Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Tuesday, April 06, 2021

Georgia has an ugly history of taking voting rights from Black voters. [T]his is not the first time Georgia has disenfranchised Black voters following a Black person's electoral success. In addition to political violence, Georgia used the legal system to push Black people out of the electorate.



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After the American Civil War, even before the 15th Amendment was adopted, newly freed Black men in the south registered to vote and voted. In Georgia, 33 Black members of the General Assembly were the first to be elected to that state's legislature in 1868. These men are often referred to as the "Original 33." But they were forced out of the legislature even though the legislature was controlled by radical Republicans, their party. The effort to expel was led by Democrats, but a sufficient number of Republicans joined in the vote. Also outcome-determinative was the fact that the Speaker of the House R.L. McWhorter ruled that the Black legislators could not vote on their own expulsion. One of the African Americans expelled was Senator Henry McNeal Turner, who gave a fiery and defiant speech that asked "Am I a man? If I am such, I claim the rights of a man."

Shortly thereafter, in September 1868, one of the expelled Black lawmakers Philip Joiner led a political march from Albany to Camilla, Georgia. When the group walked into the town square of Camilla, white residents opened fire. During the massacre in Camilla, at least 14 were killed and a Republican candidate for Congress was injured. This event may have scared many Black people away from voting that fall.

Between 1868 and 1907, 58 Black men served in the Georgia legislature. What happened in 1908? That was the year that Georgia followed a pattern of many southern states and amended their state constitution in a way that would disenfranchise Black voters - including literacy tests and grandfather clauses. Without Black voters, Black members of the legislature also disappeared until the Voting Rights Act restored the franchise to Black voters.

If this history is new to you, there could be a reason. According to Professor Edmund Drago, when official biographies of members of the Georgia legislature were first written, the author Alexander St. Clair-Abrams purposefully excluded the Black members claiming it would have been absurd "to have written [about] the lives of men who were but yesterday our slaves[.]"

As the author of this article notes, "Unfortunately, history doesn't just repeat, it rhymes." Maybe this time citizens of good conscious will not only listen but they will work diligently toward a just and equitable end to this untenable situation in a way that it is never ever considered again by any party supposedly wedded to constitutional democracy.

#1 | Posted by tonyroma at 2021-04-06 04:24 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Georgia...making America cringe, one worthless act at a time...

#2 | Posted by earthmuse at 2021-04-07 09:26 AM | Reply | Funny: 1

And yet still nobody has proven that the new legislation is racist in any way. In fact, parts of the legislation that Dems attacked were actually lies and fact checkers even proved that. It took away some conveniences that impacts everyone. That's not racism. It may be partisan to help a party but it's not racism.

Just heed the warning that the longer Dems use racism to support every piece of legislation they present and use it as ammunition to attack everything the other party does, the more they are going to disenfranchise those they are claiming to help. If you want to talk about history, that warning is proven correct in different contexts much, much more than anything about racism. Of course you will attack me now and ignore the warning but time will tell.

#3 | Posted by humtake at 2021-04-07 12:12 PM | Reply

"And yet still nobody has proven that the new legislation is racist in any way."

What would that proof even look like?

#4 | Posted by snoofy at 2021-04-07 12:21 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"In fact, parts of the legislation that Dems attacked were actually lies and fact checkers even proved that."

What did that proof look like?

#5 | Posted by snoofy at 2021-04-07 12:25 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

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