Picture This

Picture identification is used in everyday life: cashing checks, credit card transactions, purchasing alcohol and tobacco, senior citizen discounts, etc. It is a necessary item for functioning in our society. Having a picture ID card is a part of life. So what is it about being poor, elderly, or a minority that makes getting a picture identification card so difficult? Driver’s licenses are $12.50, and state ID cards are $5. Very affordable. They are available in person, by mail, or through the DMV’s website.

Are Will Moredock and other opponents of the voter ID bill claiming that poor, elderly, and minority citizens are incapable of functioning in society? (“The State GOP Strikes Back: After losses, Republicans plan to limit voter access,” April 1) Do they think so little of these people as to feel that they can’t fully function in society and obtain a South Carolina-issued driver’s license or identification card?

Taking the time and making the effort to get the ID is not too much to expect if our democratic republic is to thrive. To claim that the voter ID bill suppresses voter access is absurd and bogus. In the name of civil rights, the bill’s opponents are manipulating these groups with demagoguery and fear-mongering; they are tapping into people’s fears that somehow they are being abused or denied their rights. Moredock puts the voter ID bill in the context of voter suppression and intimidation of the past.

The voter ID bill is not an attempt to discourage, suppress, or intimidate. The bill calls for a minimal requirement, a state-issued identification card or driver’s license, for voter verification. There is simply no reason why every South Carolina citizen cannot present a picture ID at the polls on election day to verify identity and residency. For absentee voting or early voting, verification is still necessary to ensure a smooth election process.

Mr. Moredock mentions the “right-wing” accusations of impropriety by ACORN, but he fails to mention the unfounded accusations by left-wing groups about Republican efforts to disrupt and illegally manipulate elections. He also fails to mention the intimidating presence of two Black Panthers at a Philadelphia voting precinct to protect voters.

The voter ID bill doesn’t hold a different standard for any group or segment of the populace but makes a reasonable requirement for all those who choose to participate in the political process. Those who don’t bother to get one probably wouldn’t bother to vote anyway.

R. Paige “Duffy” Lewis

West Ashley

Mind Your Manners

I am not a person who usually writes to a paper. Actually, I think this is my first time. However, I did want you to know that I found the obscene gesture in your April 8th Haire of the Dog column inappropriate and offensive. (“A Message to Mark Sanford: So you’re not going to take the $700 million, well…” by Chris Haire)

Here it is, four days before Easter, and you have to pollute the atmosphere with nastiness. Just what we needed — more negativity in our lives! Perhaps Gov. Sanford should take the money and use it to set up an etiquette school for ill-mannered columnists.

Patricia L. O’Connell

Mt. Pleasant

Choice Cuts

Dwayne Green’s guest column sets out to condemn school choice as an option for our kids but never quite gets around to the discussion. (“Bad Choices: The school choice agenda isn’t what it seems,” April 1)

He rails on about pressure groups, political ploys, money, Brown vs. Board of Education, white flight, etc., marching in lock-step with the educrats and unions touting racism as the cause of our failure and money as the only solution.

Finally, he sneers at state Sens. Robert Ford and Eric Bedingfield’s recent thoughtful commentary in support of school choice, declaring that “using black politicians and ‘community developers’ to push the school choice agenda is almost hysterically comical.”

What the heck is this all about?

Our schools are not about all this nonsense. They are about educating our kids so they have a fair chance at a decent future. Our public schools sure don’t do this, and Mr. Green doesn’t even consider whether or not school choice will help our kids get a better education. He doesn’t even mention academics. He basically says don’t try school choice because it may be bad for the public school system. Huh?

Our public school system barely graduates 70 percent of the students here in Charleston, and it is ranked nearly the worst in the nation. It has condemned generations of our children to lives of poverty or crime and imprisonment. It should not be protected.

The unions fight change, the politicians fight change, the educrats fight change, many of the teachers fight change, and obviously Mr. Green is fighting change. Why? There is a word for doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results; the word is insane.

Our public school system is a total, dismal failure, and it doesn’t make any difference whether 19th century slavery, the history of racism, greed, political power, money, or just plain meanness is the cause. It has ruined the futures of countless thousands of our children and continues to do so. What in God’s name is the point of defending it?

Terry W. Ryan

West Ashley

Stay cool. Support City Paper.

City Paper has been bringing the best news, food, arts, music and event coverage to the Holy City since 1997. Support our continued efforts to highlight the best of Charleston with a one-time donation or become a member of the City Paper Club.