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The Return of Jim Crow

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Ari Berman

The Supreme Court’s ruling in Shelby County v. Holder guts the most effective provision of the country’s most effective civil rights law. The opinion by the Roberts Court was the most radical since Citizens United v. FEC and the worst voting rights decision in a century, since the Court upheld poll taxes and literacy tests in Giles v. Harris in 1903. Just as the Citizens United decision led to an explosion of unregulated dark money spending in U.S. elections, so too will the loss of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act encourage many more of the shadowy voter suppression attempts that we saw in 2012.

The states of the Old Confederacy will return to the pre-1965 playbook, passing new voting restrictions that can only be challenged, after years of lengthy litigation, in often-hostile Southern courts, with the burden of proof on those subject to discrimination rather than those doing the discriminating. Conservatives will be emboldened to challenge the other parts of the Voting Rights Act, like Section 2, that apply nationwide. Our democracy will become more unequal, with the most powerful interests manipulating the electoral rules to preserve their own power.

The only hope is that the ruling will serve as a rallying cry for Congress to add new voter protections and for citizens to rally to the polls to protect their most basic rights. This happened in 2012, when a backlash against voter suppression attempts resulted in black voter turnout surpassing white turnout for the first time in history. The “coalition of the ascendant” of young and minority voters that propelled Barack Obama to the White House must now mobilize in unprecedented numbers. The voting rights movement that was reborn in 2012 must expand in order to fight the Supreme Court’s decision and to address the wide scope of voting discrimination that sadly still exists in 21st century America.


Ari Berman is a contributing writer for The Nation magazine and an Investigative Journalism Fellow at The Nation Institute. His first book, Herding Donkeys: The Fight to Rebuild the Democratic Party and Reshape American Politics, was published in October 2010 by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. He is now working on a history of voting rights since 1965.

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  • Anonymous

    “The only hope is that the ruling will serve as a rallying cry for
    Congress to add new voter protections and for citizens to rally to the
    polls to protect their most basic rights.” You are hopelessly naive if you think there is any possibility of the former. The success of GOP redistricting removes much of the power of the latter.
    As a commenter in SCOTUSBLOG put it: Congress wouldn’t pass a law favoring clean underwear or kitties at this point. I love Justice Ginsberg’s analogy that this is like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because your are not getting wet.

  • Carole, the weary

    The thing is, people want to see the already failed leadership from the highest to the lowest erradicated! Where is the person talking common sense w/o one lengthy sentence tied to the next one! Besides our Bill Moyers, Neil Cavuto, what does our new favorite Dr. (from NY?), have to say about this now? Sorry…my mind is blank. from the top of the line medical school in New England. Can’t remember this wise man’s name. Isn’t his 1st name Clarence?

  • Anonymous

    It doesn’t matter a dang BIT what “the people” want. “The people” didn’t want integrated schools. They didn’t want inter-racial marriage. As Bush v. Gore proved very loudly, “the people” ESPECIALLY don’t want their political OPPONENTS given A FAIR shake, especially if their opponents are liberals.
    Liberals BY CONTRAST want EVERYBODY TO BE ABLE TO VOTE.

  • Anonymous

    You can’t just SAY “the wide scope of voting discrimination that sadly exists in 21st century America”. The thing that upset Roberts and Kennedy the most was that the formula said that this tendency to discriminate was, well, worse in some places than in others. It was the creation of 2nd-class citizenship FOR JURISDICTIONS that appalled them, since they were too bigoted to understand that NOT doing that meant 2nd-class citizenship FOR VOTERS IN these jurisdictions. What hits the fan is NOT distributed evenly. Preclearance REALLY IS NEEDED in Mississippi in a way that it really IS NOT in Massachusetts. Justice Ginsburg’s dissent alluded to a legislative record in the 2006 re-ratification, but the majority opinion pretended that that didn’t exist. This time around, the Democratic Senate has to make sure that such ignorance is not possible — the hearings have to be loud & public and they have to show as many SMOKING GUNS (attempted changes in election laws, including successful attempts from places outside the outgoing preclearance zone) as possible. THAT WILL PROVE that Roberts was just full of it.

  • Reginald Boyd

    Here we go …..backwards and we all are gonna pay one way or another ! Yours Truly Chaddy 1PUS

  • Bob Fishell

    This is going to go back into the streets. Tear gas. Fire hoses. Conservatives never give up no matter how often they lose. We can’t, either.

  • no bs

    To cash a check, buy alcohol, buy cigarettes, purchase a car, board a train or plane, enter a govt. Building or democratic convention a photo id is required. The fact that every progressive screams racism when it comes to voting amuses me, when everyone neglects to state that id’s were going to be supplied at no charge. I’m wonering how trying to protect the ethics of the already corrupted voting systen jumps to racism. The fact people scream suppression, when no one was suppressed mocks what integrity the old skave owners have. Oh and how did we forget that democrats actually invented the jim crow laws?

  • truth

    Two main problems with your post:
    1) Yes, democrats were originally the party of racists. The racists left the party in the 1960s and are still there. The Democratic party is now the party which advocates for civil rights. It’s been that way for almost 50 years. You should get a history book.
    2) “corrupt voting system” is a fiction of right wing radio. The laws you are describing are specifically intended to help Republican candidates as evidenced by the Pennsylvania congress in 2012.

  • Mike

    As far as southern Republicans are concerned, if you can’t beat’em – cheat’em.

  • no bs

    Killing innocent babies is not civil rights, and as for the voting system not being corrupted try researching voter fraud. Multiple cases of voter fraud were admitted to. Now how many people do yiu think did it and did not actually blab about it? Also the whole republican/democrats thing is a joke. It is all a game of smoke abd mirrors. One party denies equality for homosexuals, while the other denies equality for the wealthy and white males. As far as pennsylvania goes on the congressional map, it was rigged. Though if everything were fair every state would follow the apointment of electorial college points by district and not a winner take all. The reason there was a mass turnout of blacks last election was because the president himself is partially black. Its a fact ask a majority of blacks and they will tell you. They felt more comfortable voting for a black man, because they feel he can relate to them.

  • Anonymous

    I am not hopeful about “rallying Congress”. As we have all seen the republican governors are already moving back to reinstate the voter suppression tactics which were not allowed before this ruling. Anybody have any ideas on how to rally congress, specifically the republican side of the aisle??

  • Anonymous

    Check into it. There have already been attempts to limit voter access, for example, ridding areas of many polling places and only leaving the ones in heavily white areas making it more difficult for “others” to vote; rescinding voting on Sundays; many disabled people have difficulty getting to the place where they can receive the picture id. Check it out, bs.

  • Anonymous

    or, as I heard on NPR, getting rid of seat belts because auto deaths have declined because of seat belt laws!

  • Anonymous

    Congress could easily rectify any objections that The Court expressed about the voting rights act. Voter suppression is not just about photo ID. it also includes making polling places inacessible to people without cars. restricting early voting and voting hours, and tougher registration deadlines. The far right activists that now control Congress are unlikely pass fair voting a laws or otherwise enforce equal voting rights. They have the same mentality as the segregationists of the time the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed.

  • Anonymous

    an excellent analogy. Thanks.

  • swampwiz

    It seems to me that states not covered by the Voting Rights Act – e.g., Ohio, Pennsylvania – are causing the most trouble these days. I think that if this law is so good, it should cover *all* states.

  • IAMWHOIAM

    Those democrats are now republicans honey. Right after the civil rights act was signed into law by D President LBJ…the Dixiecrats turned into the narrow minded GOP that we have since. This is NOT Lincoln’s Republican Party…or Goldwater’s….or Reagan’s.

  • Anonymous

    and the gop sob activist supreme court had the shameless gall to do this ruling only a few days after the anniversary of the murders of the three people who were trying to register blacks in the south

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Schwerner

    https://www.facebook.com/michael.tomecek.1/posts/538118859556553

  • Anonymous

    yes. I was surprised to hear that the VRA only applied to the south . if it were signed at a nat’l level (LBJ) how cd it be only for certain states? why not every where?

  • Don Niederfrank

    I thought it was section 4(b). Justice Thomas wanted to strike section 5 but was the only justice with such a thought.

    I disagree with the popular rhetoric that this “guts” the VRA. The “guts” of the VRA are the sections specifically condemning discrimination. If, in fact, the “guts” was section 4(b) then the VRA has been irrelevant to 41 of the 50 states since its passage, which has not been the case, as your research will show.

    The assumption that the 9 states previously sanctioned will return to 1965-levels of discrimination denies the reality of change in those states (to which the Court pointed.) It also bears the danger/temptation to believing that voter discrimination exists only there–which we know is not the case.

  • Anonymous

    What change would that be? They’re flying the Confederate flag from the Capitol in North Carolina and invited White Supremacists to speak at CPAC. Disrimination isn’t limited to those states, no. But they are notorious for their efforts in keeping minorities from the ballot box and made epic strides in that direction last election. We don’t need to assume, court proceedings sufficiently document the issues.

  • Anonymous

    Record Dem voter turnout; replace their sorry selves with people who actually care about governing fairly.

  • Anonymous

    Southerners invented Jim Crow. Back in the day they were Democrats. Today they’re Republican. Try to keep up with the times.

  • Don Niederfrank

    kfreed, in short, the change being from “success” to “effort”. In long, the number and percentage of minorities registering to vote, voting and holding office in these states has increased dramatically in the last 50 years. The Court admitted that these changes came about primarily because of the VRA but went on to assert that the reality upon which the formula was originally based was no longer relevant.

    That these efforts continue, I would not argue against. But such efforts are no longer restricted to places where the Confederate flag flies (I live in Wisconsin) and a formula reflecting that reality is needed.

    “epic strides”? You mean efforts that were successful? Well, doesn’t that argue for the ineffectiveness if not irrelevancy of the law?

  • Don Niederfrank

    Well, no it isn’t. Seat belt laws should be universally applied to all drivers. The analogy argues for the universality of pre-clearance. But perhaps that is what is being argued for indirectly/unconsciously.

  • John Hayes

    There may be room and time plus energy and resources to “fix ” this. Then again, considering what surely will snowball incident to this, perhaps not. Fixed or not, will our economy get fixed, will there be a jobs bill? If not, vive liberte egalite y fraternite!

  • John Hayes

    While we’re on the subject, since when have the wealthy and venial in our land NOT used their money and connections to further the cause of self-service? there is no reason to take hope from any politician’s promises of any stripe anymore, anymore.

  • John Hayes

    To paraphrase and borrow from Yogi Berra, “I’ve had a lot of change I could count on lately, and since I got a piggybank, I done a good job of hanging on to that small change i could count on!”

  • Anonymous

    The ruling said that the criteria for imposing federal oversight of state voting practice needs updating. I would have prefered that they had given congress 6 years to update or the existing criteria would be null & void.

    That said, real patriots will have to take a deep breath and get busy raising money & volunteers to help the citizens most challenged to get what ever ID is needed. In Texas, for example, the eadiest & cheapest might be a handgun permit.Texas, does not allow a student ID to be used to vote; gun permit is allowed.

    An alternative id might be something from the e-verify program; or better yet a passport which every state would have to recognize. There have already been instances where an elderly person with non-standard voting authorization from Ohio was refused permission to vote in Wisconsin (or maybe it was Michigan) refused to.recognize the Ohio voter registration document. I guarantee you, that as soon as hardwork gets voters in state A set up with ID that meets their needs, the bigot states will assert that they don’t meet state B criteria. So, go directly to ID that cannot be challenged.

    We need a modified oath based on the night watch oath from a game of thrones. The watch will never end only the watchers on the wall will change. We and those who follow will be the swords in the night & the shield the guards our precious voting rights.

  • Anonymous

    Since people have a right to vote, and because some things are left to the states, can’t congress simply pass laws that protect voters’ rights?
    For instance,since people must get their legal IDs from the DMV, and since they are required to vote, then they should present no cost to the voter.
    Also since we know the kind of lines in the DMV, couldn’t states be required to have enough workers on staff to limit any wait to 15 minutes?
    And since voters who need IDs are obviously not usually young licensed drivers, couldn’t the states that require voter IDs be required to set up stations in poor neighborhoods making it more possible for the voters to get there?
    Oh, I just remembered, the answer is “NO” to all of the above because the repugs will not vote for it because they are against 99% of the people and only represent the top 1%.
    Well, where there is a problem, there is a solution. The people must vote out the repugs.

  • NLS

    Here is a link to the states (formerly) covered by Section 5, as well as a list of counties within OTHER states, and even a couple of townships. These various divisions will no longer be pre-empted from chicanery with voting rights that they exhibited in the past, and some of them and others not included on this list have already begun setting up exclusionary requirements. http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/vot/sec_5/covered.php

  • Bart Turner

    VRA does apply throught the US. *Preclearance* (Section 5) only applied to those states and jurisdictions identified by Section 4 as having a history of infringing on voting rights. Preclearance as a concept still remains, but SCOTUS, in essence, vacated the list of jurisdictions currently subject to it.

  • Bart Turner

    Some of your assertions simply are not true. Lots of people, myself included, cash checks, buy alcohol & cigarettes, purchase a car (I, just 6 months ago), and enter government buildings without photo IDs. Also, the Democrats of the South and rural West prior to the 1970s have for the most part re-registered as Republicans or died off. But I suspect you know that and were just tossing out this red herring.

  • Bart Turner

    i think it is what is necessary, and that SCOTUS could have just as easily have gone that direction IF what the majority wanted was for every legally entitled voter to be able to vote with the minimum of barriers.

  • John Q Public

    Get an ID. Problem solved.

  • Jane Silva

    There’s much more to it than that. Please educate yourself.

  • Anonymous

    That won’t necessarily help because just before the next election, GOP-controlled legislatures will impose some new “requirement” that they hope will cause problems for voters. The GOP has come to the conclusion that the only way the win in the future is to restrict the voting pool. Plain and simple. So they are going to keep doing it. Problem not solved. Get a clue and stop lying to yourself.

  • Anonymous

    http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/vot/misc/sec_4.php

    This is a better link for understanding the problem with the ruling that you are citing. The main fallacy is that the States in question have changed – the VRA provides bail-out for those that have changed, and many jurisdictions have in fact bailed out from coverage. The fact that they attacked the formula instead of just changing those things that have kept them subject to supervision is powerful evidence that not only have they NOT changed, they have NO intentions of changing.

  • http://twitter.com/JohnnyACE562 GRAND MASTER SEN$Ei {{-_-}}™

    The only way to get rid of racism in America is to get rid of racists in America. {{-_-}}

  • http://2000ah.blogspot.com/ edward

    conservative southerners have been trying to keep blacks from voting since the civil war and this ruling just encourages them.

  • GregF

    I strongly believe in the continuance of all the provisions of the voting rights act and I believe it should be extended to cover all 50 states. Disenfranchising voters is not just a problem in the south!

  • vrede

    nI don’t see a solution to this problem…the Repubs have been very busy gerrymandering the US in such a way that they will die of old age before they get voted out of congress. Given their attempted attacks on progressive leaning voters…They will be embolden by this supreme court ruling…this supreme court which makes a corporation a person and guts the voters right law is the worst for human right in the history of the US.

  • Don Niederfrank

    Greg, are you suggesting every voting district–municipal, county, state–get pre-clearance approval for every change they wanted to make?

    Why not extend it to every area where discrimination exists? Why not require every employer to have their employment practice pre-cleared before putting them into effect? Why not make every sport, amateur and professional, pre-clear every rule change to make sure it does not discriminate with re. to gender or age?

    And why limit it to voting practices? Why not require every policy, rule and law enacted by any entity to be pre-cleared before being enacted?

    The reason? Because we have precedent and process for dealing with illegal discrimination and the application of pre-clearance was established for the =most obvious and grievous=.

    The equating of the elimination of pre-clearance with the establishment of discrimination is slippery slope, even slippery cliff, reasoning.

  • Don Niederfrank

    jm, say more about (or just point me to a url) that indicates these jurisdictions are more deserving of the requirement of pre-clearance than the rest of the country.

    That sounds like I don’t think that that’s possible, but that’s not what I mean. I mean my view needs to be contradicted with the “powerful evidence” you indicate–which I think I could probably find w/o too much trouble, really–but also evidence which shows that these bigots are not being treated unfairly.

  • Charlie

    The Voting Rights Act should be law and should affect all voting districts.

  • Anonymous

    CAPS = BAD EYES. THE LAW SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN STRUCK DOWN, BUT EXPANDED TO EVERY STATE. AS A WHITE SOUTHERNER WHO, ALONG WITH OTHER WHITES FROM EVERY SOUTHERN STATE, WAS IN THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT, I HATE HEARING THE WORDS “OLD CONFEDERACY”. WE ALL WON THE CIVIL WAR! IT’S OVER. JIM LEHRER STOPPED MARK SHIELDS FROM CALLING RICHMOND “THE CAPITAL OF THE CONFEDERACY”. “NO, WE DON’T SAY THAT”, HE SAID. LOOK AT THE SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER HATE MAP TO SEE NEO CONFEDERATE GROUPS AROUND THE COUNTRY. MORE KKK IN MICHIGAN THAN IN MY NATIVE N.C. IT’S A REPUBLICAN STRATEGY TO STOP AFRICAN AMERICANS, POOR FOLKS, AND MOST LATINOS WON’T VOTE FOR THEM. PENNSYLVANIA’S REPUBLICANS TRIED TO PASS A VOTER I.D. LAW. STRUCK DOWN BY A STATE COURT. SAME STRATEGY IN WISCONSIN. (WHAT’S HAPPENING TO WISCONSIN AND MINNESOTA, WHICH USED TO BE LIBERAL? I WONDER IF MORAL MONDAYS DEMOS IN RALEIGH ARE STILL GOING: RUN BY THE NC NAACP WITH THE HELP OF MANY LOCAL WHITE PASTORS AND OTHERS. WANT TO SEE THE OLD CONFEDERACY? YOUTUBE/CHARLOTTE/NC/CLOWNS V KKK LOCALS NO LONGER HAVE SOUTHERN ACCENTS. AND NO ONE WOULD COVER OCCUPY SAVANNAH, GA. I TOLD THE TIMES. TOLD THE NATION, THAT A FRIEND OF MINE FROM THE CR MOVEMENT HAD DRIVEN THROUGH THERE. IT BEAUTIFULLY INTEGRATED, WITH SMILING BIRACIAL COUPLES HOLDING HANDS. NOT THE WAY THE OLD CONFEDERACY IS SUPPOSED TO LOOK LIKE. PREJUDICE ABOUT PREJUDICE DIES SLOWLY. SAD. WHAT WOULD THEY HAVE CALLED GIULIANI KILLING AN UNARMED BLACK MAN EVERY TWO WEEKS? BLOOMBERG’S STOP ‘N FRISK?

  • Anonymous

    WHAT IF YOU’RE POOR, ELDERLY AND CAN’T GET TO A PLACE TO GET AN I.D.?

  • Anonymous

    MANY NEW YORKERS DON’T DRIVE. TAKE THE SUBWAY. I HAVE ONE BUT COULDN’T USE IT. BAD EYES. DUNNO IF IT’LL BE EXTENDED.

  • Anonymous

    Some states have what looks like a license, but is simply an ID card. Sometimes even banks require legal id’s to access an account. Since a legal ID is required for voting, they should have to be at the state’s expense, otherwise, it would be like a poll tax, which I believe are now illegal.

  • Anonymous

    Some states have what looks like a license, but is simply an ID card. Sometimes even banks require legal id’s to access an account. Since a legal ID is required for voting, they should have to be at the state’s expense, otherwise, it would be like a poll tax, which I believe are now illegal.

  • Anonymous

    But now they are getting ridiculous. Time to tell them they have gone too far. Really, voter rights suppression. We left that behind 50 years ago.

  • Anonymous

    But now they are getting ridiculous. Time to tell them they have gone too far. Really, voter rights suppression. We left that behind 50 years ago.

  • Anonymous

    He spoke intelligently, there was no need to put him down.

  • Anonymous

    He spoke intelligently, there was no need to put him down.

  • Anonymous

    Voters’ rights was fought and won, then forgotten. Many poor people have been apathetic. This repugs’ voter suppression has gone a long way to end apathy. Wonderful backlash. They do better in elections with smaller turn outs, because republicans are more likely to always vote than democrats, but there are many more democrats. Their dirty play is ultimately a good play for the country, and hopefully more of the idiots will be voted out.

  • Anonymous

    As a former teacher, I can attest that the younger kids had no problem with integration. so they have grown up with less prejudice. The racist are aging out, but in politics, this is more about getting politicians elected who can be bought by corporations. Those corporations are not racist, just greedy and the poor have power at the ballot box and tend to vote democratic. Now I know that both parties take bribes, but republicans are more aggressive about keeping open their channels of wealth and do take double the bribes–which are listed in the Constitution as grounds for impeachment.

  • hdm539

    You’re taking the *opinion* of the court (which is that, an opinion, but not necessarily a *fact*) as a fact of life. They may “assert” that the reality was no longer relevant, but it doesn’t DENY that the reality exists. Unfortunately, this is not true, not true at all. It very much exists.

    There were some districts re-drawn that clearly showed how the new districts would cut the power of the minority vote in those areas (as opposed to the voting districts, specifically.) Those redistricting attempts were held at bay through the VRA, yet once the Supreme Court handed down it’s ruling, THE VERY SAME DAY Texas government moved forward with these re-districting plans.

  • TheWild Webster

    Hold down control, spin your mouse wheel.
    (komputerz r hardz!)

  • Anonymous

    ESPECIALLY SINCE “CITIZENS” UNITED. I CANNOT BELIEVE THE ACLU SUPPORTED IT. AND NOW TO VOTE ISN’T A RIGHT, BUT “AN ENTITLEMENT”. WHICH IDIOTIC SUP COUR JUDGE SAID THAT?

  • Anonymous

    I KNOW THE CONFEDERATE FLAG IS A BIG DEAL TO NORTHENERS. LOOK AT THE SOUTHERN POVERTY HATE MAP. YOU’LL SEE NEO CONFEDERATE FLAGS IN THE SOUTH. BUT ALSO IN THE REST OF THE COUNTRY. NPR INTERVIEWED MR COHEN, NOW HEAD OF THE SPLC, ASKING, “WHAT DO YOU MAKE OF THIS LATEST SORRY CHAPTER OF RACISM IN THE SOUTH?” “AND IN THE REST OF THE COUNTRY”, HE REPLIED. END OF SEGMENT. IT’S BEEN A LONG TIME SINCE I’VE SEEN A BUMPER STICKER SAYING “SAVE YOUR CONFEDERATE DOLLARS. THE SOUTH WILL RISE AGAIN.” A FRIEND FROM MICHIGAN IS SHOCKED THAT AS A TEEN I HAD A CONFEDERATE FLAG BEACH TOWEL. SHE SEES KKK SIGNS IN MICHIGAN. A FEW YEARS AFTER USING THAT BEACH TOWEL I WAS MARCHING WITH THE CRM IN CHAPEL HILL AND PICKETED A SEGREGATED MOTEL BY MYSELF. ODD NO ONE WANTS TO COVER WHITE SOUTHERNERS IN THE CRM. N’EST QUE PAS? I ALSO DRANK OUT OF “COLORED” DRINKING FOUNTAINS, SAT IN “COLORED” WAITING AREAS, UNTIL THEY TOLD ME I WAS ENDANGERING THEM. SAME WITH “COLORED” WOMEN’S ROOMS. I LIVED THERE. MICHAEL MOORE GOES TO DRINK OUT OF A “COLORED” WATER FOUNTAIN, THAT’S NEWS. EXPLAIN, PLEASE. ALSO EXPLAIN WHY WHEN I TELL NEW YORKERS (WHITE) I WAS IN THE CRM, THEY ASK, “ON WHICH SIDE?” I GET MAD. AFRICAN AMERICANS TELL ME “THAT’S WHY THEY
    CALLED IT A MOVEMENT.”

  • Anonymous

    NOT EXACTLY ANYWHERE. AN ATTEMPT WAS MADE IN PENNSYLVANIA AND IN WISCONSIN.

  • Anonymous

    Good points.

  • Anonymous

    No longer relevant? When you have CPAC hosting speeches by white supremacists and N. Carolina flying the confederate flag from the Capitol, and the KKK making a comback in the south, it’s relevant.

  • Anonymous

    1) Learn to operate Google.
    2) Get a grip.
    3) Yurn of Caps lock, you look like a moron.

  • gasparortiz68

    Racism in America is more than the mask of the KKK;It’s a ghost that keep hounting us in the XXI century more than ever.We dont see but it’s still there; we feel it more than ever.Before it tore our flesh now it’s tearing our soul.

  • Anonymous

    Most states give them out for free.

  • Anonymous

    http://www.nyc.gov/html/id/html/how/state_id.shtml

    You don’t need to be able to drive to get an ID.

  • Anonymous

    Don’t they ask for ID now when you go to the doctor? How can you get ObamaCare without an ID?

  • John Arvizu

    Thank you Bill Moyers. For being you, reporting on things that ARE important, and giving me a reality check from the opiate of the masses postulated by todays media elite as news.

  • ari papandreou

    Thank you mr Moyers once again for informing the people of this nation on the most important issues facing us today

  • Shasta

    I checked twenty two states when I read this. Ohio was the cheapest at 11 dollars for an ID, and 16 for a driver’s license. Certified copy of birth is about 10-15 dollars, and a social security card is free, but add in some gas to run around and get all this stuff, and you are looking at around fifty bucks, maybe? Not to mention that people with out cars aren’t going to be able to do any of this easily That was the cheapest btw, not the average!

  • Anonymous

    They are going to need the ID for Obamacare anyway. They are asking for it everytime I go to the doctor now.

  • Anonymous

    And Democrats love to leave the door wide open for voter fraud… that’s how they get elected.

  • Anonymous

    You feel it because your paranoid. The real racists are the Democrats. They keep you locked up in the inner city plantations. Look at Chicago. Chicago Public Schools now are getting $13K per child per year… and they still haven’t made a dent in the literacy rates. Making some progress in the dropout rate because some people are getting smart and leaving.

    Average private school tuition…. about $5k.

    But no, got to keep them locked up in the public schools so the Democrat administrators can keep sucking up all that money.

  • Anonymous

    Is that why Robert Byrd was a Democrat?
    Have you been to the doctor lately? Did they ask you for an ID?

  • Anonymous

    Like Robert Byrd?

  • Anonymous

    You mean Like Robert Byrd?

  • Anonymous

    Lady arrested in Ohio for voting 6 times.

    How can you know how corrupt it is or isn’t?
    How can one actually show whether it is without following everyone around?
    Robert Byrd was a Republican? News to me.

  • Anonymous

    ZIMMERMAN & MS ANTHONY ARE GUILTY OF FIRST DEGREE MURDER ONCE YOU REALLY LEARN ABOUT THESE CASES!!!!! WHEN ARE WE GOING TO

    SUE FLORIDA? FOR THEIRS?

  • http://www.you-read-it-here-first.com/ John Bailo

    I’m glad everyone can vote if they want, but the US is a Republic. In a republic a representative is there to administer the rule of law, not hand out goodies.