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Friday, August 12, 2005

JIM CROW'S BACK: Imagine white racist citizens of a southern state using every means at their disposal to discourage law abiding black citizens from exercising their lawful right to vote. How would self-styled progressives respond? History tells us the answer. Genuine progressives — individuals committed to equal enforcement of the law and equal protection by the law — would stand up for justice as they did during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. Four decades later, the battleground has shifted from Memphis to Michigan, and the radical left is proudly siding with a new generation of racists — this time with the support of state’s Democratic Party and Governor Jennifer Granholm.

DETROIT — Liberals have been beating their collective breast in recent years over the Bush administration’s post-9/11 assault on civil liberties. But Michigan Democrats–from Gov. Jennifer Granholm to the State Board of Canvassers–have joined ranks with a radical, 1960s-style Trotskyite group to deny state residents the most basic of all rights: the right to vote.

The group, which lives in a Malcolm X-inspired fantasy world and calls itself By Any Means Necessary (BAMN), has been engaged in a long guerilla campaign to prevent the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative (MCRI) from getting on the state ballot.

California businessman Ward Connerly successfully spearheaded an effort in his home state to end, once and for all, racial preferences in public universities and state government. Polls show Michigan voters support MCRI by margins of up to 60 percent, for the same reason Martin Luther King, Jr., fought Jim Crow laws in the South.

But instead of doing the hard work required in a democracy to convince voters, BAMN has been using its patented formula of political intimidation and legal harassment in an attempt to strangle the initiative in the crib. Last year, it disrupted initiative meetings on college campuses and tailed initiative signature-seekers, denouncing through bullhorns any student who approached them….

Undeterred, BAMN is now trying to invalidate the signatures. And, unfortunately, instead of distancing itself from BAMN’s thuggish tactics, the Democratic establishment in Michigan is backing them with its political muscle.

Here’s what you need to know about BAMN:

This organization is a front-group run by the extremist, Detroit-Based Revolutionary Workers League. (RWL). The RWL is a Sectarian, Trotskyists communist organization, meaning they subscribe to a particularly violent and unpopular flavor of communism. They believe that the working and student classes should rise up and overthrow the government in a violent revolution. They believe violence a legitimate means of political protest, as the name of their front-group suggests.

Detroit writer S.D. Nelzer nails the story:

Why BAMN has no use for democracy is perfectly clear. In its totalitarian, morally righteous universe, political opponents deserve no voice. Those who reject racial preferences are not honorable individuals with different views–they are "racist devils."

But what’s more troubling is the Michigan Democrats’ willingness to ally themselves with BAMN despite its contempt for the democratic process. As at the national level, there is an intellectual void, a lack of vision, among mainstream Democratic leaders in the state–a vacuum that extremist fringe groups are filling.