The following e-mail is an except of what I sent to the Democratic House members who sponsored or co-sponsored House Bill 84 which would repeal discriminatory and degrading scarlet letter drivers that the McCrory ordered issued to all immigrants with limited duration permits of legal residency in North Carolina:
I want to strongly commend you for standing up to and challenging this scarlet letter policy that others across the country are calling new series of New Jim Crow laws – facially neutral but have discriminate against or have a clearly negative and damaging impact on minorities, women, the disabled, the poor and workers. See the excellent Raleigh News and Observer in today paper. See link below. I would be great if every Democratic House member signed onto this important bill, regardless of its slim chance of passage in this legislature.
This may sound provocative but I believe we should start “branding” North Carolina’s Tea Party Republican legislature, Governor and Lt. Gov. and party leaders as the New Jim Crow Party.
I started thinking about this “brand” after reading The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michele Alexander, and recalled North Carolina’s history with Black Codes, Disenfranchisement, Jim Crow segregation, battles over school desegregation and the racist careers of Jesse Helms, John East and the NC Congressional Club. The more I thought about it in terms of the quest for political dominance, disenfranchising your opposing party’s voters, benefiting your party’s wealthy and corporate donors, burdening the majority of North Carolina that would vote them out of office if they all voted, carrying out the Republican Party’s ideological crusade shrink and wreck government and holding back the tide of our demographic future as long as possible, the more this Jim Crow analogy seemed to apply to the current national and state Republican Party.
So, I did a little internet search and viola, look what I found. There are a lot of other thoughtful and knowledgeable folks across the country and in North Carolina, including former President Bill Clinton, who have come to the same conclusion about the Republican brand and their public policies. See the links below. Of course, the four minister in the N&O article are essentially making the same point without explicitly using the New Jim Crow brand.
By the way, when I use the term The New Jim Crow, I am not just referring to facially neutral laws and policies that discriminate against African American and reduce the economic, social and political opportunities, but also how such laws similarly negative impact all racial minorities, gay and lesbians, all economically vulnerable people, persons with disabilities, women, young people, etc. who represent what has been documented as representing the rising Democratic Party demographic base.
Thanks again for standing up to his blatant and degrading bigotry.
Jeffrey Starkweather, Pittsboro
* Voter Disenfranchisement In NC, Then And Now: By D.G. Martin, The Raleigh Telegram, http://raleightelegram.com/201301084604
* Bill Clinton on the new Jim Crow: http://blog.seattlepi.com/seattlepolitics/2011/07/06/bill-clinton-on-the-new-jim-crow/#print
* Voter ID is the new Jim Crow: New laws in dozens of states could cost Obama votes: http://www.citypages.com/2012-06-06/news/voter-id-is-the-new-jim-crow/
* Photo ID Voting Laws: The New 'Jim Crow' Laws At Our Door: http://brane-space.blogspot.com/2012/01/photo-id-voting-laws-new-jim-crow-laws.html
* Critics Blast Arizona Immigration Law as Throwback to Jim Crow | Fox News:
* NAACP: GOP-drawn lines disenfranchise black voters | HamptonRoads.com | PilotOnline.com: http://hamptonroads.com/2012/10/naacp-gopdrawn-lines-disenfranchise-black-voters
* Halting the Disenfranchisement of Black Voters: By the Rev. Dr. William Barber II, http://jimbuie.blogs.com/barber/2007/12/halting-the-dis.html
* Voter Suppression: The Confederacy Rises Again | The Nation: http://www.thenation.com/blog/169709/voter-suppression-confederacy-rises-again#
* Convention organizer: North Carolina amendment like Jim Crow: http://www.politico.com/politico44/2012/05/dnc-organizer-north-carolina-amendment-like-jim-crow-1230...
* Charter Schools: The New Jim Crow: http://modeducation.blogspot.com/2011/03/charter-schools-new-jim-crow.html
* Why the racist history of the charter school movement is never discussed: http://www.alternet.org/story/154425/why_the_racist_history_of_the_charter_school_movement_is_never_...
* Standardized Testing, Eugenics, and “The New Jim Crow”: , http://atthechalkface.com/2012/07/24/standardized-testing-eugenics-and-the-new-jim-crow/
* "Disaster Capitalism," "Kids in Prison Program" Justified?: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/03/03/1190999/--Disaster-Capitalism-Kids-in-Prison-Program-Justified
* The New Jim Crow –The Academic Testing Myth: http://btx3.wordpress.com/2010/06/20/the-new-jim-crow-the-academic-testing-myth/
* Clergy, others protest distinctive license for deferred-deportation drivers: http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/03/03/2722557/clergy-others-protest-distinctive.html#storylink=cpy