The Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal, in an exclusive report, disclosed the text of a letter
twenty-one civil rights leaders and prominent black conservatives wrote to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee defending Georgia’s new election law and rejecting opponents’ comparisons to Jim Crow laws.
“It has become clear that even well-intentioned critics of the law simply have no idea what the law is,” the black leaders write in the letter, adding:
It is clear they have no idea how favorably Georgia’s new law compares with most other states—including President Biden’s home state of Delaware. And it is clear they have no idea that a majority of black voters across the country support the key provision under attack by critics—the simple requirement that voters be able to identify themselves when voting. This is the same simple requirement needed to pick up baseball tickets or board a plane—activities hardly as important as voting.
The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing yesterday titled “Jim Crow 2021: The Latest Assault on the Right to Vote.” And previously, President Joe Biden—who represented Delaware in the U.S. Senate for 36 years—recently referred to the Georgia law as “Jim Crow in the 21st century.”
The Georgia law requires voters to present identification in submitting absentee ballots, such as a driver’s license number; codifies ballot drop boxes, and expands weekend voting. However, it reduces the number of days for early voting from 19 to 17 and gives voters an earlier deadline to mail absentee ballots.
Their letter takes exception to mischaracterizations of the Georgia law, which they call a “proper, honest step in reforming the election process”:
To compare today’s policy differences with the literal life and death struggle of previous generations is to diminish those heroes’ struggle, sacrifice, and enormous accomplishments. It is past time for today’s generation to come together in an honest, civil, and straightforward way to protect these shared values of voter access and election integrity. It should be easy to vote and hard to cheat.
The letter from the black leaders goes on to say:
We, along with dozens of other black pastors and civic leaders in Georgia fully understand and support the state’s new election integrity law—a law that will help rebuild voter confidence, and make sure every vote counts. Those who have been deceived by a political campaign to discredit the new law and punish the state of Georgia, should stop, take a step back, and understand the real agenda here.
And these fearless black leaders are right – the real agenda of those opposed to Georgia’s new election law is simple and obvious – they oppose the new law because they want to make it easier for Democrats to cheat and steal elections.
We thank these 21 patriots for their advocacy of free and fair elections and stand in solidarity with their rejection of the label of “Jim Crow” for Georgia’s new election integrity legislation.
Leading the effort was the Heritage Foundation’s President Kay C. James, signatories from Georgia include the Rev. Alveda King, niece of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., head of Alveda King Ministries; Michael Lancaster, director of the Frederick Douglass Foundation; and Vernon Jones, who, like King, is a former Georgia state representative.
Other civil rights leaders who signed the open letter include Woodson Center President Bob Woodson; Clarence Henderson, chairman of the North Carolina Martin Luther King Jr. Commission; American Citizens for Voting President Chris Arps; Congress on Racial Equality national spokesman Niger Innis; STAND President Bishop E.W. Jackson; Black Americans for a Better Future founder Raynard Jackson; and Black Conservative Federation President Diante Johnson.
Other signers were the Rev. Dean Nelson, a member of the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Commission; syndicated columnist Star Parker, who is president of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education; Bishop Aubrey Shines, founder of Conservative Clergy of Color; and former Vanderbilt University law professor Carol Swain.
Other current and former elected and appointed government officials who signed the letter include North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson; Bruce LeVell, former Small Business Administration advocate; Ken Blackwell, former ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission and former Ohio secretary of state; former Florida Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll; former Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill; and Allen West, a former one-term U.S. representative from Florida who now is chairman of the Texas Republican Party.
By opposing Georgia’s new election integrity law what Democrats are really saying is they want to make it easier to steal elections – and that’s why they are trying to ram through a federal law – H.R.1 in the House and S.1 in the Senate – that would outlaw many of the sensible election integrity reforms the signers of this letter advocated. We have two ways you can stand with them. First, go to Act for America’s FreeRoots campaign and use the easy online tools to let Congress know you oppose Democrat assaults on Georgia’s new law that protects free speech and free and fair elections. Second, call the toll-free Capitol Switchboard (1-866-220-0044), politely, but firmly, urge your Senators to oppose H.R. 1 and S.1.
Georgia voter integrity law
Jim Crow laws
Voter ID laws
President Kay C. James