One of the maddening things that was displayed during the 2016 presidential campaign was the tendency for Republicans to be accused of racism if they point out problems that disproportionately affect black Americans in the context of trying to find solutions.
And as Democrats have an established history of touting high poverty and unemployment rates among blacks while trying to push for more welfare spending and higher taxes, or of highlighting shootings in inner cities in the name of pushing for more gun restrictions, they are seen by liberals as compassionate for taking notice.
But when Republicans highlight the same problems, as did Donald Trump in 2016, some liberals claim such talk is just meant to embarrass blacks and stoke up racism from whites, while others deny these problems exist at all.
So the liberal Washington Post, no doubt, will receive no backlash for its recent editorial which portrays making it difficult for felons to regain voting rights as nearly synonymous with trying to prevent blacks from regaining voting rights -- even though article admits white felons outnumber black felons.
In the "Post's View" editorial titled "The Grand Old Party of Disenfranchisement," The Post rides to the defense of convicted felons by conflating the rights of criminals with the rights of blacks in taking aim at Virginia Republicans who are pushing to make it more difficult for felons to regain their right to vote.
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In its first sentence, the article accuses the Virginia GOP of trying to "suppress" the "African-American vote" in recent years: "Virginia Republicans have labored in recent years, by an array of legislative and judicial means, to suppress the vote -- specifically, the African-American vote -- in an effort to nudge a presidential swing state into the GOP column."
After noting the Republican failure to win Virginia in 2016, the article adds: "Undaunted, and still determined to diminish the electoral clout of black voters, Richmond Republicans are back at it. This time they are targeting a class of felons, disproportionately African-American, the restoration of whose voting rights the GOP would like to make as difficult and protracted as possible."
The Post then claims that the "intent" of voter ID laws is to "erode the electoral power of minorities" as it continues: "A proposed constitutional amendment ... is of a piece with Republican legislation in recent years to tighten voter ID laws, whose intent and effect are to erode the electoral power of minorities, who tend to vote for Democrats."
After recalling that the new restrictions would require convicted felons to pay all court costs related to their conviction before they could vote again, the Post argues that blacks would have more difficulty paying because "the poorest ex-convicts" are "disproportionately African-American" as the editorial frets: "It means the poorest ex-convicts, who are also disproportionately African-American, would have the hardest time regaining their voting rights."
The article then suggests the Republican state senate majority leader is merely "pretending" that the move is not motivated by "bigotry" as it adds: "The measure's sponsor, Majority Leader Thomas K. Norment Jr., pretends that no bigotry informs the amendment, just as previous generations of Virginia officials touted the poll tax and literacy tests as racially neutral."
Norment is then quoted: "The court system, he huffs, 'does not impose that sentence [depending on] whether you are black, white, red, purple, or green.'"
Then comes the liberal cliche suggestion that discrimination against blacks is the reason that a disproportionately large percentage of those convicted are black as the article adds: "In fact of 206,000 felons whose rights Governor Terry McAuliffe (D) tried to restore en masse last year, nearly half were black, as compared with a fifth of the state's overall population."
The Post does not seem to consider that it is reasonable to suspect that those who show blatant disrespect for the law by committing serious crimes against society are less likely to make voting decisions based on a desire for society's best interests, thus making it rational to delay their ability to choose its leaders.