Democrats are in a tizzy because Republican Fran Millar wants fewer African-American voters to show up at the polls. Apparently, this is racist. After it was announced that early voting stations would be open on Sunday, October 26 in a predominantly black part of town (and that African-American churches were being encouraged to bus congregants to the voting stations after church), Georgia Republican representative Fran Millar made his displeasure very apparent:
Now we are to have Sunday voting at South DeKalb Mall just prior to the election. Per Jim Galloway of the AJC, this location is dominated by African American shoppers and it is near several large African American mega churches such as New Birth Missionary Baptist. Galloway also points out the Democratic Party thinks this is a wonderful idea—what a surprise. I’m sure Michelle Nunn and Jason Carter are delighted with this blatantly partisan move in DeKalb.
Is it possible church buses will be used to transport people directly to the mall since the poll will open when the mall opens? If this happens, so much for the accepted principle of separation of church and state.
Of course, taken out of context, this sounds racist. That is how most Democrats have taken it (of course). And it was ill-advised from a PR standpoint for Fran Millar to say it like this. But if you look at some of Millar’s other comments, what you see is that he takes issue with the partisanship inherent in choosing the early voting location. He is not against African-Americans. He is against Democrats.
He even admitted that he was, as a Republican, wanting to give Republicans a better chance of winning elections. African-Americans are, in fact, generally Democrats. So… What’s really wrong with what Fran Millar said? Nothing. It just sounds bad. What he said was racial. But it wasn’t racist.
The real racists are the Democrats who picked the early voting station. Of course, their racism will not be considered. So I’ll make it explicit. They chose this polling station precisely because African-Americans would be in greater numbers there. They assume that black people will toe the Democrat party line. To them, black people are just votes. The only reason they are against voter ID laws or neutrally located voting stations is that they want black people to keep voting for them. If black people stopped voting Democrat, this pretend solidarity would quickly evaporate.
I fail to see how Millar’s perspective on black people is any different than a Democrats. They both assume black people vote Democrat. Millar just wanted his party to have a fighting chance. He also made it clear that he thought the early voting station choice was divisive. In Millar’s own words:
For the third time in recent months Governor Deal appointee Interim CEO Lee May has disappointed those of us that hoped he could help bring the county together.
The fact is that Millar wants a politically neutral location for the early voting polls. He doesn’t want to make it more difficult for black people to vote as such. Although, as he himself made clear, he would rather it be impossible for black people to vote if they are all going to vote Democrat. But it really has nothing to do with their skin color. All Fran Millar is asking for is an equal opportunity for both sides of the aisle to be represented. And his only sin is that he chose very poor words to say it.