Hillary Clinton seems to have done everything but actually call Republicans racist in playing to a half-empty arena at Texas Southern University in Houston on Thursday. The Democrat frontrunner called for automatic voter registration at age 18 and demanded that felons have their voting rights restored after they’ve served their sentences.
Speaking out on behalf of felons at a traditionally black college may strike some as racist. If not, perhaps it should.
As usual, reporters may as well not even have attended, given her continuing refusal to take questions or speak to reporters.
“Clinton grabbed both microphones on her lectern and railed against Republicans, whom she said want to freeze minorities and young voters out of the election process,” according to reports:
Clinton spoke for 31 minutes with the aid of a teleprompter, alleging that ‘hundreds of thousands of registered voters in Texas’ are being disenfranchised by a conspiracy of conservatives who want to freeze out Democratic-leaning voters.
And elsewhere, she said, in the Carolinas, election officials have changed the location and open hours of polling places in order to flummox poor and minority voters.
Clinton also complained that state and local officials in southern states have crusaded against early voting plans, same-day voter registration, and pre-registration systems that target 16- and 17-year-olds in high schools.
Changes to voting laws in the South came fast and furious after a 2013 Supreme Court decision that revoked key provisions in the Voting Rights Act. That law’s ‘special protections,’ as Clinton put it, had forced southern states with histories of discrimination to get permission from the federal government before putting new election laws in place.
Texas moved to amend its voting laws just hours after the decision to end that system was handed down.
In fact, it seems that black voter participation rates actually went up after Republican-backed voting measures were implemented. But that didn’t stop Clinton from demagoguing the issue, thereby continuing to work to damage race relations with misrepresentations. Republicans were quick to respond. Republican National Committee spokesman Orlando Watson, on HIllary Clinton’s June 4, 2015 speech: “Her exploitation of this issue only underscores why voters find her dishonest and untrustworthy.”