A Look at Voting in a Southern State

Voting: A Sacred Right and a Moral Obligation   

by Orissa Arend          

            An impressive panel of veteran organizers spelled out the rights and obligations associated with voting for a rapt audience at the Nora Navra Library on August 21. Mr. Carl Galmon, board member of the National Voting Rights Museum and Institute of Selma, Alabama, began by giving us a little history.

            Voter suppression is an assault on this sacred right. It has been going on in Louisiana since the Civil War. We need to be mindful of the myriad ways that voter suppression has morphed and continued, as has racism in other forms. On July 30, 1866 white Republicans and free black people called a constitutional convention intending to oust the ex-Confederates from the government and give black people the right to vote. You can imagine how far they got with that. A mob of white New Orleanians and police killed 50 people and injured 150.

            But the Radical Republicans in Congress seized on the violence to push for a tougher federal stance against Confederate holdouts, and more legal protection for black people. The 14th Amendment grew out of their efforts. The Mechanics’ Institute, where the riot occurred, was torn down in the early 20th century to build the Roosevelt Hotel. How about a plaque there or maybe a mural to commemorate those martyred early freedom fighters? They did not die in vain.

            There were, of course, many other historical examples of voter suppression. But fast forward to our time: Mr. Galmon sees the Voting Rights Act of 1965 as the second Reconstruction. However, that was deconstructed, he notes, after Hurricane Katrina when the voting rights of 115,000 African Americans along with others were threatened with removal from the voting rolls in New Orleans by the Secretary of State in 2006. The Times-Picayune published 134 pages listing people who likewise were threatened with exclusion. In 2010 62 more pages were added. This purge would have been illegal. Mr. Galmon brought a lawsuit to put voting places in five cities in the diaspora. It was a victory when Judge Ivan Lemelle determined that displaced persons must be provided a way to vote in April of 2006. The Unitarian Church, Civil Rights groups, labor unions, the Concerned Black Clergy of Atlanta and others contributed mightily to this effort.

New Orleans – A Day After Katrina

              In fact, it was illegal for the Secretary of State to take control of voting places in New Orleans after Katrina because the City Council and the Secretary of State never asked permission of the Voting Section of the Department of Justice. But 14 years after Katrina, many of our city’s polling places are still under State control.

            Louisiana is the most gerrymandered state in the deep south resulting in huge racial inequities  in elected officials state-wide. Dillard and SUNO don’t have polling places on site; whereas white universities do. In fact, not even all precincts – including the ones with dependable black voters, Pontchartrain Park, Desire/Florida, and Gentilly Woods – have a place where residents can go to vote as is required by the Louisiana law. According to a 2019 Rolling Stone article (“The GOP’s Stealth War Against Voters” by Greg Palast), the GOP is targeting more than 7 million voters nation-wide for voter suppression, looking for reasons, often bogus, to disqualify them. The list is being kept secret until it’s too late to protest. College students who list both their home address and their college address are being especially targeted. Elections are coming up. Panelist Ted Quant advises, “We can’t wait till we get hit by a truck to put up a stop sign.”

            And its not just blacks under attack, panelists point out. Louisiana was sued in 2016 by the Southern Poverty Law Center of New Orleans for discrimination against naturalized citizens. For over 20 years Louisiana registrars had been demanding documents from 72,000 citizens – a demand that had been held unconstitutional in 1916.

            Consider this: In some elections as few as 30% of the people vote. That means it takes only 15% plus one vote to win that election. Racists are motivated voters. They vote and they win. Ron Chisom who was in the audience invited 8 organizers/trainers from the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond to this meeting. He thinks we can learn from the right. “They are doing some damned effective organizing. We need to step up our game, not work in silos, not let our egos or our favorite issue divide us.” And we can, the panelists stress, because what the bigots fear most – and what we must embrace the most – is our unity and our vote. 

            Ms. Viola Francois Washington, Executive Director of the Welfare Rights Organization of New Orleans, spoke of the ascendancy of women in politics. She meets once a month with African American women at the Nora Navra Library to share stories and talk about how to get involved. Mr. Galmon suggested setting up committees across the state to educate citizens about gerrymandering. Judge Miriam Waltzer pointed out that people who are age 17 can pre-register to vote and will be automatically registered when they turn 18. She also pointed out that there are 41,000-71,000 convicted felons in Louisiana who are eligible to vote and may not know it. Kim Ford live-streamed the whole meeting for social media. Joe Butler asked how to register to vote and was told you could do so by mail, by computer or by phone. Ron Chisom suggested monthly meetings of a wide range of organizations to turn out the vote and educate about how to counter voter suppression. Dr. George Amedee invited his political science class from SUNO. Among that group Angela Roberts had ideas for how to involve young people using social media.

            Stay tuned for more information on next steps or contact any of the people or organizations mentioned here to share your ideas.

Orissa Arend is a member of Justice and Beyond and author of Showdown in Desire, the Black Panthers Take a Stand in New Orleans.

5 thoughts on “A Look at Voting in a Southern State

  • September 5, 2019 at 10:04 am
    Permalink

    Liars Devastate Credibility, Why Voting is so Whacked so often! In 2019? We ‘luv WBOK! We need WBOK! Never Stain it with anything other than Truth and Forthrightness!!!

    LBRC-  Practicing “Old Heads” Still attempting Deceit and Lies? The ‘Okedoke? Listening in on WBOK Radio, 08/05/2019?

    1. 1st, we have several emails submitted to Ms. Guerin, Councilperson’s Nguyen’s Office- “These emails were blocked” (Get This- a Public Email Account blocked by a “Public Official” employed and paid with “Public Dollars”! Eventually, emails were allowed after notification to Media Sources! No email was profane or contained expletives! They were pointed!). They were related to Entergy’s Project. They contained  “Scientific Info”, a Science Film about land sources ‘Dat enhance Hurricane Strenghts! 

    2. We knew Deceivers would attempt to deny our accounts about what happened. Therefore, we submitted our concerns to several NOLA reporters and media sources. We are aggrieved beyond words, by the “False Narrative”, lone Media Source/person, “lots” consider a sycophant! It’s a false narrative, ‘Dat all Dist. E Council Office Support is  “Totally Responsive” and “Fantastic”! How insulting!!! What a pack of lies! Oviously, they can’t be trusted for “The Truth”! Tiger and Leopoard Stripes, right? Why not just ask Council Person Nguyen, Ms. Guerin (Top Asst.), if this is “The Truth”? Does truth matter at all? Before anybody declares, proclams make endorsements? Deep 6 Deceit in order to achieve? Personal clout? Prioritize “Truth” 1st! A Problem? 

    3. Generally, the company line whenever deceiving narratives are exposed? What happens? 

    a. Those exposing deceit are accused of having some sort of agenda, which is not entirely untrue. Our agenda is exposing lying phonies, especially “Old Heads” and paradigms plus dishonest Scam Artist, so called reformed! The pudding is proof!

    b. We respect and ‘luv WBOK, period end of sentence! “Deceivers devastate reputation and trust”! Don’t get it twisted, nobody has personal issues with anybody other than proven Liars, Deceivers and the shifty! btw- We never intimate void what we can prove and produce receipts for!!! Try us!!!

    4. We know ingrained habits are difficult to break! “Deceit” for some is a Default attitude! Deep inside, you see it as well, be honest! 

    5. “The 7 Deadly Sins”? (Disclaimer: Never fail to include us et al, however- “We’re not front and center on public air waves touting, sprouting, endorsing, influencing  and manipulating non critical thinkers and weak minds! We do not publically push on public air waves or even desire to establish “Public Profiles/Personas” which are at the very least disengenous!). The Haughty are “Deadly”, especially reinforced by other complicit and/or intellectually weak, non discerning intellects! Warning: The Most High is not as tolerant in 2019!!! You have been admonished!!! 

    6. Cease and Desist with all the Deceit! Our “Witness” is “The Most High”!  

    7. False accusations “Falsely” accuse! Intentional and/or reckless Deceit Is Filth! 

    Heavenly Father, We speak The Truth! Who ever accuses us a Liar, accuses Truth a liar! You told us to expose Lies and speak Truth! Reward the Liar and Deceiver Father, for all to see and witness! Only “1” is “The Liar”! Liars, Deceit cause so many to stumble, Your Children! “Reward” these Liars according to their works! Though they accuse us, let “Your” Justice “Prevail” as all stand witness!!! Abba Father- All men/women

    Reply
  • September 8, 2019 at 6:28 pm
    Permalink

    Comments Re- Submitted with “Major” Correction aka The Date was 09/05/2019 via WBOK…
    LBRC-  Practicing “Old Heads” Still Deceive and Lie! The ‘Okedoke? Listening in on WBOK Radio, 09/05/2019…, Deceit is still a Sham!!!

    1. 1st, we have several emails submitted to Ms. Guerin, Councilperson’s Nguyen’s Office- “These emails were blocked” (Get This- a Public Email Account blocked by a “Public Official” employed and paid with “Public Dollars”! Eventually, emails were allowed to flow after notification to Media Sources! No email was profane or contained expletives! They were pointed!). They were related to Entergy’s Project. They contained  “Scientific Info”, a Science Film about land sources ‘Dat enhance Hurricane Strenghts! 

    2. We knew Deceivers would attempt to deny our accounts about what happened. Therefore, we submitted our concerns to several NOLA reporters and media sources. We are aggrieved beyond words, by the “False Narrative”, lone Media Source/person, “lots” consider a sycophant! It’s a false narrative, ‘Dat all Dist. E Council Office Support is  “Totally Responsive” and “Fantastic”! How insulting!!! What a pack of lies! Oviously, they can’t be trusted for “The Truth”! Tiger and Leopoard Stripes, right? Why not just ask Council Person Nguyen, Ms. Guerin (Top Asst.), if this is “The Truth”? Does truth matter at all? Before anybody declares, proclams make endorsements? Deep 6 Deceit in order to achieve? Personal clout? Prioritize “Truth” 1st! A Problem? 

    3. Generally, the company line whenever deceiving narratives are exposed? What happens? 

    a. Those exposing deceit are accused of having some sort of agenda, which is not entirely untrue. Our agenda is exposing lying phonies, especially “Old Heads” and paradigms plus dishonest Scam Artist, so called reformed! The pudding is proof!

    b. We respect and ‘luv WBOK, period end of sentence! “Deceivers devastate reputation and trust”! Don’t get it twisted, nobody has personal issues with anybody other than proven Liars, Deceivers and the shifty! btw- We never intimate void what we can prove and produce receipts for!!! Try us!!!

    4. We know ingrained habits are difficult to break! “Deceit” for some is a Default attitude! Deep inside, you see it as well, be honest! 

    5. “The 7 Deadly Sins”? (Disclaimer: Never fail to include us et al, however- “We’re not front and center on public air waves touting, sprouting, endorsing, influencing  and manipulating non critical thinkers and weak minds! We do not publically push on public air waves or even desire to establish “Public Profiles/Personas” which are at the very least disengenous!). The Haughty are “Deadly”, especially reinforced by other complicit and/or intellectually weak, non discerning intellects! Warning: The Most High is not as tolerant in 2019!!! You have been admonished!!! 

    6. Cease and Desist with all the Deceit! Our “Witness” is “The Most High”!  

    7. False accusations “Falsely” accuse! Intentional and/or reckless Deceit Is Filth! 

    Heavenly Father, We speak The Truth! Who ever accuses us a Liar, accuses Truth a liar! You told us to expose Lies and speak Truth! Reward the Liar and Deceiver Father, for all to see and witness! Only “1” is “The Liar”! Liars, Deceit cause so many to stumble, Your Children! “Reward” these Liars according to their works! Though they accuse us, let “Your” Justice “Prevail” as all stand witness!!! Abba Father- All men/women

    Reply
  • September 9, 2019 at 4:52 am
    Permalink

    Again why voting is so whacked!
    How does a Negro claim to be Pro Affordable Housing when they voted to tear down most of it? Pepper Sprayed us for objecting! Somewhere, there’s a Stupid amidst! Duh?…

    LBRC- Authority Figures, The American Negro Construct and Preacher Apostates?
    Protégés asked us to explain out of experiences, what makes some, especially Negroes, exceptionally prone to authority “Figures”? Our opinion from “Real Experiences” plus an  Experiment called “The Moral Abandonment” Study (Broad Soectrums of People Were persuaded to inflict Pain on Faceless Others by an “Authority”! Nurenburg?)-

    1. Spiritually, religion generally says to concede to Principles of A Most High, The Highest in The Universe? Grandma said- “When everything is perfect, what do you have to think about”? Similarly like younger kids, parents take leading roles for ensuring survival. As kids get older and mature, what happens? More “Independent” thinking?  

    2. What happened in Scripture as “The Created” grew older? Ans. They asked for a (k)ing! Dats right, it wasn’t just good enough to live in harmony with Nature and The Planet, “Negroes” (others?) demanded a (k)ing of “THE KING”! Samson was a “Judge”, the last after his affair and lust destroyed him! How did The Most High Answer? Okay! We won’t elaborate…

    3. What’s different in 2019? Negroes lacking solid “Spiritual” footing, easily succumb to what they consider “Higher Authorities”. This is why they’ll betray, lie, steal and even murder innocent, including family in ruthless cases- which brings us to “Moral Abandonment”! btw- During Hurricane Katrina- 

    a. Police murdered, lied on the innocent and perceived impunity, Negroes easily conceded to ruling “Authorities” and abandoned their so- called morality, if ever they had “any”, The Algiers 7, any questions?

    b. One of the “Most Popular and Largest Negro Baptist Churches” in NOE, literally abdicated to Atlanta, during a most difficult time Post Katrina. Think about Moses leaving Egypt saying- “I’ll be back (Terminator? Not Quite”!), after Pass Over? When citing examples, we don’t intend to imply all! There are usually exceptions! Preacher Apostates in 2019 are about succumbing to authority as well, problematic is its generally a monetary one (None Levites!)! Mega So- called (c)hurches yield mega dollars! Unfair? Well…, in Scripture, The Church are the people! Duh? “Christ ain’t coming back for buildings!!! Fools rush in, right? Also Problematic- Pedifiles, Thievies, Deceivers and liars are revered in numerous “False Temples” and allowed to remain in pulpits as unchallenged (a)uthority! Now say, Eddie Long?

    4. Authority and Sell Out Politicos are no different in 2019! They’re generally your (a)uthority, why you continue to allow them in office, though they evade you and your interest, in order to allign themselves with the favor of funding sources and their “Psychological ‘Massa”! Ask NOE (Majority Negro District)- who is their State Legislator, St. Senator? Deep 6 asking what any is actually doing or “Initiated” Pro Their District! Lots listen to high profile personas, then serve as echo chambers and tout opinions as moronic as where it came from!!! Where do they get these mind frames? Ans. It’s “Their Authority”- No matter how corrupt, self serving, aligned with Thievies and yada…, Most claim Christianity? How do you align yourself with corrupt Thievies, Gift of ‘Gabbers/Proven and Confessed Dishonesty Still Manifesting and you claim to be “Christian”? Yeah, right! For sure- “You can’t read”!!!

    5. Kids ask, does ‘Dis ‘eva get ‘Betta? Answer? We read, “The Beginning of Sorrows”! Here’s The “Good News”, not fake! “Not All Will Taste Sorrow”, like The Phonies aka Hypocrites!!! Just like The Hedge placed around Job, those who see see yours!!! A Few will not even taste death!!! Stand Strong and Keep The Faith! Our King is KING! Peace…

    Reply
  • September 12, 2019 at 7:32 am
    Permalink

    Male or Female, incompetence and/or Deceit is not Gender Specific! Will will Southern Negro Politicians “Get it”? BS doesn’t fly as well in 2019/Post Katrina! Not all are ‘Simps!
    NOLA’s Madam Mayor et al?
    LBRC- John McKeithen, former La. Governor, and James Brown had to be part of the same posse aka “Will you ‘hep me and Baby Please, Please, please…- btw Madam Mayor, NOLA?

    1. Let’s talk S&WB again. We promise no expletives! Tell us Madam Mayor- What in the “Heck” is “your” highly qualified out of town S&WB Chief Executive Engineer providing ‘Dat a NOLA home grown Engineer couldn’t?  You’re Pro indigenous? Yeah right! 1st he played the ‘okedoke and said, “We need an entirely new infrastructure”! Duh? Btw- We call this the “Temptations Play” aka Ball of Confusion aka “More Taxes Will Solve Everything” aka you are apparently a “1” Term Mayor! We trusted you “Precious ‘Sista”, despite your Entergy vote! You disrespect us like ‘Dis!

    2. Does “Mayor” equate with (g)od? Obviously? Okay, you been reading your own press and believe it, right? Okay Mark Anthony!

    3. “Somewhere villages are missing their idiots”, obviously displaced to NOLA, right? Here’s the kicker- “Not all of the people can be fooled all of the time”! You have disappointed us so, so much! You’d say, “Strictly Political”? We’d say- You’re no different than all your predecessors, except female, the universal lesson with lots of data to prove it aka “Female destruction is no less damaging  than is ‘Dat of male! “What a revolting development this is”, according to Riley! Black Deceit vs White? One is powerful and “1” is complicit! Your mirror says…? Disgraceful!!!

    a. “Will you ‘hep us” comprehend what The “New Out of Town so- called Highly Qualified” S&WB Chief Executive has, ‘Dat a local (NOLA Born and Bred Engineer) doesn’t, who could also colloquially articulate articulately? You faked us out Mayor Cantrell and we weren’t smoking ‘nut-tin! In the words of JB- “Baby Please, Please, Please tell us why you ignored the qualifications of so many locals with respect to S&WB! Deep 6 all the crap, respectfully! Such a disappointment, no surprise! Respectfully, 

    Peace Out…

    Reply
  • September 15, 2019 at 7:18 am
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    LBRC- Want to know which “Incumbent” deserves your vote to return to office? 

    1. Send an email about an issue in your community-

    a. Did they, incumbent, respond at all? Was your “Specific” Concern addressed by personally by them or their “Worker Bees”? Grandma says- The more helpers you have, the lazier you tend to get! If you got back a “Form Email”? You been played, duped, bamboozled and had Imhotep! 2019 is the year for “Results”, no more ineptness and/or Rhetorical Pontifications!!! 

    b. Call the office of an incumbent! What happened, what did you get? Lots of attitude from a “Worker Bee”, especially? Did your community issue  get resolved or were you requested to “Volunteer” your time and/or money? Isn’t this why you pay taxes to furnish this incumbent mileage reimbursements? In the case of council people, comfort travel in vehicles with lots of HVAC and a host of other features? How do officials actually earn their salaries, meetings all the time? Once in office, where does all the attitude, arrogance, hubris come from, covert and overt? 

    c. Identify a community issue today, then call the office of your so- called “Public Servant”! Your community has no issues? Yeah right!

    2. We’ve written numerous emails, made just as many phone calls (With phone calls, we easily picked up insensitivity and “Lots of Attitude”! Frankly, females are perceived the worst, sorry…?). 

    a. Even when a real person actually responds to an issue, hardly have issues been remedied! When somebody actually said, I’ll call so and so about…? Most times you never hear back at all on ‘Dat “Specific” issue! How egregious and shameful, too many Negroes have such low self esteem, they don’t feel they deserve ‘betta aka “Actions speak louder than…”! 

    b. Get this- How many times have you heard a lemming say- “You’re doing a great job” or “When I called so and so, they treated me so nice!” What about resolving issues to your satisfaction, no if(s) and(s) or but(s)? What the…!!!

    3. Tragic is?  

    a. Lemmings are easily manipulated via “1” issue if and when they get a response or “phone back” at all. “1 Call ‘Dats All” and they’re hooked for life! (btw- Politicians are very adept at choosing the right, generally “Loud”, wannabe and ‘luv to be seen mostly  Negro Echo Chamber and sycophant! They’ll take it and run! Is ‘Dis ‘Thang on?  

    b. Breaking News- Negro Communities especially, have been so ignored and undeserved, it would literally take 24/7/365 6 hrs. plus 1,500 Consecutive Leap Years to even dent or begin to reverse impacts of things like Education, Blight, Abandoned Vehicles and Shade Tree Mechanics on oily Public Streets, Commercial Blight/Preferrential Treatment, Youth Unemployment, Public Property Maintenance and Public Blight plus yada…! It does no good to pontificate about what other communities don’t tolerate, then throw away your vote on “Scam Artist and Gift of ‘Gabbers! This ilk runs  with Contemporary Judas and his ‘Posse on your “Public Dollars as an “Entitlement”! Did they give themselves a 100% Salary Increase plus increased insurance coverage? Are you kidding? How’s ‘Dat working for ‘yah! Insanity is returning the same Science Morons  with tons of consultants who they can’t comprehend, which puts them right back into “Know ‘Nuttun Pontifications and ‘stuntun land and back into office, expecting them to delineate “General Relativity” once The Speed of Light has Peaked! We know, huh? Sorry ’bout ‘Dat, really! YOU DESERVE ‘BETTA!!!

    Hint: If a so- called Public Official “really” lives in your Dist., how come you or they need to call a meeting in order to raise an issue about what’s happening? They get free gas with an NOPD escort (Needing a Police Escort should tell them something, you think?)  Duh?

    Peace Out…

    Reply

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