It took Texas only two hours after the Conservative-leaning Supreme Court’s gutting of the Voting Rights Act to advance the Texas’ Voter ID Law and its redistricting map which were blocked in 2012. The honorable racists on the Supreme Bench of the land, reasoned that discrimination is not “rampant enough” (for them and their conservative party) “to warrant restrictions under the Voting Rights Act”. Texas’ redistricting map discriminates against blacks and Latino residents.  Greg Abbott, State Attorney General said of the map and
the Voter ID Law that “both measures may go into effect immediately”.
By David A. Franklin, Jr.
In the United States of America, the history of oppression, persecution, repression, and discrimination against the
people’s rights to vote is a continuum.  It might appear to have stopped but it never did, there was not even a pause – it continues and not in a subtle way! The benchmark set by those who struggle against these societal ills, is found in the fact that the persons affected were not passive victims, they fought back! Indeed some laws were eventually passed
over time that eased the grip at the throat of fairness and civility from those who ruled the roost. Don’t ever be mistaken though; none of these laws were as a result of goodwill or magnanimity on the part legislators or of noble judges ruling against discrimination. The ‘rulers’ had to respond to the voice of the people – vox populi!

“My people, my people open your eyes
  And answer the call of the drum…”
  (Song “A Luta
by Miriam Makeba)

Rev. Al Sharpton said that the Supreme Court has “Cancelled Martin Luther King’s dream” but I have long thought that
we who are alive MUST own that dream and in the absence of Dr. King’s mortal  presence carry on the dream on his and our own behalf because if we do not inject continued activism into that dream, it dies. There are more than enough ‘dream-slayers’ around to make that happen – in Congress, in State legislatures, in gubernatorial ranks,
in conservative groups and sadly in the Supreme Court, a body that should be non-partisan in their ruling but are nauseating and blatantly and selectively biased, parochial, narrow-minded and sometimes even showing nuances of bigotry.

In the over two centuries of struggle for equality, liberty and justice for all, for every oppression there were multiple forms of resistance and as history has shown, it involves blood, sweat and tears. Americans have no place to call home but here therefore they have to be brave and know that they have to fight the forces of evil called the GOP.
“And to those who have given their lives
Praises to thee Husband and wives, 
all thy children Shall reap what you sow
This continent is home”  
Miriam Makeba “A Luta Continua”)

1.      Disagreement on the future of Americans
-      Full Citizenship for undocumented immigrants. The system works them at slave labor conditions and 
       subsistent pay.

The Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s sought to end segregation under the then “Jim Crow” system and to gain the rights of blacks to vote (all people of color included). I say the “then” Jim Crow system because Jim Crow is alive and well to this day and the right to vote is a battle being waged to this minute, to this day. Some might argue that there has
been change but this situation underscores the cliché “the more things change the more they remain the same”

Women Rights
 It has been 237 years – almost two and a half centuries since 1776 when Abigail Adams (wife of John Adams, the first Vice President, and second President, of the United States, and the mother of John Quincy Adams, the sixth President of the United States) asked the Continental Congress to support women’s rights. Her macho husband ridiculed the thought and pledged to fight what he called the "Despotism of the petticoat”

To this day, this struggle continues!

The rights of women are still being trampled by the Republican Party.
Religious Restrictions
In the 1700’s the constitution of states boasted language such as ·        

 "No person shall be eligible to sit in the House of Representatives unless he be of the Protestant religion." 
“ profess faith in God the Father, and in Jesus Christ His only Son, and in the Holy Ghost, one God, blessed for evermore; and I do acknowledge the holy scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given by divine inspiration."

And although in 1787 when the new US Constitution was adopted and in Article VI prohibiting religious restrictions "... but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States." 

To this day, this struggle continues!

President John F. Kennedy’s Catholic Faith was an issue; more recently Representative Keith Ellison’s Muslim faith was almost a hell fire situation and as recent as 2012 presidential election the Mormon faith of Mitt Romney was danced around in public but abhorred in the privacy of the hearts and souls of
The Right To Vote And The Sick Sardonicism Of Racism
The “slave-states” of yester-years retain this categorization in current times. What happened then continues to happen now. They insisted that only white males have the right to vote but at the same time included the black slave statistics
in deciding how many members of Congress the states are entitled to. This was in 1787. The then Constitutional Convention could not come to a consensus on national voting rights standards so it became the prerogative and of the whim and fancy of individual states. So, while the Federal Government decides who can be a citizen of the US, each state has its individual right to decide which of these citizens can vote. Don’t be fooled, the redistricting Texas style will affect not only blacks and Latinos but also poor whites and most of whom are women. 
I repeat!!!!!! This was in 1787… I am not saying this is June 25th 2013…… but it is. A total reversal to over 200 years
of the rights of the citizenry to exercise their rights to vote.

The struggle continues!
1820 to1865 Abolition movement to end Slavery COMPARED TO 2013  – Modern day Republican Machinery
1.  Disagreement on the future of freed slaves 
-          Full Citizenship for freed slaves who were the  undocumented immigrants of the 1800’s? The system worked 
           them at slave labor conditions with no pay

1a. Disagreement on the future of Americans in 2013
-         Full Citizenship for undocumented immigrants. The system works them at slave labor conditions and subsistent 
2.  Right to vote for these freed human beings called slaves
2a. Provide the right to vote to bona fide Americans who have been “freed”  having paid their debt to society and been to prison and back

3.   Second-class citizen without the right to vote (slaves)
3a. Currently Americans are relegated to second-class citizenship, stripped of their right to vote, the right to a good job to education post-incarceration

4.  Expel slaves and send them back to Africa although most of the slaves by then were born in the US
4a.  Expel the undocumented workers back to their homeland after they have been used and abused to feed the pockets and the bellies of the modern day plantation owners(the Prison Industrial Complex). Even those who are Americans by birth must be deported. America does not need them anymore because the Prison Industrial Complex offers wages of US.69 per day versus an average hourly wage of under $5 which the undocumented worker is paid 

5.   In 1836 Texas denied vote to Mexicans – and all non-Anglos even those who had helped and fought for the revolution. Although the Federal Government granted US citizenship to Mexicans if they tried to vote they were beaten, burnt, and lynched
5a. June 2013 Texas is taking away the rights to vote of blacks and Latinos, Mexicans being a large percent of the Latino population in that state. The instrument of bigotry is the redistricting and Voter ID Law. This is psychological beating, burning and lynching
Characteristics of the era of the end of reconstruction and the abandonment of the 15th Amendment linger on and are being experienced in 2013. 

1.     Supreme Court decisions are decided in favor of the Republican Agenda or in recognition of the personal legacy 
        John Roberts and his cohorts want to leave behind. Nothing to do with being fair and balanced. Of note is that 
        back in the day of reconstruction (1877), vote-count was suspect and Florida was the chief culprit. In 2013 Florida 
        remains the proud perpetrator of this dishonest practice

2.     Civil Rights enforcement is removed in the 1800’s and currently is suffering the same dare or by best watered 

3.     The Voter ID law is but modern day poll tax and literacy test of the 1800’s

4.     Present-day US education system is nothing but the exact equivalent to the separation of the races in schools. 
        The lack of resources for schools in black and Latino neighborhood engender this inequity. There are many ways 
        to skin a cat and the American education system is using all those ways to skin the ‘minority cat’ through providing 
        poor education.

5.     Back then blacks were removed from voter registration rolls. Now it is blacks, Latinos, Asians and all people of 
        color. Just check Florida that is again the bastion state of modern day slavery and of everything that causes dis-
        enfranchisement (the right to vote for not only the naturally ‘free’ citizens but the ‘freed’ who have paid their debt 
        to society and released from prison).    
Modern Day Reconstruction
Back in the days of reconstruction, the voice of the people was deafening and they use the instruments available to them to be heard and to effect change.  

·        They speak out  
·        They petition  
·        They lobby  
·        They sue
·        They protest
·        They march
and even 
·        Engage in civil-disobedience for the right to vote. 

They suffered beatings, they risked life and limb. They were attacked by mobs, raped and jailed and suffered other forms of unimaginable indignities but they fought for their rights of citizenship and for all the privileges that come with
being a citizen of this great country. 

These tools and others are even more accessible in this modern society. Social media for example added to all mentioned above and the easier right-of-passage to address lawmakers prove as indomitable cache of tools at our
disposal. Let us be brave and use them because the voice of the people always gets the attention. 
My brothers and sisters stand up and sing,
Martin Luther King is not gone
His eternal flame
Has shown us the light of dawn

 “All of the above negate America’s claim of superiority in the world in the areas of liberty and justice for all, civil inclusion, and being the beacon on the hill providing light to its own people and to the other nations of the world.  The current reality of civil history is nothing short of barbaric!” ~ KitchenPolitics123 
4/24/2012 - "Myth or Reality: Racism in the 21st Century America"

It is therefore our imperative – our obligation to keep the images, ideas, emotions, and  sensations and the dream alive. There are no other hands but ours to materialize that dream. The struggle continues….we must not give up; we  cannot even afford to pause.  

S03/E14: "Once Upon A Time Not Long Ago"                   Show Date: Friday, June 28, 2013 
Time: 11pm EST                                                                                  Telephone: 619-789-1959 
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Tonya Bates-Wilson
06/28/2013 10:28am

Lori & David after reading the above article/ essay my memory of a personal past battle; with what I considered "modern day" segragation, that took place in the fall of 1997. We were living in Montclair, Nj. and our oldest son had completed second grade & at the time of registration he was selected to attend one of the lesser appealing schools- located in the "lower"(less affluent) area of the township. Parents are given three choices (1st being most desired & 3rd least desired) ;so, when told of his "placement" we were rather displeased. When contacting the Board of Education we, during a face to face, were informed that our son was placed in the only slot "available for a third grade Black boy"...! WHAT? of course was my response & then I threatened to contact every form of media that would listen & "Tell That"! Secondly, I stated that I would gather as many parents of Black children (boys in particular) and storm Trenton- sitting on the steps, of then, Governor Whitman (although it was the end of summer & in many a peoples' opinions she was a bigoted, money grubing, Republican:would she want to see our faces in/ on her driveway & sidewalk Every time she came & went). The clerk turned blush red & attempted to explain that the process was standard, had long been utilized & , most importantly, "Not racist". I simply handed her a newly filled out School of Choice form & told her they (the Board &/or the Powers thst be) had 3 days to satisfy our request. Also, I let her know that school selection for students based on race/ethnicity IS viewed as Racist in the mind of any reseasonable persons mind. Ironically 98 percent of the Black boys ftom "Loser Montclair" were placed at that particular less desirable school & 50 percent of them were in Special Education classes- even though prior to & after attending said school they never "needed" this Special class...
The second practice: of sending a School Board "proof of residency" officer to the homes of all new students- to verify the child's parent isn't just trying to utilize the Montclair School System (& escape the much poorer & failing Newark Schools) was so intrusive & a tad ridiculous I felt. If the schools were all receiving the same fundings, teaching the same curriculum and no bias present, then why the need for the almost "Gastopo" method of verification?! Particularly dince they would show up at the most inapropriate, rude & often times suspicious hour literally DEMANDING to "see the child"!!! As many a pedophile, child murderer & weirdo is out there, why would you not teach / train these "officers" to communicate in a respectable, professional & less assuming ( that Every parent from "poorer" areas / townships are willing to run the risk of being found out & exposed Not to mention the embarrassment and likely expulsion of that student. . .i don't know; was I over reading the situation? Thank you for affording me the opportunity to share. Good day & I apologize for any typos- I'm adjusting to a different (touchscreen) phone.
IN HIM~Mrs.Tonya Bates- Wilson


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