The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the NAACP, has gone to the United Nations -- specifically the U.N. Human Rights Council -- for, in the words of USA Today, "help battling what the organization views as forces attempting to push back voting rights."
Those "forces" are laws being passed by various states that require a photo ID for voting.
The NAACP move is so absurd and so self-destructive that one has to wonder why the organization has done this. According to the Freedom House 2011 assessment of freedom in the world, of the 41 members of the U.N. Human Rights Council, fewer than half are free countries. Ten are ranked "Not Free," and 12 "Partly Free." Among the "Not Free" members are Angola, China, Congo, Cuba, Jordan, Russia and Saudi Arabia. Those countries' elections, if they have them, are rigged, and prominent opponents are jailed, tortured and killed.
To bring a human rights complaint before countries in which there are almost no human rights is truly absurd. That the alleged human rights violation takes place in the freest country in the world further elevates the level of absurdity. And when the alleged violation is a law that requires all voters, irrespective of race, creed or color, to show photo identification before voting, we have gone beyond the absurd and entered a modern Twilight Zone.
The absurdity explains why what the NAACP doing is also self-destructive. It's one thing for a prominent individual or organization to make a mistake. But it is quite another to seem ludicrous, which is how the NAACP appears to everyone who is not on the left -- and perhaps even to thoughtful leftists.
Why, then, would the NAACP open itself to ridicule?
According to NAACP President Ben Jealous, the reason is that "We are here today because in the past 12 months, more U.S. states have passed more laws pushing more U.S. citizens out of the ballot box than in any year in the past century."
One can only say that if in the past 100 years, fewer blacks were disenfranchised than in the past 12 months, all the claims about Jim Crow laws disenfranchising blacks must have been wildly exaggerated. But, of course, this, too, is absurd.
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