Noel Sheppard goes where most sane poeple wouldn't and uses a Feb. 6 NewsBusters post to defend Tom Tancredo's insulting, elitist, borderline racist assertion that Obama voters as so stupid they "could not spell the word 'vote' or say it in English" his call for a "civics literacy test" before being allowed to vote.
Sheppard, in responding to Rachel Maddow's criticism of the remark, tries to pretend that Tancredo wasn't alluding to the outlawed literacy tests of the Jim Crow South and that Tancredo was only talking about immigration:
Maddow was playing a little fast and loose with the facts here. After all, the federal government first used literacy tests as part of an immigration policy enacted in 1917.
It is of course correct that literacy tests were used in the south to prevent blacks from voting. However, as Tancredo's hot-button issue is indeed immigration, it's absurd to link his statement Thursday evening to racism.
But it's clear that Tancredo wasn't only insulting immigrants -- his statement about stupid Obama voters impugned all of them, not just immigrants. And if you're calling for a literacy test of any kind before being allowed to vote, you are in fact endorsing a historically racist act.
Sheppard then posts questions from a civics test on the MSNBC website and concludes: "So, Ms. Maddow, if it's not racist for the U.S. government to expect immigrants to answer these questions, is it racist to want voters to AT LEAST be able to spell the word 'vote'?" But that's irrelevant to the issue, and it's an endorsement of Tancredo's insult.
Do Sheppard and Tancredo really think that Obama voters are somehow more illiterate than McCain voters? Can they produce any actual evidence to support this theory?