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Laelth

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Wills Point, TX
Home country: USA
Member since: Sat Oct 16, 2004, 01:36 PM
Number of posts: 30,189

About Me

I am a native Georgian who's currently hiding out in Texas. I am a liberal, and I am extremely proud of the imperfect (but evolving) republic that we call the United States of America.

Journal Archives

Justice Department questions nix July elections (Bibb County, Georgia)

A rare victory for Georgia Democrats!

You may recall that, a few weeks ago, I posted a letter I had written to the Justice Department asking for review of changes to local election laws pursuant to the Voting Rights Act of 1965. That thread can be found here:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022802077

The Justice Department responded to our complaints by denying pre-clearance for non-partisan, July elections (that favor Republicans) here in Bibb County, Georgia. Needless to say, I wasn't the only one complaining. Many Democrats wrote letters and made phone calls. Thanks to all DU members who responded to our plea for assistance!

An article on the subject appeared in today's Telegraph (our local paper), as follows:

The Department of Justice has effectively scuttled plans for July’s Macon-Bibb County government election.

County Attorney Virgil Adams said he’d gotten a letter Tuesday from the federal agency, which said it needs more information to consider giving its stamp of approval to elections for the new government. The agency is also seeking more information on proposed changes in school board elections.

... snip ...

The Justice Department had been expected to rule on the changes by June 3. The agency said legislators wrote bills to force the nonpartisan elections despite protests.

“Concerns have been raised that these changes will result in a retrogression in the ability of minority voters to participate in the electoral process and elect candidates of their choice and were undertaken by the local delegation despite concerns expressed by members of the affected elected bodies, including comments that the changes were proposed, at least in part, for racial reasons,” wrote T. Christian Herren Jr., chief of the voting section, in a letter dated Friday.

http://www.macon.com/2013/05/28/2495999/federal-government-delays-macon.html#storylink=cpy (paid subscription may be required)


Personally, I am quite pleased. It's good to have Democrats running the Justice Department. Thanks, again, to all who aided us in our latest fight for justice.



-Laelth

What in the world happened today?

I've been procrastinating on a brief that I really do not want to write, so I have been reading DU off and on, and I feel like I've landed in Bizarroworld.

1) The Pope said atheists can get into heaven,

2) The President delivered an excellent speech in which, heaven forbid, he sounded like a liberal (so much so that I actually believed it),

3) On a 97-0 vote, the Senate confirmed Sri Srinivasan to the D.C. Court of Appeals,

and

4) The House self-fellated by voting to approve the KXL Pipeline for the 8th time.

The only one of those events that even marginally gives me a sense that I am living in the real world is #4. Otherwise, it's like I've died and gone to heaven.

Was there an instantaneous, global revolution that I missed? What gives?



-Laelth

There is no distinct 2nd person plural pronoun in Modern English.

As such, y'all was created. While it is not mainstream, it is very efficient and serves a useful linguistic function.

Let's look at our pronouns:

I (first person singular)
you (second person singular)
he, she, it (third person singular)
we (first person plural)
you (second person plural)
they (third person plural)

One can easily see that we use the same pronoun (you) for second person singular and second person plural. "Y'all" is a colloquialism that creates a distinct, second person plural pronoun, and it eliminates confusion by clearly indicating that it is plural.

There are many things that cause me to be ashamed of my home in the Southern United States, but the word "y'all" is not one of them. It is precise, and it is more efficient than "you all" or "youz guys" as I have heard spoken by some of my Northern friends. "Y'all," in fact, is one of the South's great linguistic achievements. I use it, and I celebrate it (though I admit that I avoid it in all but my most familiar conversations because it is, still, a regional colloquialism).

-Laelth

Edit:Laelth--sloppy proofreading.

I have to disagree, politely.

It occurs to me that the United States of America is one of the least racist nations on Earth. I don't know how much foreign travel you have done, but, from my own experience, I have observed that the U.S. is less racist than Japan, the U.K., France, Switzerland, and Italy.

There are many things that cause me to be ashamed of the United States, but on this one issue, I think we are ahead of the rest of the world. We are the most multi-cultural society on Earth, and, I think, we are the least racist. We are still racist, to be sure, but we have made tremendous advances on this issue. We had a war in the middle of the nineteenth century on this issue, and the side of justice won. We have laws on the books from the 1960s that address these issues (unlike most countries). On the issue of race, we, in the United States, are quite advanced, and I am very proud of that fact. Certainly, racism still exists, but we are talking about it, addressing it, and have laws designed to regulate it, unlike most developed nations in the world.

I do not disparage you for continuing to fight against racism when you see it, but I wanted to note that we, in the United States, have done more to combat this injustice than any other nation on Earth.

Credit where it is due ... and we deserve credit here.

-Laelth

The Democratic Party of Bibb County needs YOUR help!

The short version is this:

Bibb County, Georgia, is majority African-American and solidly Democratic. We're under attack from a Republican state legislature that voted to make our elections non-partisan (a Republican can not win a county-wide election here) and to have our elections occur in July (hurts Democrats who are more likely to vote in November elections). The Department of Justice is currently reviewing this case pursuant to the Voting Rights Act of 1965. We feel that the State of Georgia should be denied the power to change our elections in this way because the legislature's acts constitute de facto discrimination and were intended to be discriminatory against a historically-opressed people in violation of the Voting Rights Act.

The long version (my own letter to the Justice Department) is this:

To Whom It May Concern:

The Justice Department is currently reviewing an Act of the Republican-controlled Georgia General Assembly to allow Nonpartisan, July Elections in Macon, Georgia and Bibb County, Georgia. I urge you to deny preclearance for said elections.

The citizens of Macon and Bibb County narrowly approved a referendum last year that provided for the consolidation of the governments of the City of Macon and Bibb County. The referendum was completely non-binding because its implementation depended entirely upon the will of the Republican-controlled Georgia General Assembly. Local Republicans generally favored consolidation (as its effects would be to eliminate the seats of several Democratic officeholders and to reduce the political power of the Democratic Party in Bibb County). Many local Democrats, myself included, opposed consolidation for the same reasons. The actual terms of the consolidation referendum were hotly debated and carefully negotiated between state representatives of both parties because everyone knew that some Republican support would be required to push the consolidation bill through the Georgia General Assembly, whereas some Democratic support would be required to get the consolidation referendum passed in strongly-Democratic Bibb County. As such, the two groups made a deal, each side giving a little to gain a consensus.

The Georgia General Assembly passed the consolidation bill, and then promptly stabbed Bibb County’s Democrats in the back by amending the law (SB 25, 26, 30 and 31) to make local elections nonpartisan (favoring Republicans—one can’t win a county-wide office in Bibb County unless one runs as a Democrat) and to have elections held in July (also favoring Republicans—because Democrats are more likely to turn out to vote in November elections). These points were negotiated between the members of the state delegation that drafted the 2012 consolidation referendum. The people of Macon and Bibb County voted for partisan elections in November, not for nonpartisan elections in July. The actions of the Georgia General Assembly, in regards to this matter, constitute de facto discrimination and a violation of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as Bibb County is majority African-American. The will of the people of Bibb County has been thwarted by the Georgia General Assembly for reasons that are, in my opinion, related to race. It is likely that the Georgia General Assembly acted with the specific intent of disenfranchising African-American voters and injuring the political institution that facilitates and insures African-American participation in local government. I refer, specifically, to the Democratic Party of Bibb County, Georgia.

I was proud to vote for President Obama in 2008. I am further pleased that he was re-elected in 2012, in part because I prefer to have Democrats running the Justice Department. We now need the aid of the Justice Department in thwarting the plans of a Republican General Assembly that seeks to weed out Democratic officeholders and to dilute African-American voting power whenever and wherever possible.

I urge you to find that the acts of the Georgia General Assembly, in regards to this matter, constitute a violation of the Voting Rights Act and to deny preclearance for nonpartisan elections in July in Bibb County, Georgia.

I thank you for your service to the people of the United States and for your kind attention to this pressing matter.

Very truly yours,


If you can help us, we would appreciate it. The Justice Department accepts comments on proposed changes to voting laws for a period of sixty days after they are submitted. Please comment at the following e-mail address and copy and paste the following for the subject line: comment: 2013-0633, 2013-1055, 2013-1159.

Section5.comments@usdoj.gov

Or, if you prefer, snail mail comments may be sent to the following address:

Chief, Voting Section
Civil Rights Division
Room 7254 - NWB
Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC 20530

Feel free to cut and paste from my letter if that would be useful. We would greatly appreciate any help we can get on this. The Democratic Party of Bibb County is a relatively weak and cash-starved outfit as is, but this law will crush us if it is not overturned by the Justice Department.

Feel free to contact the White House directly as well, here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/submit-questions-and-comments

Mercifully, we have a Democratic President running the Justice Department. I hope he hears the cry of this little, county party fighting for justice in the middle of a hostile, red sea. Please, help him hear us.

Thanks in advance!

-Laelth
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