What is a “Jim Crow Law?”
I am on the other side of the average age spectrum, which is fine, I really have no choice. I am not as old as President Uncle Joe.
Recently, there has been a coordinated attack against new voting integrity laws in Georgia. According to Uncle Joe and many others, these laws are the equivalent of Jim Crow Laws. What are Jim Crow Laws?
I grew up in Texas. Our high school had all nationalities, all ethnic groups and all colors. When the politicians in Washington DC were discussing the end of Jim Crow Laws and the creation of Civil Rights and Voting Laws, we had no idea what that involved.
After hearing President Uncle Joe remarking about Jim Crow Laws, I needed to do some homework to find out what he and others were talking about. Please note, when a Conservative does not understand something, typically they will do some research to inform themselves, versus relying on their feelings to make a critical decision.
Historically, the phrase Jim Crow was taken from a black faced entertainer in the 1820’s, who wrote a song about Jump Jim Crow. Starting in the 1860’s, Jim Crow meant black. Jim Crow Laws were black laws, laws which applied to blacks only, but they were issued to the general population to maintain the status quo.
After over 600,000 Americans died to end slavery in the Civil War, the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments finally addressed the basic tenets of the Declaration of Independence that all men are created equal and that they are equal under the Law. Everyone agreed, or more correctly, they nodded in agreement, as the battle for the hearts and minds of the American people was not over.
My thinking is that some lawyer probably developed a new theory concerning Law. That is, those new Amendments apply to the Rule of Law, but they do not address the social norms that govern the land. As a result of this thinking, Jim Crow Laws were created in the North and South where people were judged solely by the color of their skin.
Here are specific examples of Jim Crow Laws.
All marriages between a white and any person of color are illegal and void. In some States that was examined over five generations.
A white female nurse could not work in the same ward or section of a hospital where Negro men were placed.
There are white burial grounds and colored burial grounds.
Schools were deemed separate but equal per the Supreme Court ruling Plessey vs Ferguson. Yet another great decision!
Cafeterias were divided between the white and colored sections.
Sports were divided by color, with no interaction.
There were exclusive white bars selling alcoholic beverages, and those intended for colored people exclusively, with absolutely no comingling.
Some Jim Crow laws were national, such as the Colored Baseball League. Most were at the state level, but the enforcement was at the local level with the aid of absolute bigots. Perhaps the best word describing these laws is sickening. Most Americans have no idea how it once was, but times have changed, much has improved. Simply watch the commercials on TV to understand what we have become.
The 15th Amendment guarantees the right of voting not to be denied due to race, color or previous servitude. However, gerrymandering, the poll tax and literacy tests were not part of the written law, and they were purposefully misused.
The poll tax was created prior to the Civil War, to ensure that the voter contributed to society, versus took from society. The Framers wanted the voter to be acting for the betterment of the people. They remarked that the democracy could well end if the public ever realized they could vote themselves a pay raise. Now, that is a ship that has surely sailed!
The second requirement was literacy, which is required for naturalization. It was established prior to the Civil War. How could a person understand the difference between candidates and make an informed vote if they did not understand English?
Both still seem reasonable. The literacy process was discussed in a hit television comedy, “The Real McCoy’s”, Season 1, Episode 10, “It’s a Woman’s World” in the late 50’s. A woman was running for local office and Amos was against her. Amos could not read, a requirement to vote, so he memorized the Preamble to the Constitution. As he was demonstrating his reading ability, he recalled his honest forefather who fought with George Washington. He stopped the charade.
There are no Jim Crow voting laws, despite the claims of the progressive left. Voting laws apply uniformly to everyone regardless of color within the State. Issues arise when the requirements to vote are manipulated locally by bigots, zealots and racists. At times, it could be widespread indeed.
When these people take control of a precinct and fail to follow the intent of the Law, there are huge problems. We saw it on display during the 2020 Election. In numerous polling places throughout multiple States, primarily in large urban areas, fraud and disenfranchisement occurred. It was not based on color; it was based on political beliefs.
Personally, I believe that all American citizens should be fluent in the English language, we are a Nation, and it is the Law, even if it is ignored. The poll tax was eliminated by the 24th Amendment. But, going out on a limb, if someone is not contributing to this Nation, should they be allowed to vote themselves additional money? I think not, but that is for another time.
Voting is the primary tool of power held by the People. It takes all of us to act as observers during the voting process, to ensure everyone follows the Law.
Remember, contact your local conservative State Representative and get the voting process secured.
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