Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Why I hate the Confederacy, Part III: Literacy tests

Hat tip to JJP for spotting this Rachel Maddow segment on the Tea Party's fervor for good old-fashioned Southern-American values such as "literacy tests."

The first half of the segment has a tolerable if brief intro to the concept of literacy tests and why they were in place from Jim Crow up through the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. It also shows Tom Tancredo (former Rep.-CO congressman) foaming at the mouth, or just slavering over fond memories of the old days when you didn't have to let minorities vote if you could selectively screen them out and keep white voters in.

Although elsewhere online this seems to be "Dump on Charles Ogletree Week," I am OK with his comments in the second half of the Maddow segment. Take 10% off the top for typical Maddow-interviewee banter and it's all right. He correctly states that Maddow's intro understated the real history. (She has to keep her show on the air, after all.)

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