Unquestionably, many structural and policy constructs have perpetuated Jim Crow laws causing poverty among minorities. This includes segregation in housing, inequality in school funding and location of liquor stores and fast food establishments. However, for a nation that goes to war to liberate people and endorse the removal of tyrannical leaders, it is unfortunate America cannot do the same for its own citizens.
The reversal and dismantling of voting rights laws was gut wrenching. We are now seeing its effects, making it harder for many (including minorities) to vote. Many argue that requiring an identification to vote is necessary. However, some states have made it more difficult by requiring a specific type of identification or government issued identification, such as a driver’s license. However, people who do not work, do not drive or have no need for these types of identification are being punished.
To make matters worse, Alabama recently closed 31 motor vehicle offices, most of them in counties with a high percentage of black residents. This is a blatant disenfranchisement of blacks in Alabama. The state’s rationale? Lack of funds.
The state chose to balance the budget on the backs of those who suffer the most Although the governor back pedaled and decided to open these offices once a month, this will not solve the problem. Why should residents of these counties have to leave their jobs and wait in long lines to get government issued identification? How will they be able to take part in the election process? Why were other county offices not considered for closure?
We must condemn brazen faulty policies that dehumanize some sections of the population and Blacks in particular.
Submitted by Winnie Eke