Uncle Luke Calls Florida Governor’s Clemency Rules Racist

Uncle Luke Calls Florida Governor’s Clemency Rules Racist

Rap promoter, 2 Live Crew founder, and aspiring politician Luther Campbell blasted Florida’s Republican Gov. Rick Scott for pushing through a law that makes it harder for ex-felons to vote.

Published March 18, 2011

Rap promoter, 2 Live Crew founder and aspiring politician Luther “Uncle Luke” Campbell (also known as Uncle Luke), who announced last month that he’s running for mayor of Miami, blasted Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott Thursday for pushing through a law last week that makes it harder for ex-felons to vote.

Last Wednesday, Scott and his cabinet unanimously approved a new clemency policy that requires most former non-violent felons to wait five years before they are able to submit an application to regain civil rights such as voting, running for office and serving as a juror. Former violent offenders have to wait seven years.

Writing in the Miami New Times Thursday, Campbell blasted the move. “Giving virtually no public notice or warning his own cabinet, the state's leader made it ungodly hard for ex-felons to vote. Ever. Even if they have reformed. In 2004, one in five blacks here couldn't cast a ballot because of this rule. Charlie Crist began righting this. Scott has turned back the clock.”

Scott, though, says the changes will “protect public safety and create incentives to avoid criminal activity.”

Many have also voiced concern over how quickly the law was pushed through without a longer public debate. Prior to its passage, public testimony was limited to 30 minutes, with each speaker only being allowed two minutes to speak.

In his article, Campbell went on to slam the governor’s plan to hand over the state’s prison system to private corporations, alleging that it only serves to keep the vicious cycle of imprisoning Blacks going. “Inmates mean dollars. Private prison companies funnel money into the campaigns of candidates running for sheriff, judge, state attorneyand governor to assure the system keeps humming,” he wrote.

(Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images for AXE)

Written by Hortense M. Barber

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