From cartoonist Clay Jones about ‘Alabama Martian,’ voter ID laws, and Republicans legislating their own advantage
If you are an African American and you do not live in Alabama, congratulations.
Alabama, like other Southern red states, has strict voter ID laws. On the record, these laws are designed to prevent voter fraud. Since voter fraud doesn’t really exist, then off the record, they’re designed to prevent minority voting. That isn’t voter fraud but a Republican chicanery that goes along with their efforts to prevent minority voting through redistricting.
In Alabama, the Republican state legislature has cut spending which will greatly reduce the number of offices where one can acquire an identification. Most of the offices closing are in the most isolated areas. That is, every county where black voters comprise 75 percent of voters and the communities that overwhelmingly voted for Obama in 2012 will see those offices closed. That is 28 out of 67 counties. Eight of the 10 counties with the largest non-white populations will be without a place to get an ID.
So if you’re in Alabama and you don’t have an ID and you want to vote and you don’t have transportation, then like Forrest you’re gonna have ruuuuuuuun.
Republicans always win Alabama, and they’re still cheating. Isn’t it nice that when Republicans do govern, they legislate ways to increase their political advantage?
African Americans comprise 26 percent of the state’s population. Out of seven congressional seats, only one is represented by an African-American who is also a Democrat. The GOP holds the other six.
Just like Matt Damon in the film “The Martian,” African Americans are being left behind in Alabama. The difference is, this is intentional.
Changing gears now: I saw a funny tweet the other day I wish I had created. It said something like “between The Martian, Interstellar, and Saving Private Ryan, our government has spent a ridiculous amount of money retrieving Matt Damon.” I couldn’t have written it because I never saw “Interstellar.” I haven’t seen “The Martian” yet either.