Tancredo told the audience that the country had elected “a committed socialist ideologue in the White House” because “we do not have a civics, literary test before people can vote in this country“:The opening-night speaker at first ever National Tea Party Convention ripped into President Obama, Sen. John McCain and “the cult of multiculturalism,” asserting that Obama was elected because “we do not have a civics, literacy test before people can vote in this country.”
The speaker, former Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., told about 600 delegates in a Nashville, Tenn., ballroom that in the 2008 election, America “put a committed socialist ideologue in the White House … Barack Hussein Obama.”
Given that the convention is being held in Nashville, Tennessee, Tancredo’s remarks are particularly offensive. For years, literacy tests were used across the South to disenfranchise African-American voters, who generally had illiteracy rates 4-5 times as high as whites due to historical discrimination and lack of opportunity. Unfortunately for Tancredo, the 1965 Voting Rights Act makes literacy tests illegal.
On a personal note, my father himself had to take a poll test in Mississippi in order to attempt to vote. He himself was a college graduate and a teacher, but in Mississippi they never showed black men their test results. They just told all of them they failed and couldn't vote. But my Dad took the test anyway just because he wanted to show them he wouldn't be intimidated.
I would LOVE to see Tom Tancredo try to give this same speech in front of black folks with no security, but somehow I don't think that would ever happen.