Free Speech in Europe Remains under Threat

Over in Denmark, retired cartoonist Kurt Westergaard lives a safe life because he has 24/7 security to protect him from members of the Religion of Peace.

Mr. Westergaard doodled up the infamous Bomb-Turban Mohammed, which outraged hostile Muslims worldwide. It was the most iconic image of the several cartoons published by the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten which grew into the global cartoon jihad.

As a result, Westergaard has become something of a free speech hero, which is a hazardous position, so he is not often interviewed.

An axe-carrying Somali Muslim broke into his home in 2010 to murder Westergaard, but police intervened in time. Free speech is severely threatened by Muslim immigration, which is another good reason why it should end in America and Europe.

IRS Gives Billions in Tax Refunds to Illegal Aliens

In today’s America, employed citizens are forced to pay taxes to support liberals’ favorite designated victim groups like illegal aliens, exemplified by bankrupt California moving rapidly toward redistributing $40 million to unlawful foreign college students.

Another case is the $4 billion in tax refunds given by the feds to grifter illegal aliens.

Undocumented workers got billions from IRS in tax credits, audit finds, Washington Post, September 2, 2011

The Internal Revenue Service allowed undocumented workers to collect $4.2 billion in refundable tax credits last year, a new audit says, almost quadruple the sum five years ago.

Although undocumented workers are not eligible for federal benefits, the report released Thursday by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration concludes that federal law is ambiguous on whether these workers qualify for a tax break based on earned income called the additional child tax credit.

Taxpayers can claim this credit to reduce what they owe in taxes, often getting refunds from the government. The vagueness of federal law may have contributed to the $4.2 billion in credits, the report said.

The IRS said it lacks the authority to disallow the claims.

Wage earners who do not have Social Security numbers and are not authorized to work in the United States can use what the IRS calls individual taxpayer identification numbers. Often these result in fraudulent claims on tax returns, auditors found.

Their data showed that 72 percent of returns filed with taxpayer identification numbers claimed the child tax credit. Continue reading this article

California DREAM Act Passes Senate

In California, illegal alien college students already get in-state tuition, courtesy of the beleaguered taxpayer. But that was not enough. Now they must have even more of the public’s scarce funds, even though the state’s system of universities has been deeply damaged because of budget cuts.

Even so, California Democrats are determined to redistribute the citizens’ money, taking financial aid from worthy young Americans and giving it to illegal aliens from Mexico and beyond. New reports are full of stories about college students who cannot graduate because courses they need are not being given as a result of budget cutbacks. In such a climate, goodies for illegal alien students nevertheless remain a top priority for Democrats.

Analysis estimates that the legislation will cost $40 million.

In Sacramento, the Mexican tail wags the Democrat dog. The hispanic legislators get whatever they want, no matter what it costs or who it hurts.

Today’s example of this political fact was the passage by the Senate of the California DREAM Act.

Bill would let illegal immigrant students get aid, Associated Press, August 31, 2011

The state Senate on Wednesday approved the second half of contentious legislation that would allow students who are illegal immigrants to apply for state-funded scholarships and financial aid.

The Senate approved AB131, also known as the California Dream Act, with a 22-11 vote, leaving it just one step away from the governor’s desk.

The state Assembly must consider changes to the bill it previously passed before it can go to Gov. Jerry Brown.

“These students are valedictorians, they’re class presidents, and they’re all-star athletes. They are the future of California,” said Sen. Charles Calderon, D-Whittier, who carried the bill in the Senate.

The bill is part of a legislative package by Assemblyman Gil Cedillo, D-Los Angeles. Last month, Brown, a Democrat, signed a separate bill by Cedillo approving private scholarships and loans for illegal immigrant students. AB131 would make those students eligible for state-funded financial aid.

Critics say allowing access to those state resources encourages illegal immigration. Supporters counter that the students, many of whom were brought to the United States as young children, shouldn’t be punished for their parents’ actions.

Sen. Doug La Malfa, R-Willows, opposed the bill Wednesday. He read a letter from a constituent who said his daughter’s California education grant was recently cut. He said passing a law such as this would be like rubbing salt in his wound.

Cedillo’s legislative package differs from the federal Dream Act, a proposal that would create a path to citizenship for those who are brought to the country illegally as children.

Under the bill approved Wednesday, illegal immigrant students would have to meet the same requirements as others but only would qualify for financial aid that remains after legal residents apply.

“They basically receive the leftovers,” Calderon said.

Obama Protects Illegal Workers in America

In today’s terrible jobs depression in which over 14 million Americans are officially unemployed, the Obama administration is cruelly upside down in its priorities. In mid-August, the President opened up work permits for illegal aliens in his administrative amnesty program which will add thousands (millions?) to an already flooded labor pool.

On Monday, the Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis signed agreements with the governments of the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica and El Salvador to protect their workers in this country. At the same time, she emphasized her department’s concern with the well being of foreign job thieves.

Not that such a move should be a surprise. Solis has been going the extra mile for lawbreaking foreign workers for as long as she has been the Labor Secretary. (See Department of Labor against American Workers from 2010.)

Large scale hispandering appears to be a big part of the Obama re-election strategy — that grateful aliens should vote early, vote often.

Coddling Illegals, Investor’s Business Daily, August 20, 2011

Border: An administration that conducts raids looking for illegal wood rather than illegal aliens signs partnerships with foreign governments to advise these aliens of their rights. What part of “illegal” don’t they get?

Right on the heels of enacting the federal Dream Act through administrative fiat, the administration of President Obama, specifically Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, on Monday signed “partnership” agreements with ambassadors from a group of Latin American nations aiming to protect what she described as the labor rights of both legal and illegal migrants working in the U.S.

This ceremony marked the signing of partnership agreements with the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, and El Salvador, joining Mexico, Nicaragua and Guatemala, which had signed the agreement previously.

So while the administration works closely with foreign countries to promote illegal immigration, it takes border states like Arizona to court when they try to protect their borders and enforce our immigration laws.

Partners in crime would be more like it. According to the Immigration and Nationality Act, “employers may hire only persons who may legally work in the United States (i.e., citizens and nationals of the U.S.) and aliens authorized to work in the U.S.” Continue reading this article

Obama Uncle Update: Mysteries Remain about Illegal Alien Kin #2

It’s been a few days since President Obama’s illegal alien uncle was arrested for drunk driving in Massachusetts. Since then, information about the man has been burbling out.

Uncle Omar, aka Onyango Obama, aka the brother of illegal alien welfare moocher Aunt Zeituni, resides in a pleasant-looking house in Framingham, where he was known to host backyard barbecues. He recently worked at a liquor store, where he got in trouble for selling alcohol to minors, but was not deported.

Omar’s comfy lifestyle makes it hard not to notice how easy being an illegal alien in America is these days. It’s amazing anyone bothers with the troublesome legal immigration process, given the time and money involved.

Interestingly, Uncle Omar was ordered repatriated to Kenya in 1992 but somehow the feds never got around to enforcing the deportation order, even though he didn’t appear hard to find, since he had a home, a car and a job.

Inquiring minds want to know more about how Uncle Omar got a Social Security number, which helped him get a Massachusetts DL a couple decades back.

The CNN report below has some fascinating details, including a helpful diagram of the Obama polygamous family tree, which may require a second viewing. The reporter chose his words carefully and did not use the word polygamy however, which would have reminded viewers that the President is part of a curiously diverse African family. Additionally, legal talking head Toobin says that drunk driving is not serious enough to get Uncle Omar deported — that’s the elite view from the back of a limo where occupants are protected from drunk-driving illegal aliens.

Official: Obama Mass. kin ordered deported in ‘92, Associated Press, August 31, 2011

President Barack Obama’s uncle, an illegal immigrant charged with drunken driving last week, was ordered by an immigration judge to leave the country almost two decades ago, a federal official said Wednesday.

The official said a deportation order was issued against Onyango Obama in 1992. The official spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to release details on the case.

Obama, who’s from Kenya, is the half-brother of the president’s late father. He has pleaded not guilty to operating under the influence of alcohol and is being held on an immigration detainer.

An immigration detainer, used by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to identify people in jail or prison who could be deported, is a request to another law enforcement agency to notify ICE before releasing the person from custody so ICE can arrange to take over custody.

Obama’s immigration attorney, Margaret Wong, of Cleveland, declined to comment on his case or on how long he has been living in the U.S. illegally.

The White House also has declined to comment.

Obama, 67, was arrested last week in Framingham, where he has lived for years, about 20 miles west of Boston. He had made a rolling stop at a stop sign and nearly caused a police cruiser to strike his sport utility vehicle, police said. After being booked at a police station, he was asked whether he wanted to make a telephone call to arrange for bail, they said.

“I think I will call the White House,” he said, according to a report written by Framingham police. Continue reading this article

Canada: Michael Coren Launches New Television Show

Michael Coren is a new name to me, but what I’ve seen of him in the past week is quite agreeable. He has a new talk show on the Sun television network in Canada, which also presents Ezra Levant.

BlazingCarFur tubed up the whole debut episode, which is posted below. The guests included Ann Coulter, Mark Steyn, Tarek Fatah and Juan Williams discussing Islam, mob psychology, free speech and the future of America.

Muslims Riot against Safety Rules in New York Amusement Park

There was a mid-sized riot in a New York state amusement park Tuesday in which 15 Muslims were arrested. Rye Playland was closed for two hours as the fracas ensued. Two park rangers were injured in the county-run park.

The problem arose when Muslims were informed that “headgear” like hats and scarves was not permitted on some rides for safety reasons to prevent an Isadora Duncan-type event.

But being Muslims, they were unwilling to follow the rules required of everyone because they believe they are Special.

One griped in reference to the end of Ramadan, “It’s our holiday. Why would you do this to us?”

They are the privileged creatures of Allah. They think they should run the world. Therefore tiresome infidel rules don’t apply.

An Islo-mom characterized her son as “traumatized” after seeing his father arrested. Whose fault was that?

So was this event staged as lawsuit fodder like so many others (e.g. the recent Abercrombie case and the Flying Imams) or was it just another instance of Muslim intransigence?

The Muslim American Society was warned in advance that no head coverings were permitted because of safety reasons. That fact points to the lawsuit possibility, plus the upcoming 10-year anniversary of the 9/11 Islamic attacks which makes reasserting Muslim victimhood an important propaganda goal.

In addition, it’s an opportunity to show pictures of sad kiddies and run sound bites of shrieking women in veils complaining about police brutality — great stuff for the Islamic media machine. Call Al Jazeera! “Muslims are the victims of Islamophobia in America!”

Today, the spin is all about Muslim identity and victimhood: “This all happened because we’re Muslim.”

Waah!

Muslim head scarves spark amusement park brawl, USA Today, August 31, 2011

Fifteen people were arrested Tuesday at e Playland Amusement Park in Rye, N.Y, The Journal News of Westchester, N.Y. reports.

The brawl started when Muslim park-goers became upset that Playland was extending its ban on headgear to women who wished to wear their religious headgear while going on rides, the newspaper says. Many Muslims celebrating Eid-ul-Fitr, the end of the Ramadan fasting and reflection period and one of Islam’s major holidays, had come to the park.

A Westchester County park official told the newspaper a Muslim organizer of a large outing to Playland was informed of the headgear ban, which extends to caps and skullcaps and such.

The ban stem from accidents on Playland rides that did not involve headgear but resulted in tighter regulations meant to promote safety on rides, such as preventing hats from falling off and causing issues.

A scarf could potentially choke a person, a park spokesman told the newspaper.

Accounts vary, but the dispute began after park-goers were told the headgear ban applied to women wearing traditional Muslim head coverings, known as hijabs. The newspaper said a scuffle started within the group and then broadened after others intervened.

New York’s Daily News said one woman, Entisai Ali, began arguing with officers over the head scarf rule, quoting Dena Meawad, 18, of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.

“The cops started getting loud with her and she started getting loud, too. They pushed her on the ground and arrested her,” Meawad said.

Her cousin, Kareem Meawad, 17, went to try to protect the woman and was beaten by police and also arrested, she told the Daily News. Her brother, Issam Meawad, 20, was pushed to the ground and arrested.

“She just wanted to get on a ride. That was it,” Dena Meawad was quoted as saying. “It’s clear, this all happened because we’re Muslim.”

Pew Poll Assesses Muslim Satisfaction among American Infidels

Leave it to the Associated Press to readminister its scab-picking habit of portraying Muslims residing in America as poor little victims who suffer Islamophobia at the hands of cruel Americans. That’s the unsubtle message in the AP’s report on a new Pew poll that begins with the assertion that Muslims here endure harassment from the public and undue attention as potential terrorists from law enforcement.

If life in the United States is so terrible, then Muslim immigrants can always pack up and leave the same way they got here. Most can be defined as newbies: 63% of Muslim residers are first-generation immigrants to the U.S., with 45% having arrived in the U.S. since 1990.

Wouldn’t Muslims be happier in Dar al-Islam? For example, living in Riyadh would be ever so handy for the hajj, and Saudi Arabia does not permit any pork chops that annoy Muslims. It just seems a better fit.

Most come for the money alone (like most immigrants) and live in their tribal enclaves like Dearbornistan and Tehrangeles.

The liberal press assumption about mean Americans always leaves out the fact that the behavior of Muslims themselves has reduced any positive regard toward them from the public. The average citizen doesn’t need to read Jihadwatch.org or TheReligionOfPeace.com to understand the widespread hostility among Muslims when there are unavoidable news stories like the gang rape of Lara Logan in downtown Cairo during the press-touted “Arab Spring” or the various attempted terrorist attacks in this country like the Christmas underwear bomber over Detroit and the Times Square bomber.

The poll itself can be found at the Pew Research Center: Muslim Americans: No Signs of Growth in Alienation or Support for Extremism.

Ezra Levant and Kathy Shaidle have an intelligent discussion about the poll results in the following video:

However I don’t agree with them that it’s a good thing that Muslims with all their complaints still find America a friendly place to them — go figure. More Americans need to get unfriendly, and pipe up with the idea that Muslim immigration should end yesterday, because it is one of the worst public policies ever.

The growing presence of foreign Muslims, fueled by continuing immigration, endangers national security and domestic tranquility. Washington elites are determined to ignore the disastrous diversity experience of Europe, from the restricted freedom of Scandinavian women to no-go zones where police fear to tread and the potential of future civil war.

Europe is burning, while Pew and the AP are concerned about whether Muslims are happy immigrants in the US.

Most US Muslims feel targeted by terror policies, Associated Press, August 30, 2011

More than half of Muslim Americans in a new poll say government anti-terrorism policies single them out for increased surveillance and monitoring, and many report increased cases of name-calling, threats and harassment by airport security, law enforcement officers and others.

Still, most Muslim Americans say they are satisfied with the way things are going in the U.S. and rate their communities highly as places to live.

The survey by the Pew Research Center, one of the most exhaustive ever of the country’s Muslims, finds no signs of rising alienation or anger among Muslim-Americans despite recent U.S. government concerns about homegrown Islamic terrorism and controversy over the building of mosques.

“This confirms what we’ve said all along: American Muslims are well integrated and happy, but with a kind of lingering sense of being besieged by growing anti-Muslim sentiment in our society,” said Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Washington, D.C.-based Muslim civil rights group.

“People contact us every day about concerns they’ve had, particularly with law enforcement authorities in this post-9/11 era,” he said.

Muslim extremists hijacked four passenger planes on Sept. 11, 2001, crashing them into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Shanksville, Pa.

In all, 52 percent of Muslim Americans surveyed said their group is singled out by government for terrorist surveillance. Almost as many — 43 percent — reported they had personally experienced harassment in the past year, according to the poll released Tuesday.

That 43 percent share of people reporting harassment is up from 40 percent in 2007, the first time Pew polled Muslim Americans. Continue reading this article

San Francisco: Chinese Tribalism Is Alive and Well

According to the SF Chronicle, the big Asian buzz in Chinatown is how appointed Mayor Ed Lee is not a real Lee. The horror!

The rumor is that his immigrant father bought into the powerful clan when he arrived as a Paper Son. That status arose out of an act of nature that Chinese exploited: when the 1906 San Francisco earthquake destroyed public records, thousands of Chinese fraudulently claimed to be related to persons already residing in California, often paying to do so. Hence the term Paper Son.

The rationalization is that America was a rotten racist country (because of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882), so it was okay to cheat. However, the People’s Republic of China has an exclusion policy of all non-Chinese for immigration to this day: nobody immigrates to the PRC. Diversity runs one way only where Chinese are concerned.

It’s noteworthy how the Paper Son theft of citizenship is no longer considered a negative family story to be kept quiet. Now the idea that granddad was an illegal alien who stole American citizenship is no big deal. The controversy isn’t that Ed Lee’s father was a lawbreaking illegal alien, but that he wasn’t a true member of the Lee tribe. Honest dealings with the United States vis-a-vis immigration are simply not valued.

And Chinese are supposed to be a model minority. The truth is that in many cultures, loyalty to tribe trumps everything else.

Below, Asian Mayors Ed Lee and Jean Quan (Oakland) attended a state dinner for PRC President Hu Jintao at the White House earlier this year.

Mayor Ed Lee: What’s in a name?, San Francisco Chronicle, August 29, 2011

Shortly after Ed Lee became interim mayor in January, the rumor spread around Chinatown. When he announced earlier this month that he was running for a four-year term, the gossip began again. Lee, the whisperers said at banquets and festivals, was not a Lee at all.

While the mayor vows he is really and truly a Lee, the hubbub offers a window into the fascinating world of Chinatown’s powerful family associations, its sometimes heartbreaking history, and the significance and transience of its residents’ surnames.

This much is true: The mayor’s full name is Edwin Mah Lee, and his father, Gok Suey Lee, was born in the Toishan district of Guandong province in southern China.

This much is also true: As a Lee, the mayor is a member of the prominent Lee Family Association, the largest of dozens of family associations in Chinatown.

Formed in the 1800s as social-service organizations for new immigrants, they’re based on surnames that tell where in China one was born. There are roughly 10,000 Lees in San Francisco, an expected boost for the mayor at the ballot box.

Paper son
The Chinatown gossip has it that the mayor is trading on a powerful name that isn’t his own – that his father was born a Mah or a Mar, variants of the same name, and immigrated to the United States as a “paper son,” buying his way into a Lee family already established here.

The paper son phenomenon dates back to the 1906 earthquake, which destroyed government buildings and the immigration records inside them. The 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act had barred most Chinese from entering the country, and many Chinese people living here used the loss of immigration records to claim citizenship and bring in family from China.

Many also, for money, brought people who weren’t related to them. There’s no telling how many paper sons immigrated to the United States to join families that weren’t their own, but Sue Lee, executive director of the Chinese Historical Society of America in Chinatown, said there were probably thousands. Continue reading this article

Imam Rauf Critically Evaluated — on Television!

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf — formerly of the Ground Zero mosque scheme — doesn’t want to go away, even though Americans rejected his pitch for a territory-marking Islamic monument near the World Trade Center site. Rauf is routinely promoted by the media as being a “moderate” Muslim, but his assertion that “sharia law is fully compatible with the Constitution” reveals him to be either a lying Islo-propagandist or a fool.

It’s a relief to see the TV commenters (Canadian!) call Rauf out for the charlatan he is. There is so much liberal diversity blather about Islam in the media that a bit of truth is noteworthy.

Unfortunately, citizens of the West learn mostly about the beliefs of Islam from the violent behavior of Muslims, not from the limited reporting of the cowering press.

California Democrats Plan to Bill Taxpayers for Illegal Aliens’ College Educations

Here in chronically broke California, Sacramento is gearing up to pass taxpayer-funded grants for illegal alien students, so that lawbreaking foreigners can get free educations while citizen young people are pushed aside.

The evil Gil Cedillo broke his Mexifornia version of the ironically named DREAM Act into two parts, hoping to squeeze it through in stages. The first legislation enabled illegal aliens to receive college funding from private sources, and that bill was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown.

The next step in Assembly Bill 131 — providing taxpayer money for illegal alien students — is somewhat more challenging even for spendaholic open-borders Democrats.

Illegal aliens already receive the taxpayer-subsidized in-state tuition rate — but current freebies are never enough.

Concerned citizens can easily register their objection to the misuse of taxpayer funds in AB 131 using an automated phone system with the following steps:

Voice your opinion and cast your vote:

•  Call 916-445-2841
•  Press 1 for English
•  Then press 2
•  Then press 1
•  Lastly, press 2 to vote in opposition of the DREAM ACT!

One stand-up guy against the scheme is Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, shown below making a speech on the Capitol steps last spring.

You can listen to Assemblyman Donnelly interviewed on the John and Ken Show on Monday where he explained the political dynamics around the bill. His segment starts at around 22 minutes in.

Donnelly urges protest over Dream Act: Legislature to vote on giving state financial aid to illegal immigrants, Victorville Daily Press, August 29, 2011

As the controversial Dream Act advances, Assemblyman Tim Donnelly is urging citizens to voice support for Gov. Jerry Brown to veto the bill that would allow students who entered the country illegally to receive statefunded financial aid at California’s public colleges. Donnelly in a statement called Assembly Bill 131 — which passed out of the Assembly Appropriations Committee on Thursday — a “nightmare for citizens.”

“Students are already struggling to pay increased tuition and many cannot even get into the classes they need,” he said, “but the Legislature continues to pretend we can afford this entitlement. The simple truth is, everyone including the governor knows we can’t.”

Assemblyman Gil Cedillo, D-Los Angeles, authored the California Dream Act’s twin bills as a way to expand opportunities for deserving students who were brought to the U.S. illegally through no choice of their own.

Brown signed the first bill, AB 1081, in June, agreeing to allow undocumented students to receive private financial aid. That bill is currently eligible to be heard on the Senate floor.

Now that the Senate committee approved AB 131, Cedillo said he expects the bill to pass the Senate and Assembly this week and land on Brown’s desk soon after.

“The fiscal impact of granting illegal alien students access to the statefunded Cal Grant on top of the in-state tuition rate already afforded them is staggering,” Donnelly’s statement continued. “Analysts estimate the cost to be in the tens of millions annually and say it is likely to increase over time as the promise of inexpensive, high quality education draws more illegal immigration to the state.”

Obama's Re-election Strategy: Does It Depend on Illegal Alien Voter Fraud?

It didn’t take long for Obama’s executive amnesty for illegal aliens to be followed by a major opinion piece in the New York Times complaining about voters being required to show identification at the polling place. How convenient for illegal aliens who want to vote to Obama!

Timed to coincide with the dedication of the made-in-Red-China statue of Martin Luther King Jr., the op-ed by civil rights figure Rep. John Lewis, currently a Congressman from Georgia, compared voter ID with the hated poll tax which historically kept black Americans from exercising the franchise.

At least he didn’t compare the requirement for voter identification with attack dogs and fire hoses.

However, an editorial in Sunday’s Times (The Nation’s Cruelest Immigration Law) opined that the recent Alabama enforcement legislation “brings to mind the Fugitive Slave Act.” So the queen of crazy liberal media now compares basic immigration law enforcement to the practice of slavery, a crude escalation of rhetoric that hints at the 2012 Democrat campaign.

Rep. Lewis asserts that poll shenanigans are not really problematic, but the Weekly Standard said in response that dozens of Acorn workers have been convicted for organizing voter fraud.

We can be sure that voter fraud will not be a deportable offense. And that’s the point. Illegals will hear on Spanish-language radio and TV that Obama is the amnesty President and must be kept in office at all costs to preserve open borders — it’s the illegals’ duty to vote early and often, in the Chicago style.

As word gets around in Mexico and beyond that Obama has repealed deportation, the floodgates will reopen and millions of job thieves will head north for American employment and freebies — meaning more D-voters for 2012. The Mexican flood has supposedly “sputtered to a trickle” in the phrase of the New York Times, which is overstated IMO. The word “amnesty” is like a dinner bell to Mexicans — they’ll be back.

Following is the John Lewis piece:

A Poll Tax by Another Name, New York Times, By JOHN LEWIS, August 26, 2011

AS we celebrate the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, we reflect on the life and legacy of this great man. But recent legislation on voting reminds us that there is still work to do. Since January, a majority of state legislatures have passed or considered election-law changes that, taken together, constitute the most concerted effort to restrict the right to vote since before the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Growing up as the son of an Alabama sharecropper, I experienced Jim Crow firsthand. It was enforced by the slander of “separate but equal,” willful blindness to acts of racially motivated violence and the threat of economic retaliation. The pernicious effect of those strategies was to institutionalize second-class citizenship and restrict political participation to the majority alone.

We have come a long way since the 1960s. When the Voting Rights Act was passed, there were only 300 elected African-American officials in the United States; today there are more than 9,000, including 43 members of Congress. The 1993 National Voter Registration Act — also known as the Motor Voter Act — made it easier to register to vote, while the 2002 Help America Vote Act responded to the irregularities of the 2000 presidential race with improved election standards.

Despite decades of progress, this year’s Republican-backed wave of voting restrictions has demonstrated that the fundamental right to vote is still subject to partisan manipulation. The most common new requirement, that citizens obtain and display unexpired government-issued photo identification before entering the voting booth, was advanced in 35 states and passed by Republican legislatures in Alabama, Minnesota, Missouri and nine other states — despite the fact that as many as 25 percent of African-Americans lack acceptable identification.

Having fought for voting rights as a student, I am especially troubled that these laws disproportionately affect young voters. Students at state universities in Wisconsin cannot vote using their current IDs (because the new law requires the cards to have signatures, which those do not). South Carolina prohibits the use of student IDs altogether. Texas also rejects student IDs, but allows voting by those who have a license to carry a concealed handgun. These schemes are clearly crafted to affect not just how we vote, but who votes.

Conservative proponents have argued for photo ID mandates by claiming that widespread voter impersonation exists in America, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. While defending its photo ID law before the Supreme Court, Indiana was unable to cite a single instance of actual voter impersonation at any point in its history. Likewise, in Kansas, there were far more reports of U.F.O. sightings than allegations of voter fraud in the past decade. These theories of systematic fraud are really unfounded fears being exploited to threaten the franchise. Continue reading this article