Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp in Columbus - “We’ve got to strengthen rural Georgia”
People know Brian Kemp likes to kick registered voters off the voting list. If “Democrats are working hard to register all these minority voters,” as Kemp said, then he is justified in taking their names off the rolls. Nearly 35,000 names have been removed from Georgia’s voting rolls under his watch. Much attention on these efforts has focused on the fact that 66% of those removed were minorities.
But that attention skips an astonishing fact: 34 percent of people kicked off the rolls in Georgia were white. Kemp is not just focused on keeping African-Americans away from the polls; he has prevented 10,000 white citizens from exercising their basic rights, too.
The latest effort came in Randolph County, where Kemp and his allies tried to shut down nine of 11 polling places. Randolph County is 55 percent black — and 37 percent white. These white voters should have their votes counted, too — but Kemp and the GOP were perfectly willing to leave them high and dry.
What is going on here? The national story is that Kemp has focused on attacking minority rights — but Kemp is also ready to restrict and remove white rights if it suits his purpose. If Kemp can suppress three conservative white voters in order to suppress five black voters, he will. Literally thousands of white voters have lost their right to vote so that Kemp can have his way.
The media has framed this as a black-white issue, but it affects everyone. Kemp just doesn’t like the right to vote. He will silence conservatives and liberals if he decides they are no longer convenient.
That’s what should frighten everyone about Kemp and his campaign. Kemp will repress any voters he thinks might vote against him —and their friends and neighbors, too, just in case. It is Kemp’s decision about how you will vote, and not how you actually do vote, that determines whether you have rights. Kemp is making huge assumptions about Georgians of all kinds. Thousands of rural whites have been suppressed because Kemp decided they didn’t meet his criteria.
If Kemp wins by suppressing the vote, the suppression will increase. He will not stop at silencing minority voters; indeed, he’s already shown he’s willing to throw white Georgians under the bus in order to win elections. Kemp doesn’t ask people for their vote; he takes away their right to vote. White Georgians who think Kemp’s tactics will never affect them should think again.
Burden of Proof
It is with great concern that I comment on the recent attempted assassination of the Burden of Proof. The assailants failed in their attempts, but the Burden has been seriously wounded.
The efforts began on college campuses during the Obama administration. In 2011, colleges were directed to interpret federal law regarding sexual assault cases a certain way or risk losing funding. As a result, the Burden of Proof was reduced to its lowest legal standard, which, along with other procedural changes, led to many questionable dismissals from campus.
Last week saw a large scale attack that brought the Burden to its knees. From senators to the media, a hue and cry went up that a Supreme Court nominee was guilty just because accusations were made. The burden was shifted to him and away from the accuser, even to the point of demanding that he testify first.
This is exceptionally dangerous — and scary.
Years ago, there were cases in Texas where mental health providers were sued because they furthered the beliefs of their patients that they were the victims of Satanic Cult Abuse. There was no proof whatsoever other than their testimony, but their beliefs were unshakeable, and families suffered greatly as the litigation progressed. And so we recall former AG Holder once noted, “It is not a lie if you believe it to be the truth.”
Mr. Leonard Pitts concluded that “(one or) the other has lied his or her face off.” Au contraire, no one has lied. Each has told the truth as they believe it. But it is the Accuser who must always carry the Burden by presenting proof in support.
Ties do not go to the runner. The accuser must meet the Burden. You do not decide a person is guilty merely because someone yells, “J’accuse.”