I don’t know if the English language is adequate to describe the many ways in which the recent Justice Department decision throwing out voting changes in Kinston, North Carolina offends me – and should offend all blacks. I’m going to take a stab at putting my outrage into words, but will black Americans see it the way I do, or will they give Obama’s team a pass because they’re Democrats and the President is “one of us?” In brief, the citizens of Kinston, a majority-black city, decided to make their municipal elections non-partisan, meaning candidates would not declare a party affiliation, nor would party labels be listed on the ballot. This change would bring them in line with many other jurisdictions in the state. Since North Carolina is under the auspices of the federal Voting Rights Act, this change had to be submitted to the Justice Department for approval. The Justice Department, however, denied the change.
Their reasoning? Essentially, if party labels were removed, blacks might not vote for the right candidate.
Come again? Let me allow the then-acting head of the Civil Rights Division, Loretta King, to speak for herself:
"Removing the partisan cue in municipal elections will, in all likelihood, eliminate the single factor that allows black candidates to be elected to office."
What does the party label have to do with electing black candidates to office? Do black voters need party labels to distinguish black candidates from the others? Wouldn’t it be pretty obvious which candidates were black and which ones weren’t? Arent' the only factors necessary to "allow" black candidates to be elected are a willing candidate and people willing to vote for them? What's going on here?
Let's get real here. The truth is they fear the elimination of party labels might lead to the "wrong" kind of black candidate being elected. Heaven forbid they should vote for a candidate based on his or her ideas, only to find out that candidate is - gasp! - a Republican!
It seems the Bush Administration's Justice Department isn't the only one driven by political aims. Non-partisan elections violate no one's civil rights, and this request should have been approved without hesitation.
The message the Justice Deparment is sending to the blacks of Kinston is that they aren't bright enough to choose their own elected officials, or decide the conditions under which they will be chosen. It's yet another example of the "benevolent master" mentality of the Democrats, who treat blacks like children incapable of making their way in the world without their help.
They make promises to us that keep us docile and quiet, regardless of whether or not they're actually capable of delivering on them. Clearly results are irrelevant to them - and us, it would seem - because nothing they've said or done in the past four decades has mended the black family, reduced the astronomical out-of-wedlock birth rate, created generational wealth for our heirs, or stemmed the bleeding in our public schools whose only collective accomplishments in the black community are the rising numbers of high school dropouts and falling test scores.
Those of us who are on to them are taken to the whipping post and subjected to a rhetorical flogging for forgetting our place. Ask any black conservative and they'll regale you with stories of racial epithets hurled at them by white Democrats and their black enablers. I'm sure it's great sport for them -- it's the only chance they get to be racists and get away with it.
The message they're sending to the rest of the nation is that blacks are free to vote for whoever they want, as long as they're Democrats. My hope is that the city of Kinston will file a lawsuit to have their rights restored, but my fear is that the black community is so wedded to a Democratic administration and the first black President that they'll just let it pass to keep things "in the family."
Those of us who complain about the obvious condescension and naked partisanship of this ruling will be subjected to the usual emotional diatribes about being racists and Nazis, the escape hatch for people unable to answer why their proposals aren't winning the minds and hearts of Americans who know when their liberty is being threatened.
If the voters and leadership of Kinston don't take this issue to court, it's not only a loss for them and their right to run free and fair municipal elections as they see fit, but it's a loss to the nation of common sense, justice and liberty.
To paraphrase Ronald Reagan:
President Obama, if you seek liberty, come here to this place. Mr. Obama, restore their rights. Mr. Obama, strike down this ruling!