The US Department of Justice has ordered the halt of efforts by Florida to purge their voter rolls of non-citizen voters.
As is usually the case, this effort has been branded as racist, if not directly by the US DOJ, then by pundits and bloggers who have reported the story.
Florida calls the effort non-partisan, but I really don’t want to argue that point. So, let’s just go ahead and assume, for the sake of argument, that the effort is partisan motivated and FL is not just trying to do a non-partisan clean up. Let’s say that the Republicans are behind this clean-up effort because they believe the purge will be in the best interest of the Republican party.
I’m thinking that even any Democrats reading this are probably with me so far.
Now, before going further, let’s find some common ground on defining what would make this action racist. Racism is to hold members of one race above another and, by definition, one race below another. A racist act, would be an act where the motivation is race based for the purpose of helping the preferred race and/or hurting the other race. Again, I stress that the motivation for the act must be race based for it to be a racist act.
So, the question becomes this: Are the Republicans primarily motivated to eliminate voters from the rolls who 1) vote Democrat or 2) are members of a minority group?
To believe a partisan motive in the Florida voter purge situation is racist, you must believe that Republicans would not be trying to purge a white group of voters that primarily vote Democrat if they could identify such a group.
This is where I think the racism argument clearly falls apart. Either party (Republican or Democrat) would try to clear the voter rolls of anyone they thought would vote against them, regardless of race, if they felt they had grounds (e.g. non-citizens, felons, etc) to do so. If non-citizen Hispanics voted primarily Republican, you’d see the Democrat party pushing for such a purge in any state where they had control of the Secretary of State’s office.
One last point must be addressed. Often, an action or law is supposed to be racist because some minority group is “disproportionately represented” in the overall group affected by the action or law. This argument has been raised in decrying the so-called “Florida voter purge.” This logic simply doesn’t stand. One might just as well say that if 90% of bank robbers are members of minority groups, then laws against robbing banks are racist. Further, being a minority should never be a shield one can use to defend against having the law enforced against you.
I’m left wondering what argument the Democrat/Liberal groups would be left to make if the majority of illegal immigrants in Florida were white and being purged. Regardless, the fact that the majority of non-citizens on the Florida voter rolls may happen to be Hispanic, does not make enforcement of the law, that voters must be citizens, racist.