Robert Knight

What would you call it if some Americans went overseas to the UN’s Human Rights Council and gave aid and comfort to some of the most repressive regimes on the planet?

What if they falsely accused America of suppressing the vote of racial minorities because some states require voter photo ID and other measures to deter fraud?

I’d call it "treason," but you could also say it’s just liberal politics as usual.

Their core argument is that minorities are incapable of getting an ID and playing by the same rules that all adult citizens must follow regardless of race.  It’s the same poisonous brew of lowered expectations that liberals have been pushing on minorities in order to expand government and foster dependency.

On Wednesday, NAACP President Benjamin T. Jealous, who apparently longs for an electoral system like those in Cuba, China or Saudi Arabia, whose representatives hung on his every word, trashed his own country. I was not there, but I’m assuming these regimes enjoyed seeing a certified "civil rights" leader criticize the United States.

Here’s some of what Mr. Jealous said, according to CNSNews.com:

"These voter-suppression laws included so-called strict voter ID laws, cutting of Sunday voting, early voting and same-day registration, and the re-imposing of notoriously racist bans on formerly incarcerated people voting." Mr. Jealous claimed that 25 laws passed in 14 states "will together make it harder for more than five million people to vote."

It’s true, at least, that Mr. Jealous, a zealous Democrat, wants to deliver more of the ex-felon vote, disproportionately represented by minorities. This is because, sadly, minority communities have been targets of liberal "compassion," and fatherless young men commit a disproportionate number of crimes. Upon release, ex-cons of any race find a natural home in the Democratic Party, which uses taxes to steal in ways that unreformed ex-cons can only dream about. 

Common-sense precautions against fraud, such as proving that you are who you say you are, is not a return to Jim Crow laws, any more than banks are being "racist" for asking to see an ID before cashing a check. 

I would wager that Mr. Jealous and his entourage had to show photo IDs to board their jet to Geneva and to get into the UN compound. I attended a UN session in Geneva in 2001, and it took a herculean effort to get through security. I’d like to think that’s because I’m a scary looking guy, but I’m not. 

Getting back to the vote fraud issue:  States with photo ID laws such as Georgia and Indiana reported higher minority turnout after the laws took effect.  Federal courts – including the Supreme Court – have found no plaintiff with a plausible claim to be unable to get an ID. In liberal Rhode Island, where a Democratic legislature last summer enacted a voter ID law, black state Sen. Harold Metts (D) co-sponsored the legislation.

"As a minority citizen and a senior citizen," Metts explained, "I would not support anything that I thought would present obstacles or limit protections, but in this day and age, very few adults lack one of the forms of identification that will be accepted, and the rare person who does can get a free voter ID card from the Secretary of State."

The left is getting desperate. They have lost every fact-based argument about domestic policy. Their social experiments, along with Hollywood’s relentless mythmaking about sex without consequences, have shattered families, left cities in shambles, and created a debt-ridden, mega-nanny government that is careening toward the cliffs of Greece.  It isn’t just minorities who are victimized by liberal policies, but they have taken the brunt of the war on marriage, religion and personal responsibility.

The evidence is all around. Just take a stroll through much of Detroit, or through rundown areas of any big city, in broad daylight. Detroit, which has tried every liberal government "solution" to poverty, spending tens of billions over the years, has lost one quarter of its population over the past decade and is on the verge of bankruptcy. Democratic Mayor Dave Bing has just the right medicine for this sick patient – another tax increase on businesses.

Years ago, before GPS, I got lost in Detroit coming from downtown, and drove the wrong way for a couple of miles.  As the sun began to set, I noticed groups of young men gathered on corners, giving me puzzled looks.

At a stoplight, an older man gestured for me to roll down the window. "Son," he said. "You do not belong here. You cannot be here. You need to make a left at the next corner, turn around and head back in the other direction. And, do not – I repeat – do not stop at any more lights." He shook his head at my stupidity, gave me a warm smile and walked away.

I did find my way out, and I have never forgotten that man’s kindness.

The point is, before the Great Society, I probably would have felt differently about being lost in Detroit, at least in most of it. Every big city has a rough side, of course.  In Detroit, the Great Society and the auto industry’s government-and-union-managed decline have managed to make almost the whole city "the rough side."

Over there in Switzerland, I hope Mr. Jealous and the delegation had a fine time after dumping on their country. They probably didn’t bring up the wonders of Detroit’s enlightened path toward true democracy and social justice.

The UN’s cafeteria serves up subsidized, gourmet meals and fine wines, even at lunch. It’s a great place to relax and plot the next desperate move to hang on to political power. 


Robert Knight

Robert Knight is an author, senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union and a frequent contributor to Townhall.