DNC Chair Forced to Apologize Over Jim Crow Comments

DNC Chair Forced to Apologize Over Jim Crow Comments

DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz said in an interview that GOP state lawmakers are using voter ID laws to suppress the vote among Blacks and other groups, but was forced to apologize.

Published June 8, 2011

Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz apparently became a little overzealous earlier this week when commenting on efforts by Republican-controlled state legislators to implement stricter voter ID laws, which she was later forced to retract.


During an appearance on Washington Watch with Roland Martin, she accused Republicans of wanting to bring back Jim Crow-era laws, which didn’t go over well with the party.


“You have Republicans, who literally want to drag us all the way back to Jim Crow laws and literally and very transparently block access to the polls to voters who are more likely to vote for Democratic candidates than Republican candidates,” she told CNN contributor Roland Martin.


Wasserman Shultz also compared photo ID laws to a poll tax because of the effort and costs associated with gathering the documents required to ultimately get the state-required photo identification card.


“Just look at African-American voters as a snapshot. About 25 percent of African-American voters don’t have a valid photo ID,” the Florida lawmaker said. “The reason it’s similar to a poll tax is because you’ve got the expense. You’ve got the effort.”


The National Republican Congressional Committee issued a statement that said Wasserman Schultz “will literally say anything,” and called her remarks offensive and “absurd accusations,” CNN reports.


Monday, Wasserman Shultz issued an apology of sorts, saying she shouldn’t have used the Jim Crow analogy.


“But I don’t regret calling attention to the efforts in a number of states with Republican dominated legislatures, including Florida, to restrict access to the ballot box for all kinds of voters, but particularly young voters, African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans,” she said.


(Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Written by Joyce Jones


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