Lt. Gov. Robinson erroneously advocates for Voter I.D.
By Cash Michaels
When controversial Black Republican NC Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson testified before the Congressional Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties on Thursday, April 22, from his opening statement, he could not pass up alleging that Democrats were dishonest and no good.
“Just a few days ago, the Vice President Kamala Harris went to the Woolworth counter in Greensboro,” Robinson told the panel. “Do you know who wasn’t there? Do you know who wasn’t invited? My good friend Clarence Henderson, who was a civil rights icon. He sat at that counter, and endured suffering and pain to make sure that Black voices were heard. And why was he left out? Because he is of a different political persuasion.”
First of all, by all accounts, Vice Pres. Harris’ visit to the historic 1960 Woolworth lunch counter held in the International Civil Rights Museum in downtown Greensboro on Monday, April 19th was not an official part of her visit to the Triad, but rather an impromptu visit, so the only people with her were those part of the welcoming committee, namely Melvin “Skip” Alston, chair of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners and co-founder of the civil rights museum, and Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman, president of the NC NAACP an old friend of VP Harris.
Clarence Henderson is a conservative Black Republican who sat at the infamous Woolworth counter on Feb. 2, 1960, one full day after Ezell Blair Jr. (who now goes by Jibreel Khazan), Joseph McNeil, Franklin McCain and David Richmond - the four Black students from N.C. A&T University - sat there on Feb. 1st, 1960, to protest racial segregation then.
Henderson also touts that he did not vote for Barack Obama for president even though Lt. Gov. Robinson holds Obama’s historic election as the first Black president as one of the reasons why he is “proud” that Black people have accomplished much despite the systematic racism he says is now a thing of the past.
Which is why Robinson says he is a strong advocate for voter ID.
“Today, we hear Georgia law being compared to Jim Crow, that Black voices are being silenced, and Black voices are being kept out,” Robinson alleged to the Congressional subcommittee from prepared notes.
“How? By requiring free ID to secure the vote…which is absolutely preposterous. Am I to believe that Black Americans who have overcome the atrocities of slavery cannot figure out how to get a free ID to secure their votes? That they need to be coddled by politicians because they believe we cannot figure out how to make our voices heard. Are you kidding me?”
The Lt. governor went on to say that, “the notion that Black people “…must be protected from a free ID to secure their votes is not only insane, it’s insulting.”
Lt. Gov. Robinson’s portrayal of “free ID” as something African Americans should embrace as positive is nothing new, but the facts are not on his side.
Outside of Republican protestations that voter ID should be required to prevent against massive voter fraud, none has ever been manifested per in-person voting. Especially after the November 2020 presidential elections when then Pres. Donald Trump and the Republican Party charged that he lost re-election because of unfounded voter fraud.
Studies show that low-income voting-age Americans are least likely to have legal, government-issued voter identification, even if it is free, because many do not have the documents required to secure them, like birth certificates for elderly Black citizens.
Per the federal courts, Republicans in North Carolina knew this when they passed voter ID legislation in 2013. Federal courts cited Republicans with targeting African Americans “with surgical precision” when it came to voter suppression laws like photo ID requirements.
Also, in recent years, Republicans have admitted that they seek to shrink the number of people voting in order to guarantee their elections. That is part of the Georgia Republican voting legislation strategy after losing two U.S. Senate seats to Democrats, and the state to President Joe Biden. That is all why over 40 other states are considering voter suppression legislation in the aftermath of the Nov. 2020 election, officially called “election integrity laws.”
Here in North Carolina, a trial continues in state court regarding the 2018 voter ID law is constitutional because, again, it is alleged, it seeks to disenfranchise Black and other voters of color who normally would not vote to elect Republicans.