The Voting Rights Act of 1965 Ended the Use of Literacy Tests
His words addressed what had been an obstacle to the participation of millions of so called Negroes (Black people) in the United States as full citizens, the descendants of Africans brought to the New World to be enslaved and who were later grandfathered into the nation as American citizens.
Until the signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, many Americans of African descent had been denied the right to vote by a carefully orchestrated campaign, first used in the state of Mississippi in 1890, to prevent their influence in the American political system for 75 years, primarily through the use of the poll tax and literacy tests. These strategies were later adopted throughout the southern United States as a means to deny Black people the right to vote.
On occasion, any form of arbitrary testing would suffice, like asking the prospective voter to guess the exact number of marbles in a jar on display at the voting place.
The majority of the provisions in the bill are permanent but sections of the Voting Rights Act, primarily related to the southern states of the United States, must be renewed and extended.
The non permanent provisions of the bill were extended in 1970, 1975, with a 25 year extension signed in 1982. Despite the efforts of conservative House Republicans to delay the bill’s signing, the bill passed in the House, 390-33 and in the Senate, 98-0, with President George W. Bush signing the fourth Voting Rights Act extension on July 27, 2006.
The signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the four extensions of the act have occurred during my lifetime.
On Thursday, February 4, 2010, almost 45 years after the signing of the Voting Rights Act that abolished the use of poll taxes and literacy tests, as he addressed a crowd of 600 attendees of the National Tea Party Convention in Nashville, Tennessee, former Republican Congressman of Colorado Tom Tancredo shared his beliefs with the crowd.
He mused that, by not requiring a civic literacy test before voting, to his way of thinking that may have been the reason why a “committed, socialist ideologue” named Barack Hussein Obama was elected to the White House.
After his speech on Thursday, February 4, 2010, using Twitter on Saturday, February 6, 2010 and displayed on Mr. Tancredo’s webpage, he tweeted “…. in Nashville I called for a CIVIC LITERACY test.”Tom Tancredo has based his political career on being anti immigration, both legal and illegal. In addition to a call for tougher policies to combat illegal immigration, he has also called for a moratorium or freeze on legal immigration.
He has voiced his belief that immigration and the resultant “cult of multiculturalism” and what he calls a “siren song of multiculturalism”, represent a danger to America.
During his campaign for president of the United States in 2008, Mr. Tancredo’s positions on immigration were heralded by Gordon Baum, the leader of the nativist, White nationalist organization the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC).
The Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC) was formed from the remnants of the membership of the former White’s only Citizens’ Councils (This link contains an article written in 1956) that began forming throughout the southern United States in 1956 as a means to thwart societal changes occurring, beginning with the Brown v the Board of Education ruling, striking down the notion of segregated ‘separate but equal’ educational accommodations for Black and White students.
The notion of ‘separate but equal’ schooling had been previously ruled constitutional by the United States Supreme Court in 1896, when it rendered its decision in Plessy v Ferguson regarding the laws enacted in the school system in the state of Louisiana. That ruling led the way for similar implementation of discriminatory practices regarding educational opportunities for Black students across the United States.
On opening night of the National Tea Party Convention on Thursday, February 4, 2010, in Nashville Tennessee, almost 45 years after the signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, when Tom Tancredo stood before a laughing, applauding audience, musing about a civic literacy test not being in use during the 2008 presidential election, he was inviting his audience to travel with him backward in time.
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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States