Editor's note: The following is the fourth article in the FrontPage series "Black Skin Privilege," based on the Freedom Center pamphlet "Black Skin Privilege and the American Dream" by David Horowitz and John Perazzo. (Read Part I here, Part II here, and Part III here.)
Black Americans today receive preferential treatment in the realm of elections and voting rights because the Left needs them to acquire and keep political power.
To left-wingers it's 1815, not 2015. Blacks today are unquestionably full citizens unhindered by officially-sanctioned discrimination, but to the Left there are still crosses burning in front of black families' houses while residents cower in terror inside.
It's a nefarious but brilliant strategy that relies on Republican cowardice.
When "Democrats turn election process rules into racial issues, they know they can get Republicans to shut up and capitulate, no matter how phony the civil rights branding," writes former Justice Department attorney J. Christian Adams.
"The Left understands the interaction of culture with process," he adds. "The Left knows that new election process rules act as a new set of sails to capture cultural prevailing winds favorable to Democrats."
In other words, process is power.
America's Fearmonger-in-Chief is always spreading alarm about a phony Republican push that threatens to prevent African-Americans from participating in the democratic process. A year ago Obama told Al Sharpton's group that:
The principle of one person, one vote is the single greatest tool we have to redress an unjust status quo. You would think there would not be an argument about this anymore. But the stark, simple truth is this: The right to vote is threatened today in a way that it has not been since the Voting Rights Act became law nearly five decades ago.
Across the country, Republicans have led efforts to pass laws making it harder, not easier, for people to vote. In some places, women could be turned away from the polls just because they’re registered under their maiden name but their driver’s license has their married name. Senior citizens who have been voting for decades may suddenly be told they can no longer vote until they can come up with the right ID. In other places, folks may learn that without a document like a passport or a birth certificate, they can’t register.
Obama, as usual, is lying.
It is his party that is assaulting voting rights by aggressively encouraging vote fraud. Democrats oppose photo ID requirements for voting because such laws discourage non-citizens, illegal aliens, disenfranchised criminals, and con artists from voting. Democrats want voting rights restored to disqualified felons -- many of whom are black -- because they vote for Democrats at a rate of 9 to 1. They support same-day registration because it makes fraud easier.
Democrats in Oregon and Washington State have opened the door to endless fraud in those states by forcing everyone to vote by mail. These postal voting systems effectively abolish the secret ballot because bureaucrats tallying the paper ballots get to see how citizens voted.
Letting Election Day stretch to a month or two, Adams notes, "doesn’t facially help Democrats, unless you understand the intersection of culture and election process rules – and the importance of monitoring the mechanics of elections." He continues:
Month-long elections give Democrats the ability to get the unmotivated to the polls. More importantly, it allows the Democrats to conduct a prolonged election free from the watchful eyes of election observers in cities where nearly everyone is a Democrat. Six weeks of early voting is unmanageable in places like Detroit, Philadelphia, Chicago and other cities notorious for election crimes.
Democrats don't want to make voting as easy as mailing a letter or ordering a pizza because they want America's storied democracy to flourish. As whites continue to flee the party of Obama, Democrats know their party is doomed without continued heavy African-American backing. Without this very strong super-majority support from the black community, the Democratic Party might well join the Whigs and the Know Nothings on the ash heap of history.
So the Left invented useful myths that portray blacks as victims to keep them in the Democratic fold. But blacks aren't exactly victims in this story. Actually, they enjoy special advantages because of their complexions. David Horowitz calls this phenomenon "black skin privilege." As Horowitz explains,
As soon as the Civil Rights Acts of the 1960s outlawed racial categories in governmental regulations and laws, the civil rights left began to reverse this historic victory by reintroducing racial categories and privileges into every aspect of public life from job applications to college admissions, to presumptions of innocence and conclusions of guilt.
(Horowitz and John Perazzo co-authored the David Horowitz Freedom Center pamphlet, "Black Skin Privilege and the American Dream." The PDF version of the pamphlet is available here.)
This black skin privilege is buttressed by the Big Lie that laws designed to protect the integrity of the electoral process for the benefit of all Americans somehow discriminate against blacks. Anyone who supports voter ID laws is immediately denounced by leftists as a racist.
Moreover, many leftists, including many black activists, hold the electoral process in contempt. To them, elections are already a fraud – an instrument of the rich, or as Saul Alinsky prefers to call them, the Haves. If the electoral system doesn’t serve “the people,” but is only an instrument of the Haves, then election fraud is justified in order to lay the groundwork for a future that favors the Have-Nots.
According to the Left, anything that prevents vote fraud is necessarily an obstacle to so-called social justice, part of a long-running conspiracy to render black Americans politically powerless. This is why left-wingers inside routinely excuse electoral fraud – in all its manifestations – arguing in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary that such fraud is just a Republican myth fabricated to keep blacks, other minorities, and the poor down.
Ari Berman of the Nation has found a journalistic niche trafficking in outrageous lies about the current state of voting rights in the U.S. When states consider new laws aimed at keeping elections fair and honest, such as requirements that voters show photo ID or proof of citizenship, Berman always labels such measures as racist attacks or "restrictions" on voting rights. In fact the proposals he denounces are aimed at guaranteeing voting rights by making sure that fraudulent votes don't cancel out lawfully cast votes.
Blacks don't have enough power in society, radicals reason, so election rules have to be twisted out of shape to provide a level political playing-field. Photo ID for voting is mandatory in Third World countries like Mexico, but to leftists requiring that black Americans produce photo identification at polling stations is a grievous example of oppression barely different from whipping one's slaves because they're not harvesting cotton fast enough.
Zach Polett, who was executive director of Project Vote, formerly the vote manufacturing affiliate of the largely black social-justice group ACORN, dismisses concerns about voter fraud and is openly contemptuous of the rule of the law. "We have to take a stand for fair and accessible elections," he said, "and recognize that efforts to curb so-called ‘voter fraud’ are in reality attempts to disenfranchise and silence our least powerful citizens."
People like Polett never have any evidence to back up their cries of racism, just as hardcore Obama zombies reflexively claim with no proof whatsoever that opposition to Obama's socialist juggernaut is "racism straight up," as long-forgotten actress Janeane Garofalo famously whined.
Left-wingers don't care that the United States has a (half) black president, a black attorney general, and that blacks achieve and excel in all fields of human endeavor in this country. There are no "black" professions. Among the descendants of slaves there are millionaires, CEOs, rock stars, actors, comedians, athletes, attorneys, physicians, university professors, diplomats, media personalities, hedge fund managers, bankers, and intellectuals.
But blacks, according to the logic of the Left, are too stupid and lazy to obtain photo ID even though such ID is needed to perform so many everyday tasks in modern society. Condescending left-wingers see blacks as living, breathing, goofy caricatures and racist stereotypes. They believe blacks need to be coddled, so activists concoct strange analogies, likening a trip to the local DMV to have a photo taken to an unconstitutional poll tax imposed to keep blacks from voting.
Blacks, as left-wingers see them, need to be ghettoized in order to maximize their electoral impact. Electoral districts are gerrymandered and contorted to guarantee that blacks receive representation in Congress and state legislatures. It shouldn't be this way. Districts should be drawn based on objective, non-racial criteria to represent voters in general in a particular area -- not black voters, white voters, Latino voters, or Asian voters specifically.
But today it is routine to draw districts specifically to appease race baiters. The American system, including the electoral process, is supposed to be race-blind but in the hands of the Left it is anything but. Electoral districts are crafted specifically to guarantee race-based representation. It is difficult to think of anything more quintessentially un-American than that.
There was a time when African-Americans didn't matter politically in this country, but the terrible Civil War ultimately changed the country for the better.
The original Constitution gave states unfettered discretion to determine the voting qualifications of its residents but the Fifteenth Amendment took those powers away. Passed by Congress on Feb. 26, 1869, and ratified Feb. 3, 1870, the amendment forbade all U.S. states, including former slave states, from using race in determining which citizens can vote and how. It was the last of the three so-called Civil War Amendments that expunged the remaining vestiges of involuntary servitude in the United States.
The greatest champions of slavery, that is, the office-holders and activists of the Democratic Party, resisted civil rights statutes enacted to effectuate the new rights African-Americans had finally secured. Racist Democrats were horrified that blacks, at that time loyal to the Republican Party, were winning election to law-making bodies across the nation. They waged war against the federal Civil Rights Acts of 1866 and 1875 and against blacks in general.
In the 40-odd years that followed Confederate General Robert E. Lee's surrender to federal forces, many Southern states did everything they could to render black Americans' voting rights a nullity. Disgruntled Confederate veterans and other Democrats created a terrorist wing, the Ku Klux Klan, which used violence and terror to prevent not just blacks, but Republicans in general, from voting in elections.
In the late 1800s Southern states institutionalized this extra-legal discrimination through what came to be known as the Jim Crow laws. They enacted legislation that restricted voting. They erected hurdles such as poll taxes, literacy and property-ownership requirements, along with moral character tests designed to keep freed slaves from the polls.
These odious practices remained more or less intact until the Voting Rights Act of 1965 which passed Congress with broad, bipartisan majorities and has since been amended several times.
But in 2013 the Supreme Court decided in in Shelby County (Alabama) v. Holder, that Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act had outlived its usefulness. The ruling essentially amounted to an official finding from the highest court in the land that America long ago ceased to be the racist swamp of leftist myth. (And contrary to Ari Berman, the court did not "gut" the statute.)
Section 5 relegated states and localities to second-class status by presuming they were too corrupt and racist to administer elections fairly. It required select states and localities to get "pre-clearance" from the Justice Department or a federal court before making changes in their voting procedures. Changes included anything from relocating a polling place to changing district lines in a county. Even lowly bond referendums in affected areas required pre-clearance.
Then-Attorney General Eric Holder, who, throughout his entire tenure took the letter of the law to be a mere suggestion, used Section 5 to hurt conservatives and Republicans by blocking states from implementing voter ID laws aimed at combating election fraud. The Left relies on fraud to win closely contested elections.
As Catherine Engelbrecht, president of Houston-based True the Vote, a good government group, said at the time:
Washington has treated whole segments of this nation as guilty until proven innocent. Ideological bureaucrats have used this law to exact a form of racial justice on their presumed enemies while ignoring the country’s demands for basic election integrity measures. Thankfully, the Court stripped Washington of a power that was only being used as a weapon today.
The ruling recognizes that widespread systematic voting discrimination is a distant memory. Today black Americans fully participate in the democratic process by voting, running for, and winning elective office at every level of government up to and including the highest office in the land.
But this ruling was bad news for the race industry which thrives on making mountains out of molehills. Racial arsonist Al Sharpton spoke of the decision as if Jim Crow was still in effect. The ruling is "a devastating blow to Americans, particularly African-Americans, who are now at the mercy of state governments."
It is always instructive to look at what left-wingers do, as opposed to what they say.
Sharpton supports vote fraud committed by blacks or aimed at promoting what he considers to be pro-black policies. Left-wingers give lip service to the idea of keeping elections open and accessible to everyone, but witness the hero's welcome black vote-fraudster Melowese Richardson received when she was released early from prison last year.
Some serial voters do what they do in order to exact revenge against a society they consider unjust or that they feel did them or their ancestors wrong. Richardson believes that blacks are entitled to vote more than once against a system they see as unjust.
Richardson bragged about voting twice for President Obama in 2012. When charged, she was indignant. "Absolutely, absolutely, I'll fight it for Mr. Obama and for Mr. Obama's right to sit as president of the United States," she said. Of course no one, not even the sainted Barack Obama, has the right to be president; qualified individuals merely have the right to run for office.
Richardson openly admitted she repeatedly voted in the names of others. Her illegal votes canceled out legal votes and effectively deprived law-abiding citizens of their right to vote.
At a rally in Cincinnati, Richardson took to the stage to be honored after Sharpton's National Action Network campaigned to free her. The community organizers helped her escape the remainder of her five-year prison sentence by claiming she received an inappropriately harsh sentence because she was black.
Sharpton energetically lunged at Republicans, accusing them of trying to suppress the vote, saying it "is all a scheme to disempower and disenfranchise the vote in Ohio."
"Nobody gave us the right to vote and nobody is going to give it to us now. We fought for it and we're going to fight for our right to keep it," said Sharpton.
Sharpton received standing ovations from the 500-strong crowd whose members shared his paranoid delusion that someone out there was actually trying to take the right to vote away from black U.S. citizens.
Like Sharpton and other socialists, President Obama himself no doubt shares the belief that election fraud is justifiable because in a sense it compensates the poor, the lion's share of which are always black leftist dogma decrees, for allegedly having little political power.
What else could explain the Justice Department dropping an apparently iron-clad voter suppression case against black activists?
In the 2008 incident, baton-wielding members of the New Black Panther Party stood guard outside a Philadelphia polling station. Their goal was to frighten away those trying to vote. It was payback or a collective punishment for the wrongs done to black Americans in the past.
Initially the Department of Justice investigated the case but it lost interest. DoJ dropped the case because black radicals are part of the Democratic Party's voting base.
Even the semi-literate militant bigots of the New Black Panther Party enjoy black skin privilege because they're the right color and they're on the right side, that is, the left side of American politics,