These laws aren’t close to Jim Crow

Published 12:19 pm Friday, April 9, 2021

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Will someone please lend President Biden a history book?

He thinks Georgia’s new voting integrity law is “Jim Crow on steroids.”

And Georgia’s pretend ex-governor Stacey Abrams says it’s “Jim Crow redux in a suit and tie.”


Come on, you guys. You’ve been watching too much CNN and MSNBC.

The crimes against equal voting rights that are allegedly being committed by Republican state lawmakers in Georgia and other Red states to suppress black votes are nothing like what occurred in the “Old Jim Crow.”

It doesn’t matter how many times it’s repeated by Biden, Abrams or the mob of liberal pundits and TV journalists.

Requiring an ID for absentee voters is not really racist. It’s not “Jim Crow 2.0.” It’s not a modern form of voter repression or intimidation.

Neither is it racist to prohibit campaign operatives from giving water or other snacks to voters waiting in line at polling places or asking early voters to get their votes in, um, earlier.

Calling the new voting law in Georgia a sign of the “New Jim Crow” is not just showing your ignorance of history and committing a gross and misleading exaggeration for partisan political reasons.

It also diminishes and cheapens the shameful awfulness of the un-American, unconstitutional and dehumanizing reality of the “Old Jim Crow.”

The original Jim Crow — in case you’ve forgotten or were never taught — was America’s 70-year regional “experiment” in apartheid.

From about 1890 to 1965, the Democrats controlling 17 one-party states below the Mason-Dixon Line created and perpetuated a separate, unequal and parallel black society.

They used the force of local and state law to oppress and humiliate blacks every day and prevent them from interacting with whites in public and private spaces – in schools, buses and even elevators.

When it came to elections, the white supremacists who ruled the Jim Crow South didn’t mess around.

They openly used violence, intimidation and any devious government means necessary to systematically prevent millions of blacks in the South from voting or even registering.

The web site of the American Black Holocaust Museum in Milwaukee has a shocking list of the brutal tactics regularly used by the white people in charge of the “Old Jim Crow” to preserve their power and keep blacks (and poor whites) from voting.

Violence was common. Blacks who tried to vote or even register were threatened, beaten, and killed. Their families were also harmed and sometimes their homes were burned.

There were literacy tests, property tests, poll taxes and frequent purges of the voting rolls. Former prisoners — who were disproportionately black — were not allowed to vote.

Most important, blacks who were brave enough to risk voting couldn’t vote in all-white Democrat primaries — the only elections that really mattered in the South when there were so few Republican voters.

The “Old Jim Crow” era of legalized segregation is said to have ended in 1965 when the Voting Rights Act was passed and blacks in the South could vote without fear.

The American Black Holocaust Museum does a good job of showing how unjust, unequal and demeaning every aspect of life was for blacks in the “Old Jim Crow.”

But unfortunately, it agrees with liberal black activists like Abrams and the Democrat Party that today’s voting laws and customs still “make it difficult or impossible for many black citizens and other minorities to vote.”

The museum thinks felons should be able to vote and complains that black and Latino voters are often still unfairly purged from voter rolls.

It also has a convoluted explanation for why the bureaucratic process of getting government-issued IDs is like a poll tax that discriminates against poor, black, brown and old people.

But at least the American Black Holocaust Museum has the good sense not to claim that the “New Jim Crow” so many Democrats see in every corner of America today is anything close to the “Old Jim Crow” on steroids.

Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan, a political consultant, and the author of “The New Reagan Revolution” (St. Martin’s Press). Visit his websites at and Send comments to