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Riled by state-level voting law changes that it alleges are designed to suppress “the political participation of people of color, the poor, the elderly, and the young,” the NAACP is turning to the U.N. Human Rights Council for support.
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People president Benjamin Jealous and other association representatives plan to visit Geneva next week to address the HRC, a forum that frequently witnesses clashes between Western democracies and repressive states.
The NAACP delegation hopes the HRC will take up its concerns about legal initiatives such as voter ID laws passed by more than a dozen states, which proponents say are designed to prevent voter fraud but the NAACP charges are part of an orchestrated campaign to disenfranchise minority groups.
Of the council’s 47 members, 12 rank as “not free” and another 14 as “partly free” in annual rankings by Freedom House. Longstanding members include China, Cuba and Saudi Arabia, three of the world’s 17 most repressive regimes according to the Washington-based democracy watchdog. The Obama administration joined in 2009, reversing its predecessor’s policy of shunning the council.
The U.N. Human Rights Council, since its inception in 2006, has called for restrictions on free speech and ignored blatant human rights abuses in a host of countries. It has passed five separate resolutions condemning Israel -- more resolutions than the total number it passed against all of the other 191 U.N. member states combined.
It counts among its members consistent human rights violators as China, Cuba, Egypt, Libya and Saudi Arabia.
And now the United States wants to become one of the organization's 47 members.
The Obama administration claims it can reform the "rights" body from the inside out. In a statement Tuesday, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said the administration will join the council to help make it more effective as part of President Obama's desire to create a "new era of engagement" with the international community.
Since its inception, the Human Rights Council has held 10 regular sessions concerning human rights worldwide and five special sessions to denounce Israel, including issuing resolutions over the Jewish state's recent incursions in Gaza and Lebanon that exclude any mention of the terror groups Hamas and Hezbollah.
Meanwhile, it has dropped investigations into human rights abuses in a dozen countries, including Belarus, Cuba, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Liberia, said Bayefsky, who was one of the U.S. delegates to walk out of the U.N.'s 2001 racism conference in Durban, South Africa.
Originally posted by LDragonFire
reply to post by snowspirit
Everyone also knows that requiring id to vote has been used in the past to hinder the minority vote and has been determined to be racist. Wisconsin has there new set of voter id laws, then they started closing down DMV's (department of motor vehicle) in minority areas making it more difficult for minorities to acquire id's.
Decreases in property and sales tax revenues have created budgetary shortfalls for most state governments. As a result of these budget cuts, many Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offices have been forced to close branch locations, reduce workforce through layoffs, implement hiring freezes, shorten hours or days of operation, eliminate overtime, and institute work furloughs for remaining employees. In many cases, these actions have resulted in understaffed DMV offices. The states most affected by these cutbacks are California, Connecticut, Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Washington.
Gov. Scott Walker’s administration is working on finalizing a plan to close as many as 10 offices where people can obtain driver’s licenses in order to expand hours elsewhere and come into compliance with new requirements that voters show photo IDs at the polls.
One Democratic lawmaker said Friday it appeared the decisions were based on politics, with the department targeting offices for closure in Democratic areas and expanding hours for those in Republican districts. [...] Rep. Andy Jorgensen, D-Fort Atkinson, called on the state Department of Transportation to reconsider its plants to close the Fort Atkinson DMV center. The department plans to expand by four hours a week the hours of a center about 30 minutes away in Watertown. [...]
“What the heck is going on here?” Jorgensen said. “Is politics at play here?”
Several states have passed laws requiring voters to present specific types of photo identification and proof of citizenship to vote; creating new rules for voter registration drives; reducing early voting days and voter registration periods; and further preventing ex-felons from voting. The NAACP refers to these in its report as "block the vote" tactics.
[T]wo Ohio voters, including Christopher Barkley , [sic] claimed that they were hounded by the community-activist group ACORN to register to vote several times, even though they made it clear they’d already signed up. Barkley estimated he’d registered to vote ‘10 to 15’ times after canvassers for ACORN relentlessly pursued him and others. ‘I kept getting approached by folks who asked me to register,’ Barkley said….
ACORN bribed and/or pressured Freddie Johnson of Cleveland to register to vote 72 times. Johnson filled out 72 separate voter-registration cards over an 18-month period at the behest of ACORN. Johnson stated ‘[s]ometimes, they come up and bribe me with a cigarette, or they’ll give me a dollar to sign up, …The ACORN people are everywhere, looking to sign people up. I tell them I am already registered. The girl said, ‘You are?’ I say, ‘Yup,’ and then they say, ‘Can you just sign up again?’‘ He’d collected 10 to 20 cigarettes and anywhere from $10 to $15, he said. [Emphasis added]