Your Black World reports
The NAACP is planning to appeal to the United Nations to fight discrimination they believe to be implicit in recent changes to voting rights laws. According to the NAACP, the states that had the highest levels of black voter participation are the ones that have chosen to utilize measures to undermine the impact of the African American vote.
In a 67-page study recently released by the NAACP, the group found that 14 states enacted a total of 25 measures that hurt the voting opportunities of minorities.
“These new tactics will weaken the electoral strength of communities of color, students and the poor [and] attack the very electoral strength that made possible the nation’s first black president,” NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Jealous said during a conference call.
Jealous and the NAACP are not just reaching out to elected officials about the matter, but are also taking the issue to the United Nations, “because both the impact in many instances and the intent seems to be to disenfranchise people of color disproportionally.”
The issue will be brought forth to the U.N. Committee on the Eradication of Racial Discrimination. The United Nations has been critical of the US in the past for creating a two-tiered society where African Americans are on the bottom when it comes to education, economics, incarceration, health, voting rights and other issues.
“When you look at the democratic revolutions across the globe, many of those [are] directly inspired by the black voting rights struggle here,” Jealous said. “Any tear in the fabric of human rights protection here causes a great hole in the fabric of human rights protection anywhere else.”
Out of the 14 states that have passed measures to restrict voting rights, four of them have experienced the largest growth in black populations, and another three have experienced the highest growth in Latino populations. The NAACP refers to the measures as efforts to “block the vote.”
Some of the measures consist of requiring a state issued id, reducing the ability of ex-convicts to vote, reducing early voting or absentee balloting, etc. A reduced turnout of African Americans in 2008 hurts the Democratic Party the most and may affect the re-election chances of President Barack Obama.