"It sounds like a plot point from a bad ’90s cyberthriller, but my email inbox might have a sense of humor,"Jamelle Bouie wrote Tuesday for Slate.
"Let me explain. On Tuesday morning, I received an alert from the Brennan Center for Justice, announcing its new report on the prevalence of voting restrictions. In the four years since the 2010 election — when the GOP swept state houses across the country — 22 states have passed restrictive voting measures, from voter identification laws to limits on early and weekend voting. While some restrictions were overturned by the courts or weakened by the Justice Department, others remain on the books, with provisions set to take effect before the midterm elections. 'In 15 states,' notes the Brennan Center, '2014 will be the first major federal election with these new restrictions in place.' . . .
"Republican voter restrictions are most likely in places where black people vote the most. . . ."
Bouie continued, "After the Brennan Center alert, the next message in my inbox was a press release from the Republican National Committee. The subject line? 'RNC Chair Reince Priebus To NABJ.' The NABJ, for those unaware, is the National Association of Black Journalists, the largest organization of journalists of color in the nation. Priebus is visiting — along with Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz—as a speaker for the NABJ's annual convention, where he will speak on the GOP's outreach to black Americans. . . ."
Bouie also wrote, "By now, I’m sure you see the humor here. Announcement one: Republican-pushed voter restrictions target blacks and other minorities. Announcement two: Republican leader plans to talk outreach with black journalists who — among other things — report on voter restrictions. . . ."
Republicans have not always accepted NABJ's invitations. During the last presidential campaign, this column noted, "The Republican National Committee and the putative GOP standard-bearer, Mitt Romney, have ceded the National Association of Black Journalists convention to the Democrats, rejecting invitations to send speakers or panelists that the Democrats eagerly accepted."