Racism is an insidious sickness.
Still rearing its ugly head throughout our society in subtle ways.
White people still use the N word when they think it's safe in their own circle of like-minded bigots.
American citizens are denied housing, jobs, and business opportunities because of some prehistoric decision-maker filled with prejudice.
We have laws against that sort of thing and thankfully we have courts that will enforce them.
Here's my problem.
When racially neutral behavior is punished, we dissipate the importance of destroying true racism.
Last week, Cleveland City Councilwoman Phyllis Cleveland raised a big stink over billboards placed in cities throughout Michigan, Wisconsin, and Ohio.
She railed against billboards that said the following words.
Voter fraud is a felony with up to 3 ½ years and $10,000 fine.
The exact words on the billboard: Voter fraud is a felony with up to 3 ½ years and $10,000 fine.
Every word on that billboard is true.
According to critics, however, it was designed to suppress voter turnout in minority communities.
I have a degree in English literature and I can tell you that the only people discouraged from voting by that advertisement are in fact a minority: a very small minority.
Unless you plan to vote twice or on behalf of those who populate our cemeteries, this billboard is not meant for you.
It is a great insult to the minority community to presume that deterring election fraud is synonymous with suppression of the black vote.
It presumes that African-Americans are more likely to commit electoral crimes and thus less likely to show up on November 6 if they see this outdoor ad in their neighborhood.
Perhaps what is most offensive is that this attitude presumes minorities don't understand the difference between the legal exercise of your franchise and attempts to fix an election.
Councilwoman Cleveland, your constituents are smarter than that.
They know the difference between right and wrong.
The only people staying home on election day because of the sign are those intending to skirt the law.
Amazingly, Clear Channel Advertising agreed to remove these billboards throughout the Midwest because of the uproar from Councilwoman Cleveland.
I'm stunned by all of this.
Here are examples of real racism.
Allowing abortions to destroy more African American infants in the womb than any other racial group.
Creating a culture of welfare recipiency that condemns entire generations of families to government dependency, robbing them of a sense of self achievement.
Repeating decades of failed policies in the public schools that reward teachers unions in the face of children denied the skills they need to make it in this world.
That's what I call real racism.
Councilwoman Cleveland, do something about real racism.
Leave the billboards alone.
Stop bullying those who merely want to eliminate voter fraud.
Start demanding accountability from politicians whose political success depends on the continuing decay of the smoldering remains of the inner-city.
Let's see that on a billboard.
Have a nice day.