PHOTO: Former Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) wants a requirement for a civics and literacy test before people are allowed to vote. He told the First National Tea Party Convention last week he “intensely dislikes” John McCain and is glad he lost. Tancredo has also called for the bombing of the Muslim holy sites in Mecca and Medina in retaliation for a future terrorist attack in America.
After the passage of 46 years there is now a small movement to bring back Jim Crow Laws. Former Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) believes this is a good idea, and is now actively promoting the concept. Jim Crow Laws were literacy tests adopted by Southern states after blacks were granted citizenship rights under the 15th Amendment.
Potential black registrants had to answer difficult questions and were also confronted with a poll tax. Both practices were banned by the Voting Rights Act of 1964, and African American turnout increased by a huge percentage after the restrictions were lifted.
Tancredo does not use the phrase Jim Crow Laws, but instead talks of a literacy and civics test requirement for voters. This was part of Tancredo’s platform when he sought the 2008 GOP presidential nomination, and says “This is our country. Let’s take it back. . . The race for America is on right now.”
Tancredo spoke about the tests at last week’s First National Tea Party Convention and is actively lobbying for the proposal in the Colorado legislature. He received enthusiastic applause in saying, “If you can’t answer the same questions an immigrant has to answer in order to become a citizen, what the hell right do you have to vote? . . . People who could not even spell the word ‘vote’ or say it in English put a committed socialist ideologue in the White House. His name is Barack Hussein Obama.”
According to Tancredo, the President was elected “mostly because I think that we do not have a civics literacy test before people can vote in this country.” He outlined the proposal in a letter to Colorado House Speaker Terrance Carroll (D-Denver), “To suggest that any civics literacy test will necessarily be discriminatory is absurd on its face. Ignorance comes in all sizes, colors and flavors.”
The former Congressman included “a list of 100 sample civics questions used by the federal government for the naturalization civics test,” and suggested they might provide the basis for his proposed exam. Carroll is the first black Speaker in Colorado history and said Tancredo should know “how hateful those tests were and how hateful that period of history was.” The former Congressman responded by saying “the left has an obsession with race”, and says his call for a test is to obtain participation only from voters who understand the government.
An increased focus on the study of history and government in our schools is a wonderful idea. I have cringed in watching Jay Leno ask very simple questions to people on the street and receive moronic answers. I also wish all of our voters had the ability to read, but I would be surprised if any lawmaker endorsed the return of Jim Crow Laws. The call for new literacy and civics tests at the ballot box smacks of racism and bigotry.
The Republican Party should not be identified with proposals which imply black and brown Obama voters are incapable of making informed political decisions. This is especially true because according to the 2010 Census projections, white people will be a minority in the U.S. by the year 2050.
Tancredo’s four grandparents were all immigrants from Italy, and he was the most prominent foe of illegal immigration on Capitol Hill. The illegal immigration problem is a serious concern, and many steps have been taken to address it. It continues to be a problem, and we still do not have control of our borders.
America is a nation of immigrants, but there is a legitimate debate between people wanting to come here for a better life and those who are trying to preserve their current standard of living. There are 2.5 million welfare recipients in Los Angeles County and a significant number of them immigrated to the United States in the past two decades. We have cut back on legal immigration, but many of those who are expressing concerns about immigration levels are also distancing themselves from Tancredo because his rhetoric is so caustic and appears to have racial overtones.
The former Congressman served on Capitol Hill from 1998 until his retirement in 2008, and says if there is another terrorist attack in the United States we should respond by bombing the Muslim holy sites in Mecca and Medina. He calls La Raza “a Latino KKK without the hoods or the nooses,” and says he “intensely dislikes John McCain.” Tancredo told the convention he was glad McCain lost because the recent GOP victories were due to public disgust with Obama.
Blacks were not the only people targeted by Jim Crow Laws. The first literacy tests were passed to depress voting among Irish-Catholic immigrants in 19th century Connecticut and Massachusetts. Does Tancredo know about the extreme discrimination which faced Italians when they came to this country in the 18th and 19th centuries? They were the second most likely ethnic group to be lynched.