Take the time to research issues, including voting rights controversy, and don’t rely on social media, ‘elites’
I appreciate the letters to the editor section of the Hub, as it gives individuals an opportunity to express their opinions on many areas of concern in our community, state and beyond.
I appreciate it even more when facts are checked and provided in an honest and fair manner. That being said, If anyone is interested in learning about what Jim Crow laws were and why they came about please stop by any one of the local libraries in the area. Please do not rely on one-sided opinions and half facts.
I will say the Jim Crow Laws started following the ratification of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution in the Democratically controlled Southern States. They came about as a means to thwart any and all political, economic and social gains of the Blacks at the time.
These laws remained in effect from approximately 1865 to 1965. In 1964 President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Civil Rights Act. In 1965, The Voting Rights Act was signed and in 1968 the Fair Housing Act. Granted just because these laws were signed it did not mean peoples’ attitudes or hearts were changed overnight. But it did provide a legal foundation for action where one did not exist before.
On refreshing my memory on many of these subjects, I found some very interesting stories of people who fought against the injustices of these times. Some became household names, but others, equally important I found, made an impact in the fight against racial inequality. Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman and Martin Luther King Jr. are very well known, but another who deserves mention is Victor Hugo Green, a Harlem postman who wrote a book “The Negro Motorists Green Book.” It identified all the safe places African American travelers could stay. His book was first published in 1936 and remained in publication for nearly thirty years. Others I read about were Ida B. Wells and Charlotte Hawkins Brown, who each fought against segregation and violence toward Blacks.
Another reason I write is because of the misinformation flowing through our news media, elected officials, corporation heads and even the Hollywood elite concerning Georgia’s Election Integrity Act of 2021. This piece of legislation was worked on for many months by a bi-partisan committee who hashed out their differences and worked on a solution to insure voter integrity.
The Act provides an expanded early voting period of three weeks, with Saturday and Sunday voting, which was important to the African American population because their “Get Out The Vote” drives are sometimes held in local churches. Their polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and if you are in line at 7 p.m., you will get to vote.
Then there is the food and water…The law states that “no person shall solicit votes in any manner, or by means or method…” Or to put it simply you can’t pull up to a polling site in your campaign vehicle and start handing out food and water to influence voters. Voters are allowed to bring their own and polling sites may set up coolers or drink stations if they so choose to.
Producing identification is not new and is not just for voting. Have you ever tried to cash a check, go to the library and check out a book, go to the doctor, register your car, obtain insurance or get assistance…the list goes on. More than half the states in the US require voter ID. 97 percent of registered Georgia voters have an official driver’s license or (free) state ID. I might add that the majority of registered voters want voter ID and that includes 65 to 70 percent of African Americans. (Depending on which poll you look at).
So, don’t take my word for it, investigate these things on your own. If you use your computer, be sure to scroll down and find official sites, and don’t just rely on social media opinions that pop up. Please take the time to be fully informed.