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Old style racism mars S.C. election

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Election officials in South Carolina report a dirty trick that dates back to the civil rights movement is occurring there as Election Day approaches. The people behind the tactic, directed toward African-American voters, rely on frightening them — the old stereotype of blacks being easily scared. They also depend on the stereotype all or most African-Americans are lawbreakers. Additionally, the perpetrators assume black people are stupid.

The Associated Press reports.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – A bogus letter circulating in South Carolina, purporting to be from the NAACP, threatens the arrest of voters who have outstanding parking tickets or failed to pay child support. The NAACP said Friday the letter is a scare tactic and called for an investigation.

“I’m outraged,” said Jill Miller, director of the Charleston County Board of Election and Voter Registration. “This is so bogus.”

The Rev. Joe Darby, vice president of the state chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said he received the one-page letter – which had a Columbia postmark with no return address – at his Charleston home.

He said it was an attempt to frighten minorities from voting Tuesday because the letter-writer assumes black people are in trouble with the law.

“This is old South Carolina politics,” said Darby. “I don’t think anybody will fall for this.”

. . .The letter also says voters must have a credit check, provide two forms of photo identification, a Social Security card, a voter registration card and a handwriting sample.

“None of that is true,” said Miller. “I certainly hope no voter would be taken in by this.”

The overwhelming majority of African-Americans in South Carolina traditionally vote for Democratic candidates. Republicans would benefit from suppressing their votes.

Reasonably related

The Daily Kos says incidents of voter suppression can be traced to the GOP.

Note 1: This entry also appeared at Silver Rights.

Note 2: Enjoy a mixed grille of fine blogging at Mac-a-ro-nies.

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About The Diva

  • RJ

    “South Carolina’s unique history is always lurking in what occurs there. It is the only state to have ever have had a black majority.”


    “Mississippi entered the 1920s as a rural, agrarian state with rigid segregation and a black majority.”

  • Like Kathy said.

    South Carolina’s unique history is always lurking in what occurs there. It is the only state to have ever have had a black majority. (Of course, said majority wasn’t doing any voting.) The fears and abuse of that history are chugging along in contemporary race relations there. I focused on the stereotypical views of the people behind the scare tactic letter because they that could be lifted directly froim the successful effort to end black voting during Reconstruction and the only partly unsuccessful effort to evade black voting during the civil rights movement.

    It amuses me when people deny there is a Southern Strategy, then turn around and crow when the same Southern Strategy is providing the result they want.

    Will fix the Kos link when I go into Movable Type, which was eating corrections right and left last night. Here it is for now. He has traced some suppression efforts to the GOP-backed organization that provides the money and personnel to carry them out.

  • Kate Duprey

    I believe it is more than civility, it is a matter of ethics, morals, and legality. While racism does have deep roots here, in this case it was a tool. A tool to undermine the democratic process on which this country was theoretically built. While dirty politics is on an infinite continum through time, it is up to individual Americans to say enough is enough, not here, not now, not ever. Question is: Can this bible thumping region do that?

    Just another belly button.

  • RJ, – it is not about he who wins, it is about playing within some boundary of civil rules – something that both parties seem to have forgotten

  • If it’s mailed by the Democrats, then they’d be using Karl Rove tactics. It’s the sort of thing he’s do.

    BTW, the Daily Kos link doesn’t work.

  • RedTard

    Wow. Call me skeptical or a new right wing conspiracy theorist or simply crazy but I would enjoy seeing a thorough investigation of this matter.

    I would be willing to bet 10 to 1 that this letter was mailed by a Democratic supporter. I don’t believe it was a simple coincidence that it happened to be picked up by an NAACP official. That’s about the best publicity you can buy for $.37.

  • RJ

    Bush will win SC easily. And the GOP Senate candidate will as well, adding yet another vote to the GOP majority…