A few weeks ago, an elderly, 96-year-old Tennessee woman was denied the right to vote. She was African American.
With the 2012 elections approaching, and the main candidate up for re-election being African American, many in the Black community have been the target of attempts to change voter ID laws that harken back to the Jim Crow era.
Currently, 12 percent of Americans don’t have a voter ID, while 25 percent of African Americans don’t.
The reason minorities are so much harder hit by these seemingly benign laws has its roots in the tragic legacy of race in this country. They still work because that old black man, born into Jim Crow in 1940, may have had no birth certificate because he was not born in a hospital because of poverty or discrimination. Names may have been misspelled on African-American birth certificates because illiterate midwives sometimes gave erroneous names.