The state of Alabama is still living in the 1960’s. After decades of oppression that finally led to the creation of the Voting Rights Act, Alabama is still trying to keep Jim Crow segregation alive.
The state recently enacted repressive voter ID laws, and while they claim that this is their attempt to crack down on voter fraud – a nonexistent problem – the reality is that they want to keep minorities from being able to cast a ballot.
And if you don’t believe that, then I suggest you start reading more. News broke recently that Alabama was closing down 31 DMV offices in the state, effectively making it impossible for African Americans to get the necessary identification to be able to vote in the state. Still don’t believe that this is designed to disenfranchise minorities? Then consider the fact that the offices are being closed in areas that have a population consisting of at least 75% minorities.
White citizens in Alabama won’t have a problem renewing their license, but African Americans will now be forced to travel all over the state just to be able to get a new license, change their address, or change their name. And if those items aren’t taken care of on time, then those citizens will be forbidden from voting in the 2016 election.
This is a sect of the population that is heavily reliant on public transportation, and having to leave town in order to update their license is rarely an option. The offices that are being closed had already been operating under restricted hours, and the Brennan Center for Justice pointed out a few years ago that the reduced hours was designed to disenfranchise minority voters.
I guess Alabama decided to drop all pretenses at this point and shut down the offices altogether.
There is a demographic shift in the South that terrifies white, racist Republicans. They understand that the Black and Hispanic populations all over the South are growing, and they are scared to death that they might lose their only stronghold as the population shifts. Lyndon Johnson famously said that by signing the Civil Rights Act, the Democrats had lost the South for a generation. And he was right. In fact, they lost the South for two generations. But times have changed, and the voting demographics are shifting back towards the Democratic Party. And that’s why we’re beginning to see states like Alabama doing everything in their power to prevent these minorities from voting, because Republicans understand that when these people do vote, it will be a repudiation of everything that the Republican Party stands for.