Douglas Andrews / April 21, 2021

Fake Jim Crow Gets a Hearing

The Democrats shamefully tried to make the case that today’s voter reform laws are the modern-day equivalent of Jim Crow.

What a difference a couple of blown Georgia Senate seats make.

When you’re in the majority, you get to not only call and chair your Senate hearings, you get to name them as well — even if the name you choose is itself a lie from the pits of hell.

Thus, due to the Senate-flipping election of Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock in Georgia on January 5, we’re now treated to the likes of the taxpayer-funded farce that was Tuesday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing titled “Jim Crow 2021: The Latest Assault on the Right to Vote.”

Jim Crow 2021 — you know, because asking for a picture ID in Atlanta in 2021 is just as racist as trotting out the poll taxes, the nightsticks, the firehoses, and the German shepherds in the Deep South of 60 years ago.

“That title alone,” writes Fred Lucas at The Daily Signal, “prompted some lawmakers, black and white, to take umbrage at trivializing a violent and bigoted era of American history. The focus of the Senate hearing was Georgia’s new election integrity law, which requires voters to present identification in submitting absentee ballots, such as a driver’s license number; codifies ballot drop boxes; and expands weekend voting.”

Utah Representative and former NFLer Burgess Owens, himself a black man whose dad was victimized by real Jim Crow laws, had this charade sussed all along: “True racism is this,” he said, “the projection of the Democratic Party on my proud race. It’s called the soft bigotry of low expectations.”

Not quite content, however, Owens added, “President Biden said of the Georgia law, ‘This is Jim Crow on steroids.’ With all due respect, Mr. President, you know better. It is disgusting and offensive to compare actual voter suppression and the violence of that era that we grew up in with a state law that only asks people to show their ID.”

There were other truth-tellers, too, such as Utah Senator Mike Lee, who noted, “[Jim Crow] was a system of laws designed to hold black Americans back, hold them back in part because white Democrats in the South didn’t want them to vote and didn’t like the fact that they were voting as and being elected as Republicans. Let’s not compare a voter registration law — one that makes sure dead people can’t vote — to that.”

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham even got Georgia’s race-baiting Stacey Abrams to admit that she supported voter ID laws and that voting should be restricted to American citizens. Quite a feat, that.

All in all, it was a good day for the Senate’s Republican minority and a good day for what former Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis might’ve dubbed the disinfecting power of sunlight.

In his landmark civil rights book The Strange Career of Jim Crow, Yale University history professor C. Vann Woodward said the pre-Civil Rights South’s Jim Crow statutes “lent the sanction of law to a racial ostracism that extended to churches and schools, to housing and jobs, to eating and drinking.” He added, “Whether by law or by custom, that ostracism extended to virtually all forms of public transportation, to sports and recreations, to hospitals, orphanages, prisons, and asylums, and ultimately to funeral homes, morgues, and cemeteries.”

We would do well — all of us — to remember that the real Jim Crow is long dead and buried, and we should deride at every turn the Left’s attempt to tie today’s modest voting reform efforts to that dark period of the distant past.

Finally, when President Joe Biden calls legitimate voting reform efforts “Jim Crow on steroids,” we should denounce him for doing violence to language and meaning. Further, we should denounce him for cheapening the currency of the term “Jim Crow” itself.

Whether Biden knows it or not, he’s rendering that term meaningless — just as his party has done to terms such as “racist” and “racism.”

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