As multiple states have gone on to pass new election laws that Republicans have branded as “election integrity laws,” Democrats across the country, particularly Florida, have all seemingly agreed to cast a “Jim Crow” stigma on the legislation that largely supports voter ID and eliminates ballot harvesting.
But before Democrats go on to equate voter ID with Jim Crow, what really were the Jim Crow Laws?
“Jim Crow laws were a collection of state and local statutes that legalized racial segregation. Named after a Black minstrel show character, the laws—which existed for about 100 years, from the post-Civil War era until 1968—were meant to marginalize African Americans by denying them the right to vote, hold jobs, get an education or other opportunities. Those who attempted to defy Jim Crow laws often faced arrest, fines, jail sentences, violence and death.” – History.com
The implemented racist policies would eventually lead to legalized segregation and propel the United States into its dark history of a “separate but equal” society. So is this really what the GOP aims to do with bills like SB 90 in Florida?
“Prohibiting certain persons from settling certain actions, consenting to conditions, or agreeing to certain orders in certain circumstances; revising requirements governing the acceptance of voter registration applications; revising the oath for candidates seeking to qualify for nomination as a candidate of a political party; limiting the duration of requests for vote-by-mail ballots to all elections through the end of the calendar year of the next regularly scheduled general election; prohibiting certain solicitation activities within a specified area surrounding a drop box, etc.”
Now, we have Florida political figures as mainstream as Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL), who have as recently as today, tweeted, “Jim Crow laws set racial justice and equality back decades, and the GOP’s Jim Crow 2.0 laws aim to do the same. We must protect everyone’s right to vote.”
Rep. Wasserman Schultz’s remark was directed at Republican state legislatures around the country passing voter reforms laws similar to SB 90.
Even President Biden (D) along with Vice President Kamala Harris (D) have equated the opposition to today’s election laws with legendary heroes of the past like Fredrick Douglas and activists of the Civil Rights Movement.
This comparison started earlier this year when gubernatorial hopeful and Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried (D-FL) unmistakenly called SB 90 the new “Jim Crow.” Interestingly enough, The Floridian recently covered a Rasmussen poll in which most minorities did not think practices such as voter ID are racist. But now that we know what Jim Crow really was, is this just a political talking point for the Democrats to ride into the 2022 midterms, or are modern election laws truly paralleled with the America of the past?