Posted by: kevinfortruth | May 29, 2012

If you are black, why in the heck are you living in Florida?


…and if you do not live there, why would you want to visit there?

When approaching Florida on most highways you encounter a sign like this:

I don’t know about you, but if I saw a beautiful sign like that while entering Florida, from Alabama or Georgia, I would want to jump into the nearest body of water to have fun, fun, and more fun – but I am white and that makes sense.

On the other hand, I might want to drive to the nearest seafood restaurant – but again, I am white and I know I would have no problem being welcomed in almost any seafood restaurant.

Another thing I might do, after a vacation of two, is to decide to relocate to Florida to finish out my days with gentle breezes, beautiful beaches, and fantastic sunsets – to say nothing of the great fresh seafood year round – but again, I am white and I think I would like retirement living in Florida.

A little disclaimer here – I have good friends who have retired to Florida years ago and they love it there.  The first love of my life is married and living in Florida and assures me that life could not be better for her and her clan.  I also have relatives and ex-relatives-in-law (sounds weird, right?) who frequent Florida often and they always have wonderful things to say after each visit and they back up their words with beautiful photos and videos and no so beautiful trinkets.

So, why am I differentiating white tourists from black tourists and white residents from black residents?

I would break down the differences into two categories – voting rights differences between blacks and whites and how blacks and whites are treated differently in Florida courts.

I am sure everyone remembers the 2000 Presidential election when Katherine Harris and company did everything humanly possible to keep as many blacks from voting in Florida.

Let’s start out with voting.  If you are white, the probably of you being denied your right to vote in Florida is almost nil – with nil being zero.

But, on the other hand, if you are black – all bets are off.  For example, if your name is Ruben Jones and there happens to be a Ruben Jones who is a felon in Florida, and there also is a felon in Wyoming named Rubin Jones (close enough for Florida vote purging), you might be “accidently confused” with Ruben the felon and you might not be “allowed” your right to vote – even though you have a voter identification card and have been voting at the same polling station for years.

So, you are not Ruben Jones but you are Kevin Addington Jones and thankfully there is no felon in Florida, or elsewhere across the United States, with your same name – how can you be denied the right to vote?  Do not fear, Kevin, Florida has more tricks in their arsenal to minimize your opportunity to vote. It won’t be an outright denial – but because you are black and live in a primarily black neighborhood – there will be fewer polling locations and those locations will have fewer electronic voting machines – oh, I almost forgot, some of those machines will not even be working on Election Day.  The ratio of voting machines to whites will be greater than the ratio of voting machines to blacks – i.e. there are fewer voting machines per 1,000 registered voters in predominately black neighborhoods.

Considering that fewer machines equates to longer lines, many minorities cannot afford to wait hours in line so they leave the polling place without voting because some predominately white election officials stack the deck against them.

Another dirty trick that was implemented this year in Florida and elsewhere is the requirement for a valid government photo id to vote.  On the surface, this does not seem to be racially biased and that is because most whites have a valid driver’s license or they have a passport or they have some other kind of valid government issued picture id.

Many blacks, in urban areas, do not have cars and as a result, they do not have a valid operator’s license.  Many minorities do not travel overseas or to Canada or to Mexico and as a result they do not have a passport.  This whole effort is to suppress the black vote – even though they will not say so.  Republican governors are the ones who are initiating these efforts and the logic is that there are just too many blacks in America and if they vote as a block, fewer Republicans will be elected – so the solution is to figure out creative ways to keep them away from the polling places.

Another trick that was done quite successfully in Florida was to create a huge computer generated list of “questionable voters” that were flagged for various reasons.

In Broward County, 259 people received letters implying that the computer process identified them as not being U. S. citizens and if they did not reply with proof of citizenship, they would be removed from the voter register – even though they voted in the last election.  The letters could have been sent to an old address, an incorrect address, or even intentionally to a computer generated address – all of which would not get to the voter for his/her action.  Pretty cool, huh?

There were a multitude of other reasons for hundreds of thousands of Florida citizens to receive other types of letters for bogus reasons – all of which were to delete them all if they didn’t respond with appropriate documentation.

Another cleaver trick Florida does, as well as a handful of other states hell bent on black voter suppression, is to let complainers cast provisional votes, which is a feel good thing to do but little does the voter know that his/her vote will probably not ever be counted.  It is a little like patting the voter on the back with your left hand while you are stabbing them in the back with your right hand.

Governor Scott, of Florida, is trying diligently to recreate the crimes that were committed in 2000, 2004, and 2008 – in effect, doing everything to suppress the black vote.  The gimmicks change every two years or so but the net effect is the same – “keep them blacks away from the voting booth.”

Well, I believe I have given numerous examples of how the Sunshine State discriminates against blacks in the voting booth, so let’s move on to how Florida treats blacks in the courtroom.

It doesn’t matter if they are dead or alive but it is easier if the black person is already dead – like 17 year old Trayvon Martin.   I have written several blogs about Trayvon and a few more about the incident – my last one was a sarcastic blog about things a white person could do to insure that he/she can escape conviction when they are involved in an altercation with a black person.  Here is the link:

https://kevinfortruth.wordpress.com/2012/05/25/the-trayvon-martin-tragedy-a-case-of-smoke-and-mirrors/

Trayvon’s shooter, George Zimmerman, is claiming “stand your ground” as a defense – and George is half white and half Hispanic.  There is much more to come on whether this case will go to trial or not.

One interesting thing is that Trayvon was examined for drugs, yet his shooter was not.  Why?  The “Stand Your Ground” defense is for courtrooms – it is not a defense for being arrested or not.  Was he not arrested because he was white and because his father was a retired Florida magistrate and his father’s friend was Norman Wolfinger, the District Attorney, who just happened to visit the police station the night of the shooting?  I am sure those were all just coincidences?  If you believe that, you must be white and a Republican who votes straight ticket every time.

There was another recent Florida case where a wife fired a warning shot to keep her husband at bay – a husband who had just threatened to kill her and who had beaten her in the past. Fearing for her life, she fired a warning shot as he approached her.  She claimed “stand your ground” as her defense.

The prosecutor offered her a 3 year prison sentence but she felt she did no wrong and took her chances with a trial.

What is interesting is that Angela Corey is involved in both cases.  I have read where Ms. Corey felt the wife deserved to be prosecuted because she shot the gun in the general direction where the kids were in another room upstairs and because she did not accept the deal offered, she deserved what she got.

What bothers me about this case, is that the Prosecutor gave Marissa a carrot (if she agreed to a 3 year sentence) and if she didn’t accept it, they were going to throw the book at her.  In this case, the wife felt her defense was valid and I am sure the Prosecutor hated the fact that the defense was being used and because the wife insulted them by not agreeing to go to jail for 3 years, they were going to do everything possible to make her regret that.  If they were agreeable to offer her 3 years, then why couldn’t they give her somewhere between 3 and 5 years?  In a nutshell, they used her as an example – take it or leave it, but if you leave it on the table, you are going away for a long, long, long, time. I believe that if Marissa Alexander was not black and instead she was Marsha Silverstein, a middle aged white woman from an affluent neighborhood, this never would have gotten past a grand jury.

In the Trayvon Martin case, I did not read where George Zimmerman fired a warning shot – nor have I read where George yelled a warning to Trayvon before he shot him.  Considering they were in a neighborhood where dozens of families with kids live, I wonder if Ms. Corey will take the same approach – giving George Zimmerman 20 years because he discharged a firearm where kids where living nearby.

Ms. Marissa Alexander, the wife, and mother of 3, who received the 20 year sentence is quite accomplished.  She earned both a B.S. and a MBA, and who knows, maybe her education worked against her – maybe she used her statistics and probability classes to calculate the odds of her being found guilty or not.

I will not insult blacks reading this by saying that Marissa Alexander deserved special consideration because of her social status and her educational accomplishments – that will be a slap in the face to the majority of blacks who are hardworking yet do not have the degrees like Marissa has.  You should not need a degree of higher learning to get a fair shake in a court of law.

What will be interesting is if George Zimmerman, a half/white, half Hispanic gets off based on “Stand Your Ground” while Marissa Alexander, a black woman, got 20 years using the same defense.

Keep in mind that the 911 operator told George Zimmerman to stop following Trayvon and to turn around and go back to his vehicle and wait for the police to arrive.  Zimmerman was also a Neighborhood Watch captain and that position carries a requirement to NOT carry a firearm.  Zimmerman tries to explain that he was not on duty that night but as soon as he started carrying out duties by getting out of his car to follow Trayvon, he first should have put his weapon in his glove compartment.  Why didn’t he do that?  I propose he was on a hunting trip and he was itching to take the life of one of “those blacks” who had been robbing his friends in his neighborhood.

I hope Zimmerman does not get off because of “Stand Your Ground,” but if that does happen, it will support my theory that “Stand your Ground” is really “Stand your WHITE Ground” in Florida.

All courts in Florida should be required to put a sign on the courtroom doors that says, “If you are black, do not even think about using “Stand Your Ground” as a defense.”

I personally believe that all “Stand Your Ground” laws across the United States ought to be replaced with laws that take into account all the facts surrounding a crime and do not base prosecution on the race or ethnicity of the accused and victim.

Because of the voter irregularities and illegal voter suppression activities by Republicans in Florida, I believe black Americans across the country might consider initiating an economic boycott of the State of Florida to include the following:

  1. Blacks could avoid purchasing anything via the Internet from companies based in the State of Florida.
  2. Blacks visiting Florida could refrain from purchasing anything of substance from the state of Florida.
  3. All fruit and produce grown in Florida can also be purchased from nearby states such as Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina and Louisiana.
  4. Seafood normally purchased from vendors in Florida can also be purchased from other Gulf States, including Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.
  5. Black conventions, of all sizes, such as religious conventions and large family reunions can have just as much fun in Mobile, Alabama, Gulfport Mississippi, and New Orleans, Louisiana, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and Galveston, Texas.
  6. And for anyone wanting to take a cruise, there are many ports outside the state of Florida, such as Mobile, Alabama, New Orleans, Louisiana, and Galveston, Texas.
  7.  Also, if blacks want to boycott Disney World and other theme parks in Florida, they could take their business to Disneyland in California. There are also other wonderful theme parks outside Florida like Busch Gardens in Virginia, Six Flags over Georgia, Dollywood in Tennessee, and Six Flags and SeaWorld in San Antonio.

As you can easily see, if Florida does not want to treat blacks fairly in the courtroom or the voting booth, there are ways blacks can effect change with their dollars.

…and if extreme right wing white Republicans hate the fact that blacks will be able to legitimately cast their votes in Florida unimpeded, blacks will be able to smile at those racist bigots as they exit the voting booth where they just exercised their constitutional right to vote.

Another thing, blacks can also exercise their constitutional right by initiating change to vote down those “Stand Your Ground” laws across our fine but biased country.

Once those laws are overturned maybe there will be just a few less blacks in prison and a few more blacks voting on Election Day.

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Responses

  1. “The Acorn fiasco din’t help”…. didn’t- my thoughts are faster than my fingers-LOL

  2. Hi Kevin: I live in GA- directly above Jacksonville. I won’t comment on S. FL, as I have little knowledge of what transpires down there. 1. Corey is a political machine- whatever case/decision to prosecute, etc. deemed in her best interest is what she gets involved in. 2. The ID issue: you need an ID to rent an apartment, attend school, get credit, apply/receive govt benefits, cash a check, etc. Florida Non-driver IDs are free- as in GA. The name issue is not only frustrating for blacks, many whites have the same name- all the more reason to have a state issued ID. If living in Corinne’s Brown’s district- the only folks that do not vote- are the ones who can’t or don’t want to. In Jax, as here, community volunteers will drive you to the polls if requested- and there is early voting, as well as mail in. Most of us see personality, not color. There should be a box for “jerk”.
    Having lived and taught up North and here- overall racism is much worse up North.

    • Hi Cindy; I agree, racism is not exclusive to the South. I see it everywhere in varying degrees but Florida during the past 8 federal elections, especially the two Presidential ones, Fla right wing Republicans have been doing their damnnest to suppress the black vote – maybe that does not qualify purely as racism but if the net result is to reduce or eliminate the black vote to make sure alternative candidates win (i.e. right wing republicans), what is the difference.

      I am sure Corinne Brown does everything to get the vote out – blacks and whites – she is not concerned with how they vote, she just wants them at the poll and I admire her for her efforts. I agree that there is early voting and mail in but many older people are set on election day and do not want to be confused by anything else. I know, that does not make sense but we are all creatures of habit. Many people still want their paper check on paydays even though automatic deposit is the way to go.

      It is not that the right wing part of the republican party hates blacks, they just do not want to take a chance that they will vote for someone other than their candidate. Net of that is racism.

      The ID’s have to be state issued with a photo on it. Florida website will specify exactly which cards are good and which are not acceptable.

      This is what I found on http://www.vote411.org/bystateresult.php?state=FL

      ID Needed for Voting

      To vote at the polls, you must provide picture identification that also shows a signature OR picture identification and another form of ID with your signature.

      Examples of accepted photo IDs with a signature are:
      •Florida driver’s license
      •Florida identification card issued by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
      •United States passport
      •Debit or credit card
      •Military identification
      •Student identification
      •Retirement center identification
      •Neighborhood association identification
      •Public assistance identification

      Note: I might be wrong here, but I get the impression that you might not see all of what Florida, at the state level, as obstructionism or anything unfair to blacks – I am sure some whites will also feel the pinch but when huge computer listings are run at the state level to mostly single out blacks to either delete them or make it hard for them, it is serious business.

      Bar none, every citizen has the inalienable right to vote and no one, Republican or Democrat has the right to prevent or take away that persons right to vote. The only states that are requiring photo ids are those who are headed by Republican governors – many are swing states – why?

      I surely am not saying that the average Florida citizen is racist – but I am saying that those in power in Florida at the top – right wing republicans in office and those in power do not want blacks in Florida being able to freely vote – they would rather have it be an obstacle course for blacks while whites go to polling places with a good amount of machines that work consistently.

      If that is not the case, why is Corinne Brown working so diligently to offset what the Republicans are trying to do?

      Also, some of the id’s you mention are not acceptable at the polls – I pasted a list of ids that can be used. The Republican machine is hoping that blacks come to the polls with one of the other ids that will not work.

      Oh, by the way, if they do not have a valid id that florida requires, they still can vote on a paper provisional ballot but that will do no good and is better off being thrown in the trash. Provisional ballots are only used when elections are in dispute and in court and provisional votes are closely scrutinized and seldom used.

      One good site to read up on voting irregularities is http://www.blackboxvoting.org. Note: the black in the website name has nothing to do with blacks, just the irregularities across the country, the dirty tricks to suppress democrat votes, black votes, hispanic votes, etc.

      Do some blacks vote twice? I am sure of that. Do some dead people vote? I am also sure of that. Those happen in extremely low numbers across the country – but the voter suppression efforts prevents hundreds of thousands of Americans from voting for one tricky reason or another – and that is un-American and against what our forefathers wanted and is un-Constitutional.

      Thanks for your comment – it really matters when constructive comments are made – including yours – seriously!

      • Hi Kevin: The non-driver ID mentioned for Florida is the one issued by the DMV. You’re correct- I’m more up on the N.Fl, not statewide issues. I do know the sr. centers, AARP, both parties, and other community service groups provide many rides for Seniors & others on Election Day. I really do believe most who are pushing for ID as well as legit voters want an honest election. It taints the system as a whole when dead people, illegal immigrants etc. are found to have “voted”. The Acorn fiasco din’t help matters any.
        The people who don’t bother to vote, or vote without belief and thoughtful consideration are upsetting to me as well. My grandmother raised me with the knowledge- ” if you don’t vote, you can’t complain-and if you vote without forethought, you are giving your power away.”

        • Cindy; My whole blog has NOTHING to do with any difference between Northern Florida and the rest of the state because the voter suppression that the right wing Republicans at the highest corners and power centers of Florida are state wide and at the top.

          I am also sure that Dems and Republicans want an honest election with no one voting twice and no dead voters, but the Republicans in charge of Florida want to minimize the black vote in any legal or illegal way they can – if you read my original blog I listed a few ways they have done it and they are doing it again this year.

          You seem to brush over it – you appear concerned about a few people voting twice or a few dead voters pulling the lever at the poll, but you do not seem as concerned when tens of thousands of black voters are denied at the polls for tricks and dirty politics. There are black voters who have voted in elections for years, yet the last federal election they were denied supposedly because Florida sent them a letter saying they had to prove citizenship before the next election. Sure, you can say all they had to do is do it but why did those letters go out in the first place? Dirty tricks. Also, if your name is Ruben Jones and you are a felon, Florida sent letters to all the Ruben or Rubin Jones and told them to prove they were not felons. Believe me, if there is a felon in Montana named Ruben Jones, they know his social security number and they also know the 60 – 100 Ruben Jones are not the same Ruben Jones who was a felon in Montana – just a game.

          I am wrong for describing these things as tricks, they are illegal actions.

          Believe me, lets say there are 500 Ruben Jones in Florida – why did Florida send all those letters out to make them prove that they are not that one Ruben Jones? You know the answer as well as I do – keep every Ruben Jones away from the polls – even if two of them are white – better to block the 498 of them from voting.

          I am only using Ruben Jones as an example, I am sure all the Calvin Johnson’s in Florida got a letter as well.

          This is a serious issue and that is why I took the time to research it fully. That is why the black churches and the Florida Democrat representatives are helping blacks to understand these underhanded letters and deal with them.

          The letters went out to highly black neighborhoods and that was no accident.

          There is no legal requirement to vote and I do not look down on anyone who chooses to not vote. If someone goes into a polling booth and votes straight ticket – either party – I think they are nuts – there are good and bad on both tickets – there is enough garbage to go around in both parties.

          I wish people would research candidates and vote according to their beliefs and desires – but again, it is their choice.

          We cannot legislate common sense. Acorn has done a few questionable things and they got identified for those things. There are other organizations that do things like robo calling or groups that call and say polling places have changed or have closed – those are dirty as well but if Republicans do it, it is just a dirty trick.

          Again, this has nothing to do with AARP or senior centers or groups taking people to the poll. It is when blacks get there and find out they are no longer on the register or they are told they cannot vote for one of a dozen tricky reasons – like proving citizenship or being told to go to another polling station or being told they already voted earlier in the day.
          Those tricks are criminal – don’t you agree?

          If you need a link or two that go into detail about the corrupt Republican machine in Florida, I will be happy to send you a few.

          By the way, I am white and I have only encountered prejudice twice in my life. The first time was when I signed up for the Air Force and the STEP father of my long time girlfriend told me that he did not want her dating anyone in the military. The second time was when I was a young airman and a few local citizens yelled to a group of us “dogs and airmen keep out of our town”.

          Kevin

  3. Kevin
    As we discussed earlier about these cases, it made me think of Pennsylvania. Our state is also requiring us to have a photo id this time so we can vote.

    I am also a white male who is still undecided this year. As for the “stand your ground” law, if they get rid of the law other states will follow. I am a big gun fan so I am going to be on the side of the gun rights people.

    I think what Florida is doing is wrong but what’s keeping other states from doing the same thing as Florida has done in voting?

    I do think that judges and D.A.’s treat white people differently from black people.

    As for the lady who got 20 years in prison for just shooting a warning shot, someone should start a thing on Change.org for her and maybe if enough people sign up, they might reconsider the verdict or try to get her another trial.

    • Hi Amiee; Yes Pennsylvania also implemented a photo id voting law for this fall. It was not a requirement for the primaries.

      Regarding other states doing what Florida has done in the last three Federal elections, others have but Florida has done the most to keep black voters away from the voting booth.

      Percentage wise, whites are less affected by the photo id because more whites have licenses and cars than blacks do in cities. Also, Florida put together huge computer listings, mostly of blacks, to force them into proving citizenship and other things, including the felon issue. It is well documented on the internet and if anyone doubts it, I will gladly post the links.


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