Saturday, March 7, 2015


Fifty years ago this date; Selma and Bloody Sunday happened and the nation began to wake up and remember that the emancipation of the African- Americans which was supposedly guaranteed by the XII and XIV Amendments and reinforced by the 1970 XV “Black Suffrage” Amendment. The 1964 XXIV Amendment prohibited the “poll tax” which was still the law in five States; Virginia, Alabama, Texas, Arkansas, and Mississippi.

These Constitutional edicts plus were being honored by ignoring in other states especially in the South of the Mason-Dixon Line.  

Selma is in Alabama, but one of the worst offenders then as today was Texas the home state of an segregationist Senator who when he became President changed to one of the foremost advocates of equal civil rights.

Fifty-one years ago on July 2, 1964 the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson. The Act was the landmark piece of civil rights legislation in the United States that outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. It was intended to end unequal application of voter registration requirements and racial segregation in schools, at the workplace and by facilities that served the general public (known as "public accommodations").

Despite the August 1965 companion “Voting Rights Act”, the 1968 “Fair Housing Act”, and the more recent 1991 Civil Right Act” the rights of voting by the “minority” is to this day being challenged even obstructed in many states especially Texas. Some of the aspirants for the Presidency in 2016 are strong voices in the struggle to keep from voting* those whose race or religious beliefs differ from the reactionary right .

The problem that exists is too many of those who have the privilege of exercising their vote and voice do not do it wisely. Too many abstain or when they do go to the polls just cast a ballot along the party line that they have been instructed by local power brokers. They do not vote for the best person but for potential even perceived personal benefits in some form of patronage.

That seems to be true in Plainfield; one party, one czar, a Council whose judgment and actions seem to be just political motivated; Administrations that pay homage to patronage. 

That seems to be true in the County and above all the State where the Legislature and Congressional districts have been so gerrymandered to make them safe for the dominant party.  

Plainfielders you have all been given a right that is denied to most of the world. Use that power to be responsible; don’t waste what so many including King fought for.

*better English correction


  1. Hi Doc,

    Thanks for bringing up this very important topic. Voting Rights have been under constant attack through the years by challenging disenfranchised people’s rgiht to vote at the polls and by manufacturing a non-existent voting fraud problem as justification for voter ID laws. Since the Roberts-led Supreme Court gutted key protections of the voting rights act last year, Voter ID laws have been enacted to suppress non-white vote in the very states that were cited in the voting rights law 50 years ago. Voter suppression efforts along with gerrymandering legislative districts are the efforts of those in power to solidify their power.

    It is long since time for a national law to make voting more available to every eligible voting-age American. Elections should be held for a number of days, including weekend days and evenings, to maximize the opportunity for people to cast their vote and take part in shaping governance.

    Citizens in Plainfield and in New Jersey enjoy an open and unencumbered voting process which denied to eligible votes in many places in our own country and the rest of the world. Each and every one of us should appreciate that opportunity and take full advantage of it. In a few months, Plainfield will be in the throes of the campaigns leading up to the all-important June Democratic Primary election, which unfortunately here in Plainfield, is the only election that matters. It is possible for Plainfield to throw off Jerry Green’s corrupt control over Plainfield. Every eligible voter needs to register as a democrat so they can vote in June’s Democratic Primary and they need to vote against the candidates Jerry Green puts on the Line “A” on the ballot.

    Tom Kaercher

    1. What's corrupt about it ?

  2. Thanks for teaching me a new word, "gerrymandering". I hope as history follows out, we don't continue to need to legislate future 'acts' to carry out what former 'acts' were intended to do, in the first place. Action: just one take, let's get it right!