Hillary Clinton closed a three-day campaign fundraising swing through Texas and New Mexico on Thursday with a rare public appearance at Texas Southern University in Houston to play the race card on voting rights.
She took no questions and spoke with no reporters, but angrily complained that Texas voters can present their concealed-carry gun permits as a voter ID, but not their college student identification cards.
Clinton was received with wild applause at the historically black college, but organizers arranged the 8,100-seat basketball arena so that three-quarters of the seats were roped off and empty.
They added rows of chairs on the floor, but 15-foot-tall blue curtains draped all around blocked the view of entire sections of empty seats, leaving the impression that Clinton couldn’t fill the room.
The university didn’t provide a crowd count, but an arena security official estimated that there were 2,200 in attendance. Clinton spoke for 31 minutes with the aid of a teleprompter, alleging that ‘hundreds of thousands of registered voters in Texas’ are being disenfranchised by a conspiracy of conservatives who want to freeze out black voters.
And elsewhere, she said, in the Carolinas, election officials have changed the location and open hours of polling places in order to flummox poor and minority voters.
Clinton also complained that state and local officials in southern states have crusaded against early voting plans, same-day voter registration, and pre-registration systems that target 16- and 17-year-olds in high schools.
Changes to voting laws in the South came fast and furious after a 2013 Supreme Court decision that revoked key provisions in the Voting Rights Act.
That law’s ‘special protections,’ as Clinton put it, had forced southern states with histories of discrimination to get permission from the federal government before putting new election laws in place.
Texas moved to amend its voting laws just hours after the decision to end that system was handed down.
Texas Southern, a historically black university, honored Clinton with a public service award named for the late Rep. Barbara Jordan, the first black female member of Congress from the Deep South.
‘She was a staunch advocate for the Voting Rights Act, which had helped make it possible for her to be elected,’ Clinton said Thursday, lamenting that the federal law’s ‘heart has been ripped out’ by America’s most senior jurists.
In the wake of that decision, Clinton said Thursday, Americans have seen a torrent of ‘new laws that make it harder than ever to vote.’
She warned against ‘a sweeping effort to disempower and disenfranchise people of color, and young people and poor people from one end of this country to the other.’
Minority communities’ feelings of being especially challenged on Election Day, she said, ‘just didn’t happen by accident. And it is just wrong.’
Americans support voter ID laws, the measures Clinton railed hardest against, by large margins.
In deep-red Texas, according to a University of Texas poll in late 2014, support runs at 3-to-1.
Orlando Watson, the Republican National Committee’s communications director for black media, fired a broadside at her following the speech.
‘Hillary Clinton’s rhetoric is misleading and divisive,’ Watson said. ‘In reality, the vast majority of Americans – including minority voters – support commonsense measures to prevent voter fraud.’
‘Clinton’s shameless attacks ignore the fact her Democrat-led home state of New York does not allow early voting while dozens of Republican-led states do. Her exploitation of this issue only underscores why voters find her dishonest and untrustworthy.’
It was also revealed that Clinton’s charity accepted a substantial donation from an anti-gay African church which has likened homosexuals to the Devil.
The 2016 Presidential candidate took money for her sprawling health nonprofit from the Cameroon Baptist Convention whose official policy is that being gay ‘contradicts God’s purpose for human sexuality’.
The devout Christian organization has in the past compared being gay to committing incest and human trafficking. Its leaders have also railed against US attempts to promote gay rights in Cameroon.
Despite this, the Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Board gave between $1million and $10million between 2010 and this year, according to the latest list of donors from the Clinton Health Access Initiative.
Source: Daily Mail