Ep. 15- The Jim Crow You Need to Know

Today I am so furious. The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals — it’s a federal court in New Orleans that covers the states of Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas.

Yesterday, that court put its seal of approval on Mississippi’s ability to strip the voter rights of 11% of U.S. citizens living in its state.

Oh. My. God!

Right now that number is more than a quarter of a million citizens.

Stripping those U.S. citizens’ constitutional right to vote is based on one reason — the state convicted them of a felony. We all know that nationwide police arrest and prosecutors convict citizens who are Black at a far higher
rate than those who are caucasian. And the charges for the same acts as well as the sentencing are substantially more for those with skin that is Black and less for those with pale skin.

Remember, too, that every state government passes laws to determine what constitutes criminal behavior and then classifies them as either misdemeanors or felonies. The ability to do that rests with whomever is elected into state office — you know, the folks that decide the number of hoops through which you and I have to jump to cast our ballots. And if they can stop us from so much as attempting to jump through those hoops we must jump to cast a ballot???!

Gutting the constitutional right of citizens to cast their ballots is plainly wrong. It’s another form of Jim Crow at the ballot box. And, guess what, baby doll? Without an ounce of surprise, da da da dahhhhh. This has its roots in the Confederacy. Hardly a surprise, right?

And look. We know that right now with the six Confederate ReTHUGliQans on the U.S. Supreme Court if this case were to be heard before that court with them in the majority, those six justices would simply put their stamp of approval on this horrendous Confederate policy. Shameful. So shameful.

It is yet another reason you and I MUST do everything in our power to help elect AT LEAST TWO additional Democrats to the U.S. Senate, Senators who will remain true to the Promise of America, land of the free, home of the brave.

That is the reason that we must flood the federal bench with good, solid judges who share our values, our vision of America, and who will remain true to the Promise of America.

The good news is that this was hardly a unanimous decision. The Tupelo Daily Journal reported that “Judge James Graves, a native of Mississippi, dissented from the majority. Graves argued that the majority’s logic is flawed because the Legislature, when it amended the provision in 1968, was virtually all-white and resistant to the Civil Rights movement.

Yeahhhh. The paper printed an important excerpt from Judge Graves’ dissent.

“Handed an opportunity to right a 130-year-old wrong, the majority instead upholds it … I respectfully dissent.”

By “majority,” Judge Graves is referring to the majority of the judges on the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals today.

Let’s go back in history 130 years to unearth the reason that this constitutional right to vote — and only this constitutional right — was attached to the criminal legal system as opposed to other constitutional rights that were left alone like the right to practice our religion.

If we’re convicted of a felony, we’re still free to enter our church, synagogue, or mosque. But entrance to the polling booth — that is what the White men in the 19th century attacked.

The reason is simple. THAT is where U.S. citizens like you and me have power, real political power. Those White men in the 19th century attacked the source of our power. And the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, specifically the majority of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, approved that historical attack.

The Daily Journal reported on this horrifying history. “Framers of Mississippi’s 1890 Constitution said the law was designed to prevent Black citizens from voting by targeting crimes they were believed to commit.

Dear God Almighty! Well, you and I can only fight what we know about, and it is certainly far easier when it’s obvious.

According to The Sentencing Project, as of 2 years ago, more than 5 million U.S. citizens were prevented from exercising their sacred right to vote. And the reason is simple. Laws in some states strip this basic right of every citizen once the government convicts someone of a felony. On the other hand, some states never touch a citizen’s constitutional right to vote. And I believe we ought to do that nationwide.

Think of it this way. After you pay off your credit card or the mortgage on your house, your balance is zero. Nothing. Right?The bank is prevented from coming after you for any more money. The reason for that is simple. You’ve paid off your debt.

You and I really have to apply the same logic to criminal law especially now that we know that the foundation is specific to the Confederacy and their desire to hold on to political power while refusing to accept their Civil War defeat.

We would all love to see this case go up to a U.S. Supreme Court filled with justices who will rid our nation of the stench of Confederacy inside these policies. But right now we don’t have that — yet.

But we will in November when we elect 2 additional Democrats to the U.S. Senate in November — Democrats on whom we can depend to vote our values, our vision of America. They take office January 3rd, and THAT is when we can expand the number of justices on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Right now we have FIVE Flippable U.S. Senate seats. John Fetterman in Pennsylvania, Cheri Beasley in North Carolina, Tim Ryan in Ohio, and Val Demings in Florida. You can find links to their campaigns on my website. Sassypoliticalcoach.com

I make it really easy.

In addition, we have four really great Democratic U.S. Senators who we can help to re-elect, because they just need a little help from us to get over the line in November.

Senator Catherine Cortez Masto in Nevada, Senator Mark Kelly in Arizona, Senator Rafael Warnock in Georgia, and Senator Maggie Hassan in New Hampshire.

You’ll find their links also on my website: sassypoliticalcoach.com.

When we elect these Democratic folks in November, they take office on January 3rd. And BAM! That’s when they can kill the filibuster and rock and roll on women’s reproductive healthcare decisions, gun safety, voter rights, marital equality, the environment, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, expand the number of justices on the U.S. Supreme Court to bring balance into our justice system, pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Act and pass so much more.

The fabulous members of the Hell Hath No Fury Brigade, we make this happen! ¡Si se puede! Yes, we can!

Now you just make sure to let the campaign that the Sassy Political Coach sent you.

Thank you for listening.

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This is Ana Maria YOUR Sassy Political Coach. Now go out and make Hell Hath No Fury, our political rallying cry that helps to create that Big Blue Wave.

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Ana Maria Rosato, host Sassy Political Coach

“Hell Hath No Fury” a battle-tested, practical paint-by-numbers actions to help create our BLUE WAVE in ROEvember! Hosted on Sassy Political Coach podcast