Today’s Civil Rights News

13 07 2007

(1) The Urban League will hold its National Convention in St. Louis later this month, and hold a Presidential Candidates’ Forum on July 27. So far, there are no Republican takers. Not even Tom Tancredo.

The NAACP is bad enough, but the National Urban League, for the entirety of its existence, has been devoted to the singular purpose of the forced integration of residential neighborhoods, which has provoked urban sprawl, and ruined the equity that the white working class had built in real estate.

Anybody, much less any Republican, that shows up to the Urban League is essentially saying, F-you white America.

(2) Speaking of the NAACP, Democrats running for President spoke there yesterday.


Obama derided President Bush’s commutation of former White House aide I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby’s prison term, noting black men routinely serve time.

“We know we have more work to do when Scooter Libby gets no prison time and a 21-year-old honor student, who hadn’t even committed a felony, gets 10 years in prison,” Obama said.

Aides said Obama was referring to Genarlow Wilson, a Georgia man serving a 10-year prison sentence for having consensual oral sex with a 15-year-old girl when he was 17. A judge last month ordered Wilson to be freed, but prosecutors are blocking the order.

Obama is a lawyer, so I know he knows better. While the conviction of Mr. Wilson was a genuine miscarriage of justice, the act he committed was a felony at the time he did it. Later, Georgia amended the law to where his act would not have been, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t at the time.

Ex post facto cuts both ways. If you do something on Tuesday, and the state makes it illegal on Wednesday, you can’t be prosecuted, because it wasn’t a crime on Tuesday. But on the other side of the coin, if you commit a crime on Tuesday, and the state repeals that law on Wednesday, that doesn’t mean that your conviction is wiped away. It will probably take a full gubernatorial pardon to expunge this conviction from Mr. Wilson’s record.

Any anger that NAACP members display because of Obama’s deliberate lies are Obama’s own fault. Also, everyone forgets that there is a white analogue to Mr. Wilson in Georgia.

Edwards’ call for felons’ voting rights to be restored also received loud cheers. Yet as a senator from North Carolina in 2002 he voted against a bill allowing felons the right to vote in federal elections.

Any organization that gives loud cheers to the concept of restoring voting rights to ex-cons is not a proper one for Presidential candidates to cavort with, or at least in a sane world, it wouldn’t be considered so. I wonder if Edwards would restore gun rights to ex-cons.

“The American people don’t feel that when they go vote their vote counts,” New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson said.

I feel that way a lot. When I vote for right-wing candidates who enact left-wing policies, or when whites in California and other states vote for immigration control measures that get knocked down by the courts, Richardson is justified in saying that Americans think that sometimes their vote is moot, and that “they” are going to do what “they” want anyway.

Voting, in many cases these days, is a procedurally effective, but substantively ineffective, method to enacting right-wing changes in public policy. In most instances, if John Smith gets more votes than Jane Doe, then John Smith wins the office, and vice-versa. (There are exceptions, and many cases of fraud). By “procedurally effective,” that’s what I mean. But if right-wing John Smith beats left-wing Jane Doe in the voting, but John Smith panders to the media and enacts left-wing policies while in office (an analogy reflected in reality all too much), then the voting is “substantively ineffective.”



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