79 suspicious addresses as vacant.

Senator Bond did eventually find a dead person on the voter registration rolls, a former city alderman. But there was no evidence that anyone with his name voted in the 2000 election. By the time all of Senator Bond’s claims had been investigated, it was clear that out of the 2.3 million Missouri voters, four people committed some type of malfeasance — hardly constituting “brazen” voter fraud.

And it was also obvious that mandating a photo ID at the polls would not have prevented that. But Senator Bond’s leadership on the Help America Vote Act, which was designed to solve the “problems” that emerged in the 2000 election, required that the lie of voter fraud and the need for voter ID become embedded in federal law.

Republicans had fashioned a noose around our democracy. And it’s only getting tighter and tighter."

Carol Anderson (@ProfCAnderson), a professor of African-American studies at Emory University, is the author of the forthcoming “One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy,” from which this essay is adapted.

Opinion | The Republican Approach to Voter Fraud: Lie - The New York Times

"By Carol Anderson
Dr. Anderson is a professor of African-American studies at Emory University.
He was a proud Korean War veteran. He was also black and lived in Texas. That meant that by 2013, Floyd Carrier, 86, was a prime target for the state’s voter suppression campaign, even though he was “Army strong.”
In an election that year, when he handed his Department of Veterans Affairs card to the registrar, he was turned away. No matter that he had used that ID for more than 50 years without a problem. Texas had recently passed a burdensome and unnecessary law that required voters to show a state-approved ID with a photo. His card didn’t have one.
The North Koreans couldn’t break Mr. Carrier, but voter suppression did. “I wasn’t a citizen no more,” he told a reporter last year. “I wasn’t.”
Voters across the country are now realizing that they, too, have crossed into the twilight zone: citizens of America without full citizenship rights. The right to vote is central to American democracy. “It’s preservative of all rights,” as the Supreme Court said in its 1886 ruling in Yick Wo v. Hopkins. But chipping away at access to that right has been a central electoral strategy for Republicans.
Anthony Settles, a Texas retiree, had been repeatedly blocked from the ballot box because his mother changed his last name when he was a teenager, and that 50-year-old paperwork was lost in what he described as a “bureaucratic nightmare.” After spending months looking for the wayward document, and then trying to get certified by the name he has used for more than half a century, he knew, beyond all doubt, that he had been targeted.
“The intent of this law is to suppress the vote,” Mr. Settles told a Washington Post reporter in 2016. “I feel like I’m not wanted in this state.”
That was the point. Demoralize people. Strip away their voting rights. Debase their citizenship. Dilute the diversity of voters until the electorate becomes homogeneous. Lie and say it’s because of voter fraud. But most important, do all of this in the name of saving democracy.
Rampant voter fraud does not exist. There is no epidemic of illegal voting. But the lie is so mesmerizing, it takes off like a wildfire, so that the irrational fear that someone might vote who shouldn’t means that hundreds of thousands who should can’t cast ballots, in part because of the increase in voter ID laws across the country in recent years.
The best way to understand the lie is to understand how it began: on Election Day in 2000. What happened then affects who will show up to vote in less than two months, and how confident they’ll feel when they get to the polls.
Florida’s electoral malfeasance in the 2000 vote is infamous. But that election in St. Louis was also a disaster, and it taught the Republicans an important lesson: Block people of color from polling places by any means necessary. And it showed them, point by point, how to create a voter suppression road map that is paying dividends today.
The St. Louis Board of Elections had purged some 50,000 names from the voter rolls, primarily in key Democratic precincts. And it had failed to notify the people who had just been stripped of their vote, as the law required.
So when those voters showed up to cast their ballots, they were told they were no longer registered. Besieged precinct workers couldn’t get through on the jammed phone lines to check much of anything. Some opted to send frustrated would-be voters downtown to the Board of Elections office to resolve the issue there.
This combination of poor record keeping and ill-prepared officials meant that hours and hours dissolved as the clock on Election Day wound down. When the polls were about to close, the lobby was still packed with people waiting to cast their ballots.
Democrats filed for an injunction to keep precincts open to accommodate voters who had been caught in the Board of Elections runaround. A circuit court judge agreed and ordered the polls to stay open for a few more hours.
Republicans were not having it. Senator Christopher Bond said the voting extension “represents the biggest fraud on the voters in this state and nation that we have ever seen.” Others made the case that this was just a Democratic maneuver that would result in hundreds of fraudulent votes.
Republicans filed an appeal to close the polls. A state appeals court obliged. Shortly after the circuit court’s decision, the doors slammed shut on hundreds of people waiting in lines to vote.
Then things got worse.
Missouri Republicans twisted this clear case of election board wrongdoing into a torrent of accusations against the Democrats and the overwhelmingly black residents of St. Louis. Missouri’s Republican secretary of state, Matt Blunt, called the effort to keep the polls open an attempt “to create bedlam so that election fraud could be perpetrated.” Senator Bond went further: It was a “brazen” and “shocking” effort to commit voter fraud.
It was, of course, nothing of the sort. Instead, it was an illegitimate purge of approximately 49,589 eligible voters by the Board of Elections. It was also sloppy record-keeping and bureaucratic malfeasance. But, for the Republicans, that was not the point. Rather, it was about fine-tuning a voter suppression master plan. They learned three key lessons from the bungled election.
The first lesson was that demographics were not destiny. The voting-age population was becoming less white and more African-American, Latino and Asian. In 1992, nonwhite voters made up 13 percent of the American electorate. By 2012 that figure had risen to 28 percent. That growing share of the electorate favored the Democrats. A poll by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies in the late 1980s found that only one in two black Republicans thought his party cared about problems facing the black community. In the 2000 presidential election, nine in 10 black voters, 62 percent of Hispanic voters and just over half of all Asian voters backed Al Gore.
The Republicans’ response to this? Block people of color from the ballot box. Consider the brutal clarity of Paul Weyrich, a founder of the Heritage Foundation and the American Legislative Exchange Council, which eventually helped write voter suppression legislation that spread like a cancer across the country: “I don’t want everybody to vote,” he said in a 1980 speech to conservative preachers in Dallas. “Our leverage in the elections, quite candidly, goes up as the voting populace goes down.” The Republican Party learned that voter suppression, done ruthlessly and relentlessly, could deliver victory.
The second lesson was the importance of controlling the machinery that decided the rules for voting, the conditions upon which those votes would be cast, and whose vote counted and whose did not. In 2000, the Florida secretary of state, Katherine Harris, proved this point beyond all doubt. Ms. Harris, a delegate at the Republican National Convention that year and a co-chairwoman of George W. Bush’s Florida campaign, used her power to undermine the recount.
She was in good company. She had the full support of the presidential candidate’s brother, Gov. Jeb Bush, who surreptitiously sent in his fixer, the Republican lobbyist Mac Stipanovich, to keep the secretary of state focused.
The key was to override the state’s law that identified “intent of the voter” as the “gold standard” for a manual recount in Florida. Was the hanging chad clear on the ballot but unreadable by the machine? Had the voter written in the preferred candidate’s name instead of marking the oval? When some of the counties had volunteers hand-count a representative sample of the ballots, they focused on the voter’s intent.
Ms. Harris and Mr. Stipanovich sent in an undercover ally, Kerey Carpenter, a lawyer, to give guidance to Palm Beach County’s canvassing board. Al Gore was gaining ground fast, which could have prompted a full-blown recount. But Ms. Carpenter’s supposedly unbiased legal advice tilted the scales. She raised the standard for “intent” so high that Mr. Gore’s lead fell to only six votes at one point, according to David Margolick’s reporting of the recount in Vanity Fair.
Then she persuaded the chairman of the canvassing board to get Ms. Harris’s opinion on whether a full recount was even necessary. Of course, the preordained answer was no. The voting machines had to be completely broken, not simply malfunctioning, the secretary of state ruled. Then Ms. Harris moved up the deadline for when the manual count had to be completed, to a date well before two major counties, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade, had even decided whether to do a recount.
In one egregious case, the standards that determined which absentee ballots were valid and which were not varied. The most salient factor became the political tilt of the county. Republican-leaning counties got much more leeway in counting overseas ballots that were completed, but not necessarily postmarked, on Election Day.
As a result, George W. Bush, who lost the popular vote, carried Florida by 537 votes, won the Electoral College and became the 43rd president with a key assist by the Supreme Court.
This win, unlike any other, showed Republicans that the people in control of the levers of the electoral and political machinery could give an aura of legality to wanton purges, bureaucratic runarounds and other chicanery.
The final and perhaps most important lesson from 2000 was to lie. Lie often. Say the lies loud; say them with pride. Lie over and over and over. Lie without shame. Lie until the truth is drowned out, dead. Lie until no amount of evidence could convince anyone otherwise. Lie until there is no other narrative.
Senator Bond seemed to learn this well. He repeatedly claimed that Democrats were using the names of dead people and dogs to vote. He insisted that other people were creating fake addresses at vacant lots. Just as the best lies hold a kernel of truth, Senator Bond chose wisely.
Some prankster had indeed registered a 13-year-old springer spaniel, Ritzy Meckler, to vote. Yet there is no record anywhere of Fido, Rover, Lassie or even Ritzy casting a ballot. Similarly, the myth of a swarm of fraudulent voters using the addresses of vacant lots to tilt the election to the Democrats, while tantalizing, collapsed under scrutiny. An investigation found that the city had wrongly listed 65 of the 79 suspicious addresses as vacant.
Senator Bond did eventually find a dead person on the voter registration rolls, a former city alderman. But there was no evidence that anyone with his name voted in the 2000 election. By the time all of Senator Bond’s claims had been investigated, it was clear that out of the 2.3 million Missouri voters, four people committed some type of malfeasance — hardly constituting “brazen” voter fraud.
And it was also obvious that mandating a photo ID at the polls would not have prevented that. But Senator Bond’s leadership on the Help America Vote Act, which was designed to solve the “problems” that emerged in the 2000 election, required that the lie of voter fraud and the need for voter ID become embedded in federal law.
Republicans had fashioned a noose around our democracy. And it’s only getting tighter and tighter."
Carol Anderson (@ProfCAnderson), a professor of African-American studies at Emory University, is the author of the forthcoming “One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy,” from which this essay is adapted.

Opinion | The Republican Approach to Voter Fraud: Lie - The New York Times