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NAACP Goes to UN to Protest Voter Suppression (Video)

NAACP Goes to UN to Protest Voter Suppression (Video)

In 1947, then head of The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), W.E.B. Du Bois, issued an appeal to the nascent United Nations.

Peoples of the World, we American Negroes appeal to you; our treatment in America is not merely an internal question of the United States. It is a basic problem of humanity; of democracy; of discrimination because of race and color; and as such it demands your attention and action.

Last week, sixty five years later, the NAACP went back to the UN.

They went to draw attention to voter ID laws now in place in a majority of American states, which People for the American Way have described as ‘The New Face of Jim Crow.’

The groups impacted by such laws include students and the elderly as well as African-Americans. All told, The Brennan Center for Justice estimates that five million eligible voters will be impacted.

The NAACP’s Hillary Shelton told NPR:

The right to vote is something that should not be obscured by anything. If people are eligible, we know we have a very tragic history of contrived blockages to the polling places that go way back, especially for African-Americans.

For us to be able to move, in this day and age, to put in place obstacles that would prevent 25 percent of eligible African-Americans from being able to cast that vote and exercise that franchise, it is very disturbing.

They asked the UN to come and observe and report on what they say are voter suppression efforts. Shelton said that they received a “very interested” reception.

Shelton also said that they are proactively trying to aid those without the requisite documents, such as raising money to help poor people pay for photo IDs. They are also fighting efforts in some states to shorten voting opportunities, such as early voting, and making it harder for convicted felons to be re-enfranchised — both of which disproportionately impact minorities.

Another proactive effort to fight voter suppression is the new Empowerment Movement, an effort by black churches to register one million black Christian voters this Easter Sunday.

The Justice Department is also weighing in on the new voting laws in Republican controlled states. It has halted one in Texas, as required under the Voting Rights Act, because it says that the state hasn’t produced evidence that the law won’t disproportionately impacts Hispanics.

That ID law, which included gun licenses but not university issued student IDs, was supposedly needed because of fraud. But despite loudly proclaiming, and spending $1.4 million investigating, the Texas Republican Attorney General, Greg Abbott, could find only 26 examples, most of which were technical violations. Despite producing no evidence, Abbott continues to claim fraud is a problem for which his law is the solution. Here he has found support from Fox News, who have reported his claims but not the absence of evidence of fraud nor the impact on 600,000 Texans.

Last year, the Republican National Lawyers Association (RNLA), in an attempt to discredit the NAACP, actually produced a report showing the exact opposite to the claimed need for new laws. It showed almost no fraud cases anyway, but not even all of those would have been stopped by voter ID laws.

One of the most central pieces of civil rights legislation, the 1965 Voting Rights Act, may itself be under threat by cases being deliberately brought to challenge the Act’s constitutionality.

Watch the speech by NAACP head Benjamin Jealous before the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva:

Related stories:

Sample List Of South Carolina’s ‘Dead Voters’ Shows No Ballots Actually Cast By Dead People

Who’s Really Committing Voter Fraud? (Video)

NAACP Takes ‘Vicious’ Voter Suppression to UN (Video)

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Photo from Ilmari Karonen via flickr

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21 comments

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3:11PM PST on Feb 27, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

10:40PM PDT on May 9, 2012

LD B- I'm sure conservatives have been a part of voter fraud too, if it makes you feel any better. Both could benefit from fraud in different ways & fraud is unacceptable by either side, regardless of party. But there's no doubt that many democrats are against photo-ID b/c they're hoping for the illegal vote. I didn't see anything about any KKK members trying to intimidate voters in the last election. Only the black KKK & they were the liberal 'team.' Yeah, team... I'm actually surprised Topps & Fleer haven't come out w/politician's cards, yet...

10:02PM PDT on May 9, 2012

There's too much voter fraud already- voter ID is a good thing. Liberals have no problem w/voter fraud or intimidation when it benefits them. We don't need illegal aliens voting here, nor do we need our votes to be counted in another country, etc. If I have to have a valid photo ID to drive a car, then a person voting for someone who will help run this country, should have a photo ID too. I'm sorry if it's tough for some people to get. Maybe it should be made easier for some- I have no problem w/that. But if you can't possess a valid photo ID, then I have no sympathy if you can't vote. Hell, I'll bet 99% of the people whining about this could produce a photo ID for a drink in less than a second.

11:10PM PDT on Apr 2, 2012

Steve R. said"Go get one! Everyone else has to!"

No one in the US is required to have any sort of IDin order to enjoy the civil rights granted under our Constitution. Furthermore, there is no single official body charged with administering the issuance of IDs.

Before pontificating, please learn more about this country; it is not like your birth place.


5:50PM PDT on Mar 21, 2012

Voter suppression HAS been put into law in several states. We have to fight this now.

12:10PM PDT on Mar 21, 2012

Wrong Wesley, whatever group you belong to is the most racist group in America. Don't be so modest.

12:09PM PDT on Mar 21, 2012

The naacp is the most racist group in America.

10:08AM PDT on Mar 21, 2012

"The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People". "American Negroes". "African Americans".

How about just "Americans"?

You'll note there is no "National Association for the Advancement of White People". There are no people that prefer to be called "British Americans", "German Americans", "Russian Americans", "Canadian Americans".... just "Americans".

So who perpetuates the "racial" thing?

I am more "African American" than most "African Americans" - I was born there! I wonder how many "African Americans" even know where or what Africa is?

As far as "voter suppression" is concerned - why do they feel their votes are being suppressed? Is it because they have no photo ID?

Go get one! Everyone else has to!

Is it because they are not registered to vote?

Go register! Everyone else has to!

I see no other reason that voting rights might be "suppressed"!

Don't fight the system by bucking it! It doesn't work!

9:09AM PDT on Mar 21, 2012

Thank you for posting. The restrictions must be challenged. It's starting here in Tennessee.

7:54AM PDT on Mar 21, 2012

p.s. the UN will *not* do anything meaningful against the USA - remember, the USA has veto power on the UN Security Council. :P

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