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June 25, 2004

Jim Crow Comes North

Across the South, Jim Crow disenfranchisement continues in the form of barring ex-felony offenders from voting. Given racism in our criminal justice system, this means that blacks are disproportionately barred from voting, usually for the rest of their lives in those states.

There is a strong movement to restore the vote to those ex-offenders, but in the North, we are seeing a racist campaign to bar ex-offenders from participating in election campaigns.

A large hue and cry has been raised because the labor and civil rights-based group, Americans Coming Together (ACT), hired some ex-offenders to canvass door-to-door. The GOP attack machine went into effect and demanded that all the ex-offenders be fired.

Unfortunately, ACT has partially given in and agreed to do background checks and refuse jobs to anyone with "violent or serious offenses."

So for democracy, it's one strike and your out. No rehabilitation or serving your sentence gets you back the right to be part of our electoral system.

It's just a new version of Jim Crow, except it extends up North as well.

Posted by Nathan at June 25, 2004 08:34 AM