Dear Gen. Powell: Here’s what REAL #NCGA / #NCPOL southern vote suppression looks like

Posted by: ST on August 22, 2013 at 3:48 pm

“Republican” Colin Powell, the guy who enthusiastically supported and voted for President Obama twice, had some choice words today for North Carolina Republicans regarding the recent voter ID bill that was passed by the NC General Assembly (NCGA) and signed into law by GOP Governor Pat McCrory:

RALEIGH — With Gov. Pat McCrory in the audience, former Secretary of State Colin Powell took aim at North Carolina’s new voting law Thursday, saying it hurts the Republican Party, punishes minority voters and makes it more difficult for everyone to vote.

“I want to see policies that encourage every American to vote, not make it more difficult to vote,” said Powell, a Republican, at the CEO Forum in Raleigh.

“It immediately turns off a voting block the Republican Party needs,” Powell continued. “These kinds of actions do not build on the base. It just turns people away.”

The retired general served as the keynote speaker at the event and made his remarks moments after McCrory left the stage. His comments represent the most high-profile criticism of the Republican-crafted law that requires voters to show photo identification at the polls, cuts early voting days and makes it harder for students to vote.

In one comment, he seemed to rebuke McCrory for suggesting that voter fraud likely exists but is hard to detect. The governor had compared it to insider trading.”You can say what you like, but there is no voter fraud,” Powell said. “How can it be widespread and undetected?” [Note from ST: Some have said that about the WMD justification used by Powell at the UN pre-Iraq War, but I digress]

Powell, who served under President George W. Bush, also said the new law sends the wrong message to minority voters. “What it really says to the minority voters is … ‘We really are sort-of punishing you,’” he said.

Sigh. Sadly, as with most typical liberal Republicans, Powell’s perspective is way off.  Plus, he ignores decades of reprehensible NC Democrat party history when it comes to voting rights.  To look at what real minority voter punishment looks like, one only has to turn to the Old South days where Democrat-enacted Jim Crow laws ruled the landscape (bolded emphasis added by me):

When the 14th Amendment was passed in 1866, it guaranteed citizenship to all persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to its jurisdiction. Then, in 1869, the 15th Amendment prohibited government from denying a citizen the right to vote based on that citizen’s “race, color, or previous condition of servitude”. One effect of these amendments was to enfranchise African American Men.[23]

Furthermore, the year 1869 marked the beginning of “Black Codes,” or state laws that restricted the freedoms of African Americans. Among those freedoms restricted was the freedom to exercise the right to vote. These restrictions were enforced by literacy tests, poll taxes, hiding the locations of the polls, economic pressures, and threats of physical violence.[23]

The Supreme Court of North Carolina upheld the ability of free African Americans to vote before they were disfranchised by decision of the North Carolina Constitutional Convention of 1835. At the same time, convention delegates relaxed religious and property qualifications for whites.[24] Alabama entered the union in 1819 with universal white suffrage provided for in its constitution. Its actions in the late 19th century disfranchised poor whites as well as blacks.

The Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution, one of three adopted in response to the American Civil War, prevented any state from denying the right to vote to any citizen on account of his race. This was primarily related to protecting the franchise of freedmen, but it also applied to non-white minorities such as Mexican Americans in Texas. The state governments under Reconstruction adopted new state constitutions or amendments designed to protect the ability of freedmen to vote. The resistance to black suffrage after the war regularly erupted into violence as groups tried to protect their power. Particularly in the South, in the aftermath of the Civil War, whites started working to limit the ability of freedmen to vote. In the 1860s, secret vigilante groups like the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) used violence and intimidation to keep freedmen in a controlled role and reestablish white supremacy. Nonetheless, black freedmen registered and voted in high numbers, and many were elected to local offices through the 1880s.

In the mid-1870s, there was a rise in more powerful paramilitary groups, such as the White League, originating in Louisiana in 1874 after a disputed election; and the Red Shirts, originating in Mississippi in 1875 and growing in North and South Carolina; as well as other “White Line” rifle clubs. They operated openly, were more organized than the KKK, and directed their efforts at political goals: to disrupt Republican organizing, turn Republicans out of office, and intimidate or kill blacks to suppress black voting. They worked as “the military arm of the Democratic Party.”[25] For instance, estimates were that 150 blacks were killed in North Carolina before the 1876 elections. Economic tactics such as eviction from rental housing or termination of employment were also used to suppress the black vote. White Democrats regained power in the South by the late 1870s. Thereafter, the legislators worked to create more complicated voter registration or election requirements, which more severely reduced black voting.


From 1890 to 1908, ten of the eleven former Confederate states completed political suppression by ratifying new constitutions or amendments which incorporated provisions to disfranchise blacks and poor whites. These included such methods as a poll tax, record keeping, timing of registration in relation to elections, felony disenfranchisement focusing on crimes thought to be committed by African Americans,[27] complex residency requirements, and a literacy test. Focusing on both blacks and poor whites ensured that there would be no coalition between them as had arisen in the elections of 1894, when Populist-Republican tickets wrested power away from Democrats. Prospective voters had to prove the ability to read and write the English language to white voter registrars, who in practice used subjective requirements. […]

There are no literacy tests in NC today, Mr. Powell, nor are there poll taxes, nor are there racist Democrats** violently suppressing the black vote like it was in the old days when they had control of the state legislature and the Governor’s office.  Voter suppression in this state will ALWAYS be the NC Democrat party’s legacy, NOT the state GOP’s.  If asking for someone to present a valid photo ID to confirm their identity is “punishing” voters, then some 30+ states are “punishing” voters, including the ultra blue liberal state of New York – YOUR home state. Do you feel “suppressed” when you have to show your ID at the polls?  I respectfully request that going forward, when you visit this state in the future, please do some simple basic research and learn the facts not only about its history when it comes to voter suppression (which was committed by the party you are now unoffically a part of) but also when it comes to understanding the new laws enacted by North Carolina Republicans to ensure the integrity of the vote – laws that ultimately only ask you to do ONE utterly harmless thing:  Prove you are who you say you are.

**As to those who say that the Democrat party of today is not the same party it used to be, you couldn’t be more wrong. They’ve just changed from being advocates of one type of slavery to another – the modern one being enslavement to big government.  

Colin Powell

If you need a history lesson on North Carolina voting rights, raise your hand!

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16 Responses to “Dear Gen. Powell: Here’s what REAL #NCGA / #NCPOL southern vote suppression looks like”


  1. Phineas says:

    Also, it was the Democrat Party that launched the only successful coup in US History: the 1898 Wilmington Insurection, against the legally elected Republican/Populist “fusion” government that was increasing the ability of Blacks to vote in that Black-majority city:

    “Two days after the election of a Fusionist white Mayor and biracial city council, Democratic Party white supremacists illegally seized power from the elected government. More than 1500 white men participated in an attack on the black newspaper, burning down the building. They ran officials and community leaders out of the city, and killed many blacks in widespread attacks, but especially destroyed the Brooklyn neighborhood. They took photographs of each other during the events. The Wilmington Light Infantry (WLI) and federal Naval Reserves, told to quell the riot, used rapid-fire weapons and killed several black men in the Brooklyn neighborhood. Both black and white residents later appealed for help after the riot to President William McKinley, who did not respond. More than 2,000 blacks left the city permanently, turning it from a black-majority to a white-majority city.”

    Maybe Secretary Powell should study his history a bit more, before opening his mouth.

  2. ST says:

    Phineas wrote:

    Maybe Secretary Powell should study his history a bit more, before opening his mouth.


    And Maddow will be broadcasting from Elizabeth City, NC tonight on the issue of “voter suppression.” #SMH

  3. Joy says:

    I vaguely recall reading an article about a week ago about NC having over 400 people voting that were over 110 years old. I’m not really sure about the numbers but at least the article showed that NC has a lot of voter fraud.

  4. Toyal says:

    Why are we just mentioning presenting an ID. It is about so much more than that. I have 7 differs forms of ID so that is not the issue here. However if it was i could get my new id (cost of $800k projected) And the 400 110 old voters was mentioned, however not cited. Do the math, with the less than 1% so called Fraud”. It will cost nc tax payers more $ to fix this “so called” fraud although in the last elections in doing the numbers it wouldn’t have changed one outcome. So why can’t I vote a straight ticket? Why are we changing the primary date (which having an additional day could cost up to $4m). Why shorten the voting window )noted that hours and possibly more sites available-however lets close college sites). Why can’t the state pay for early registration drives? Why hide some of these provisions in other laws? Why change how much money can be contributed? Or saying who pays for a radio or tv ad? If I show up to the wrong precinct why can’t I i get a provisional ballet? Why change the way college kids vote and their iD requirements. Our state supported schools can accept their out of state $ but their ID is invalid? And I guess some of you don’t know your history if you are questioning the agenda of democrats prior and after reconstruction. It is clearly suppression regardless of who says and whatever their party affiliation. I have an ID and will be voting, just think it is unfortunate that we tackle this issue when we get a new governor and when we have no real documented fraudulent activity, and the results from the last primary were not even close. Romney won by almost 1 million votes (except the largest counties-interesting)

  5. ALman says:

    Lost my respect for Powell some time ago. I don’t know what he sees himself as these days. It warms my heart, though, that he’s so concerned about the GOP. I guess that’s why he endorsed “him”.

  6. Drew says:

    You’re honestly supporting the current round of Voter Suppression in North Carolina on the feeble excuse that it’s not as harsh as the Jim Crow laws of more than a century ago? Seriously?

  7. Carlos says:

    “I want to see policies that encourage every American to vote, not make it more difficult to vote,” said Powell, a Republican, at the CEO Forum in Raleigh.

    Ever notice the “Let’s let everyone vote” crowd (i.e. – socialists) always say “Americans” when talking about who should be allowed to vote? To our side, an American is a citizen of the United States. To people like Powell, an “American” is anyone who happens to be standing on land within the borders of the United States.

    There’s a reason the law restricts voting to citizens, a reason similar to why the president is restricted to natural-born citizenship. But these no-borders fools will never understand that.

    And Toyal, if you’ve a real reason/argument against the new laws, please present them instead of red herrings and straw men.

  8. Zachriel says:

    ST: the new laws enacted by North Carolina Republicans to ensure the integrity of the vote – laws that ultimately only ask you to do ONE utterly harmless thing: Prove you are who you say you are.

    Are you sure that’s the reason? They don’t allow student IDs, even though students are eligible to vote. They eliminated early voting the week before the election, which is popular with minorities. They stopped pre-registration for those under 18. GOP leaders have moved to restrict voting at historically black colleges. The law seems designed to reduce access to the polls for Democratic-leaning constituencies.

  9. ST says:

    Student IDs are easily faked, early voting HOURS are the same, and elimination of pre-registration is not suppressing the right to vote. There have been accusations of voter fraud at one black college. But you believe what you want to, Zachriel.

  10. Zachriel says:

    ST: Student IDs are easily faked

    Presumably, that would be easy to fix.

    ST: early voting HOURS are the same

    Yes, but they eliminated the week before the election that is popular with working people, especially minorities.

    ST: elimination of pre-registration is not suppressing the right to vote

    It certainly has nothing to do with “ask you to do ONE utterly harmless thing: Prove you are who you say you are”.

    ST: There have been accusations of voter fraud at one black college.

    Oh. Accusation, you say. So you close the whole precinct. Sure, “you do ONE utterly harmless thing”.

  11. Brontefan says:

    I guess it depends on which side of the street you are standing… to believe this idiot would make these comments. In other words, they have notices some truths leaking out and spreading through the internet… and their attempt to stop this is to accuse conservatives of doing what they have been doing for over 20 years. It’s always interesting to me who is making the comparisons to Nazi Germany. First it was TN Congressman Steve Cohn who accused conservatives of telling a LIE and repeating that LIE until people believe it. NOW it’s SC Clyburn who is making a veiled threat against people who tell the truth on the Internet…. and we have an example just this morning of government fascism: A DHS employee maintains a HATE website calling for a race war and the murder of white people. Government response: NONE. Compare that to an attorney general in TX who made a critical comment about 0bama on his F/B page. Government response: he is being investigated by the Secret Service. Hmmm…. very interesting, indeed.

  12. Tex says:

    Didn’t our so-called “leaders” ever study history in whichever schools they went to when they were young.

    Fact: The Republican Party was founded by anti-slavery activists in 1854, producing its first President, Abraham Lincoln, who ended slavery and saved the Union.

    Fact: The Democratic Party was formed about 1792 and by the mid-1850s, fully adopted the pro-slavery platform. Then after the Civil War, went on to enact all the Jim Crow Laws and enforce them for the next 100 years, that African-Americans like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and members of the Congressional Black Caucus attempt to blame on Republicans.

    Fact: The KKK was the de facto para-military branch of the Democratic Party that was used to enforce the Jim Crow Laws. They forced white people in the South to vote Democrat and attacked/killed Southern Republicans. Sourch: Wikipedia, History Channel, et al.

    Thank God I’m a Republican and have a clear conscience!

  13. Zachriel says:

    Zachriel: Trying again. Maybe it was the link that blocked our previous comment.

    ST: Nope – you’re banned, Zachriel. I’m done with your deliberate obnoxiousness. Bye bye. –ST

  14. Drew the Infidel says:

    Good move, ST! This website offers a degree of civility and decorum rare and admirable.

    One has to wonder why Powell is so enamored with the commiecrats. His war credentials were enhanced (his “ticket punched”) under Bush 41 and he was made Secretary of State under Bush 43. What have the commiecrats done for him? NADA. Not a damn thing but count his vote.

  15. ST says:

    Drew wrote:

    Good move, ST! This website offers a degree of civility and decorum rare and admirable.

    Thank you. I’m sure I’ll receive a nice email from Zachriel thanking me for doing him a favor. :)