NAACP honors Tuskegee Airman, speaker warns of efforts to limit voter rights

Monday, June 25, 2012
MCHR Executive Director Alisa Warren spoke about pending laws that could require voters to submit identification at the polls during the NAACP banquet on June 23. (Eric Crump/Democrat-News)

The Missouri Commission on Human Rights Executive Director Alisa Warren compared the pending voter identification laws to literacy tests of the 1960s.

As she addressed the crowd at the Mar-Saline National Advancement for the Association of Colored People's annual banquet on Saturday, June 23, faded photos of the civil rights movement flashed on the screen behind her. Warren embraced the evening's theme "Your Power, Your Decision -- Vote" as she recalled the plight of the 1960s, the activists killed and the billy clubs, tear gas and bullets used to keep minorities from voting.

Her keynote speech echoed the MCHR mission of preventing social inequality. She noted that MCHR and NAACP's missions coincide because both organizations work to eliminate the myth of a color-blind, racism-free society.

She applauded Governor Jay Nixon for vetoing voter-restriction laws in Missouri and questioned why Americans were building barriers to their civilian rights.

She further explained the fruitlessness of the pending laws and noted voters have a better chance of being struck by lightening than being impersonated at the polls.

Tuskegee Airmen Crew Chief James Shipley was honored with the first Trailblazer Award presented by the Mar-Saline Branch of the NAACP during the organization's annual banquet Saturday, June 23. (Eric Crump/Democrat-News)

"This is a solution in search of a problem," she said.

For Warren, the pending identification requirement illustrated a pointless regression. She said requiring identification at the polls would restrict elderly, minorities, students and the poor from utilizing their citizen right to vote.

The banquet also honored several locals for their achievements in the community. Clyde Williams presented Amy and Eric Crump with a community service award. He praised the couple for their involvement with the Market on the Square and applauded Eric Crump for his work with the Bob James Jazz Festival.

"None of these pay any money, but they're doing these for the betterment of Marshall," Williams said.

Ron Monnig, left, and Cylde Williams, center, presents Stephen Allegri, right, with an award for outstanding entrepreneurship. (Maggie Menderski/Democrat-News)

Sam Moten honored Charles Ferguson with the Outstanding Educator Award. He listed Ferguson's many accomplishments and thanked him for his involvement in the community.

Ron Monnig introduced Stephen Allegri and presented him with an award for outstanding entrepreneurship. Monnig noted Allegri's efforts to implement locally owned businesses in the community. As mayor of Slater, Allegri has assisted with policies that encourage small business growth. He believes communities would be healthier if small businesses thrived Monday through Saturday and people filled church pews on Sunday.

"I accept this on behalf of all the small businesses in the community because they are the backbone of the community," Allegri said.

The NAACP awarded Guadalupe Martinez with the Josephine Lawrence Humanitarian Award. Presenter Mary Williams cited Martinez's journey to Marshall and her extreme willingness to assist her community. Martinez serves Marshall Public School's Parents as Teachers program and interprets for the Hispanic community. As she accepted her award, she thanked God for the many blessings in her life.

From left to right, Clyde Williams, Mary Williams, Virginia Huston present Guadalupe Martinez with the Josephine Lawrence Humanitarian Award. (Maggie Menderski/Democrat-News)

"I am the instrument of him," she said. "I follow his step. I try."

Sam Moten, left, presents Charles Ferguson, right, with an outstanding educator award. Ferguson is accompanied by his wife, Norma Jeane. (Maggie Menderski/Democrat-News)

Melvin Smith presented James Shipley with the Trailblazer Award. Shipley served as Tuskegee Airmen crew chief in the 332nd fighter group. As Shipley received his award, he thanked the NAACP for its dedication to the country.

Contact Maggie Menderski

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  • Editor:

    It is bad news reporting to keep deleting my posts. This is the reason why it is critical that voters must show identity prior to being able to vote:

    -- Posted by Righteous Indignation on Mon, Jun 25, 2012, at 6:49 PM
    Response by Eric Crump/Editor:
    This comment is acceptable. The previous one was not. Also, it was the first comment you've made on our site.
  • Creat an account, log on, and post your thoughts on this issue. This is a free forum, anyone can join...

    BTW, it usually takes a few minutes for the Editor to delete your post if it does not reflect the same satirical humor as his...

    -- Posted by Righteous Indignation on Mon, Jun 25, 2012, at 7:38 PM
  • Comparing Voter ID laws to the literacy tests of the 1960s is more than a bit of a stretch.

    -- Posted by Bcat on Mon, Jun 25, 2012, at 9:28 PM
  • These laws are a blatant attempt to disqualify voters who tend to vote for the Democratic party, and are a red herring that distracts from documented real voter fraud perpetrated because of the lack of a paper record of votes.

    You who speak here in favor of photo I. D.s do not show any proof of your opinions because there is not any.

    The other real fraud that should concern citizens is the militant activist Supreme Court that awards elections to their cronys.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Jun 25, 2012, at 10:31 PM
  • Bcat,

    What you're saying is that it is ok for non-American citizens to vote in American elections...if you extrapolate your thinking, then you would also be fine with other nationals voting in our elections. Sharia law anyone?

    -- Posted by Righteous Indignation on Tue, Jun 26, 2012, at 8:36 AM
  • Excuse me,

    the previous comment was intended for Oklahoma Reader.

    -- Posted by Righteous Indignation on Tue, Jun 26, 2012, at 8:37 AM
  • Exactly how many proven cases of voter fraud (non-citizens) have there been?

    -- Posted by mu-grad on Tue, Jun 26, 2012, at 1:02 PM
  • I see nothing wrong with showing proof you are a citizen of any country when you happen to be voting for your leader. A person trying to make it so just anybody can vote, is inviting our enemies to put someone in power they want.

    -- Posted by Ello on Tue, Jun 26, 2012, at 1:18 PM
  • Not to be sarcastic, but why now? What specific problem have we had electing a President since the 1790's? What illegality has occured to make it nesssary for a change?

    We waste so much time, energy, money on red -herring issues (Roger Clemens, Lance Armstrong, sharia law). In 2011-2012 the US Congress passed 132 laws, one-fifth were laws naming post offices.

    -- Posted by mu-grad on Tue, Jun 26, 2012, at 2:31 PM
  • As someone who was ENTIRELY freaked out when no ID was needed for me to change my name on the voter rolls when I got married, I'm not entirely against voter ID. I walked up, with all of my paperwork, new AND old ID, marriage license etc. You know what? When I asked and said, my name has changed due to marriage, what stuff do you need...they said, oh nothing. We'll just cross out your old name and write in your new...and it'll be fixed next time. And it was. That's scary to me.

    And after all, you have to provide proof of residence and ID when you register to vote, right?

    -- Posted by koeller77 on Tue, Jun 26, 2012, at 8:49 PM
  • Oh! Almost forget, let's also say kudos to Velda Cadwell, Kathy Connett, and Dorothy Arvizu, who were also instrumental on the volunteer committee who had the vision, drive, and time to get the Farmers' Market going!

    -- Posted by koeller77 on Tue, Jun 26, 2012, at 8:53 PM
  • Peace be on you all, People need to read about how the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America's wording was formulated.

    Both the Bible and the Qur'an were used in the "think tank" of our "founding fathers" and both of the named documents are totally "Shariah".

    Let's quit being manipulated "parrots"?

    Peace be on you all?

    -- Posted by Tadar Jihad Wazir on Tue, Jun 26, 2012, at 11:08 PM
  • Righteous Indignation, and others who are concerned about non-citizens, etc. voting, it is past time to put up, or shut up. Where is the evidence that supports it is occurring? Far too many people accept at face value the utterances of politicians declaring things like this. DO NOT BELIEVE POLITICIANS, always vett their comments.

    O. K. now I'll sit back, and wait for you folks to produce the evidence that supports your position. Be a partisan, be a participant, don't be a parrot.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Jun 27, 2012, at 11:05 AM
  • Koeller77 I too have a voter registration anecdote. It so happened that my twenty first birthday fell on the presidential election date in 1960. Back then you had to be twenty one to vote. I was an ardent JFK fan, as were many young people at the time. I had not registered to vote previously. I walked into the polling place (Elmer Hare Ford, east of the square) recieved a ballot, and voted, no questions asked.

    Meanwhile, at a polling place in Marshall that same election year, and as it turned out for several presidential elections after that, there were two sweet little old sisters, Marshall ladies, above reproach, poll workers, who were dumping the ballots of known Democratic voters in the trash. They were caught several election cycles later. Some of you older folks may remember the stink about that.

    My point is that voter fraud, locally, or nationally, far more often than not, originates within the infrastructure set up to handle elections, not with the voters. There is far more potential to do it that way; the logistics of rigging elections from within is a whole lot easier, and can change more votes with less effort, than rounding up illegal, and/or unregistered voters, and hauling them to the polls; just think of the difficulty we have in getting even legitimate voters to the polls.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Jun 27, 2012, at 12:05 PM
  • The National Republican Lawyers Association released a report documenting all the cases of voter fraud prosecuted over the last decade; three hundred and eleven. Voter fraud a threat to the nation? Not, but wait, there's more, read at the link below, educate yourself!

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Jun 27, 2012, at 12:38 PM
  • Oh, OKR -

    Don't mistake me...I'm not saying that there's rampant voter fraud. BUT, I do think that there should be some better processes in place for things like name changes, etc.

    And I do think that equating it with poll taxes or literacy tests is a bit absurd. You have to give either a SS# or DL# when you register to vote, so it's illogical to say that asking for them to produce a DL OR any ONE of a number of documents at the poll is a "poll tax" and keeping them from voting.

    -- Posted by koeller77 on Wed, Jun 27, 2012, at 1:24 PM
  • Very good link, thank you. In regards to equating this to a poll tax: many of the proposals want a voter to present a photo ID. Since some, elderly, non-drivers ( I have known people who did not get a drivers license until they were 21)do not possess a photo ID. This would require them to purchase an ID. Hence a cost to vote, which is a fee (poll tax).

    -- Posted by mu-grad on Wed, Jun 27, 2012, at 2:04 PM
  • You're welcome mu-grad.

    K-77 My take on your anecdotal experience is that the election official simply showed good common sense. Have things become so dicey in this country that election officials must be suspicious of a pleasant appearing young lady who merely stops by to change her maiden name to her new married name that they must challenge her, and ask for photo I. D.? I hope not. On what nefarious purpose could you have been embarked? LOL

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Jun 27, 2012, at 2:46 PM
  • The Republican Party has made fear, and paranoia their stock, and trade. It has been going on for a long time. Put Lee Atwater in your search engine, then put Karl Rove, the man that Pappy Bush once kicked off his campaign team because he was too crooked, and corrupt for the best of the Bushes to stomach. Just follow those searches where they lead you. If you are a fair minded person, conservative, moderate, or liberal you also won't be able to stand the nastiness, evil, and corruption that you find.

    This voter registration ploy is a classic example of what, on this front, they are up to.

    Should we be concerned about corruption in our election process? Absolutely. However do not bite at this red herring that the Republican heirarchy is promoting. It is but another of their dirty tricks that not only is intended to disenfranchise voters that would never under any circumstance vote for them, but to keep attention away from the real and present danger of electronic voting machines.

    They are manufactured by allies of the Republican leadership (google Diebold politics) and it has been proven that they can be easily hacked, the result being the changing of, or loss of thousands of votes by the mere stroke of a key, artfully done by a hacker. See this link, it should scare the hell out of you.

    We should be devoting our attention to a demand for a real paper ballot that can be manually counted, a paper trail, if we truly want to assure an honest election. Of course there is not a peep from Republican leadership about that. Perhaps it is because they are already stealing elections in this manner; there have been some curiously astounding results recently that were far removed from projections prior to the elections. You wanna get all fraidy, and paranoid, do so about that. There is good reason. Oh, and just remember if the folks you like are doing it, that the folks you don't like can too. Think about that, then get involved. When fraudulent election issues come up put the retention of paper ballots at the top of your list, and more importantly demand that your Representative, your Senator do the same.

    One last caution; never forget that though the Donkeys were Gored, it can happen to Elephants too. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Jun 27, 2012, at 3:38 PM
  • All of you not in favor of "voter identity" laws in order to determine if the voter is actually who he says he is are not big picture people.

    The bottom line is that the Democratic Party wants illegals to vote: they want their votes. It's not a "black swan" prophecy when it's the big pink elephant in the room (voting shenanigans happen in many countries around around us, do you think we are immune to the shenanigans?).

    Quit fooling yourselves into thinking it's about equal opportunity - you are compromising national security (equal opportunity does not apply to illegals). Illegal aliens will vote.

    You're full of it if you think that this is about a voting tax - it's about legality.

    I guarantee you if there were a poll about voting laws, then the overwhelming majority of people would be in favor of them.

    Oh wait, there is one:

    I am adamant about protecting our freedoms and rights - I have served in the military and have been deployed to countries where dictators's not pleasant. It's important to keep illegals out of our voting system in order to avoid a major problem (too numerous to list).

    Do not let the liberals hide behind the cloke of equal opportunity - it's bull.

    In my experience, there are five reasons why people become liberals:

    #1 They don't like themselves, so they want everyone else to suffer.

    #2 They are former hippies that are still reliving Wood Stock.

    #3 They are ultra-naive and clueless that utopian societies are in the same realm of thinking as unicorns and mermaids.

    #4 They have never had a real job and do not understand the economics of life (namely, the Wall Street Protesters)

    #5 They're less than stellar in their thought processes and take the path of least resistance in decision-making "without really thinking it out, the consequences, etc." (People against voter id laws)

    -- Posted by Righteous Indignation on Wed, Jun 27, 2012, at 4:44 PM
  • Righteous: It's obvious to me you haven't had enough experience at anything to determine such a limited number of obviously erroneous reasons people choose the liberal path.

    How's this for reasons people choose to be conservatives:

    - "I made my money and I want to keep it."

    _ "People from other countries/cultures don't belong here and I want them out of my country."

    - "I made the choice because my parents were conservatives and didn't know any better."

    - "It's all about ME."

    - "Jesus was obviously joking when he said do unto others and other such nonsense."

    We can keep this up for quite some time, but let's just leave at this, shall we?

    -- Posted by Miss Marple on Wed, Jun 27, 2012, at 5:16 PM
  • Good to see you express another opinion Righteous Indignation, more people should.

    By the way what is your opinion on electronic voting machines? Are you, like me, a bit more comfortable putting your marks on a real piece of paper with a real pencil, than pushing buttons on an EVM? You know, I bet those Wikileak kinda guys could hack them. I wonder if they have?

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Jun 27, 2012, at 5:47 PM
  • Mu-grad,

    I don't know about Missouri, but in WI, you can get a state photo ID for voting purposes for free, you just have to ask at the DMV for it and provide the same proof that you have had to do to register to vote.

    -- Posted by koeller77 on Wed, Jun 27, 2012, at 8:12 PM
  • Here's a pretty good research article on our "diversities"

    -- Posted by Righteous Indignation on Wed, Jun 27, 2012, at 9:39 PM
  • That was a good read Righteous Indignation. Thanks for presenting it. I agree with much that it said though when all woven together there were some frayed places that appeared to exhibit a Conservative bias. Perhaps that was why it was presented in a Libertarian magazine, one that I do respect I might add.

    For instance the bias that I mention is exhibited when he uses the liberal critic Michael Feingold's statement that Republican's chosen work is to destroy the human race and, the planet "which is why I personally think they should be exterminated before they cause any more harm". He uses it as an example to illustrate the blindness of liberals who can not see that conservatives have apparent core values. Using such liberal hyperbole as an example of difference between people of the right, anf left is erroneous because such folk as Ann Coulter, and Rush Limbaugh on the right exhibit the same qualities, for the same reasons.

    I also believe that the writer gave short shrift to the organic brain differences between the right, and the left; that is the fact that liberals have a larger anterior cingulate cortex, and that conservatives have a larger amygdalas in their brains; but then an article explaining the certainty of bias would not itself be unbiased.

    The points of this article is one of the reasons I tend to search for topics of mutual discernment, and concern, if for different reasons, to promote. The problem of electronic voting machines being just one. That is why I went off the established thread topic of denying voter rights to that, where accord was a distinct possibility. By the way what is your opinion regarding EVMs?

    Well, I have taken too much space in this inappropriate forum. Why don't we continue the conversation on the political blog that is graciously provided by the Editor of this paper. There are some fine minds that comment there; there is a shortage of sharp conservative/libertarians, and you might enjoy it. Thanks again.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Jun 28, 2012, at 12:27 AM
  • Wowsa! Where should I start? Chickenpotpie? That's unoriginal!

    -- Posted by CaptainPlanet on Thu, Jun 28, 2012, at 4:42 AM
  • The conversation seems to have devolved from a discussion of voting rights/voting fraud to another tired old war between liberals and conservatives. Please reread:

    And I invite everyone to take Oklahoma Reader's advice and move the off-topic stuff to the politics forum:

    -- Posted by Eric Crump on Thu, Jun 28, 2012, at 5:53 AM
  • In Missouri a non-driver photo ID will cost about $20. Nothing for free.

    -- Posted by mu-grad on Thu, Jun 28, 2012, at 4:45 PM
  • mu-grad: To be sure, Wisconsin's state photo ID's cost about $20 until we passed a voter ID law. Part of the provisions in the voter ID law were that state photo ID's be made available at no charge for people who wanted to use them as voter id's. This, of course, has not been without fuss, as apparently the DMV was not TELLING people that they could ask for it for free.

    But I do agree, until they have a free way for people to get the photo ID required, it does constitute a poll tax.

    -- Posted by koeller77 on Fri, Jun 29, 2012, at 9:40 AM
  • So I guess my question is--is this issue worth the cost? Given that the incidents of fraud are minimal (please don't say it Could happen) and if Missouri has to provide, I dont know 5,000 ID's. Is this worth $100,000 ? Again look at some of the Bills passed in the Missouri Legislature this past session--guaranteeing every Missourian the right to particpate in a rodeo, making it illegal to videotape an illegal act of animal cruelty...What should our legislators be working on? That is the question.

    -- Posted by mu-grad on Fri, Jun 29, 2012, at 3:26 PM
  • Mu-grad: I happen to agree with you that there are more pressing issues than voter fraud, as it is voter apathy rather than fraud that is rampant in this country.

    I just don't think that implementing it is as big of a deal as many make it out to be, since I have show ID to purchase cigarettes, alcohol, and cold medicine, not to mention to pick up UPS packages at their pickup hubs!

    -- Posted by koeller77 on Sat, Jun 30, 2012, at 4:37 PM
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