Letters | March 24, 2021

1

This is what voter suppression looks like

Regarding “We can and must fight voter suppression” (Opinion, March 18): I support Michael Gelman’s clarion call to fight voter suppression and to pass the HR1 Voting Rights Bill introduced by our Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.). The Jan. 6 insurrection, in which the entire legislative branch of our government was attacked, was nothing less than an attempt to resurrect Kristallnacht and Tulsa, Okla.-like attacks against America’s democratic process.

The follow-up nationwide voter suppression efforts are an across-state, nationalized, coordinated effort to disenfranchise voting-age American citizens who are students, African Americans, Hispanics and other minorities, seniors and those of low income. This is analogous to the voter ID laws that erupted during 2011-2012, but on steroids. Attorney General Merrick Garland should investigate both “sword” and “pen” attacks against our democracy.


MARK CZARNOLEWSKI
Silver Spring

Like getting carded at the liquor store

Regarding Michael Gelman’s piece: Who could disagree with the premise that the right to vote is fundamental to our democracy? I remain mystified however how an author who claims to be concerned with our basic rights of democracy fails to mention the right of citizens to vote.

https://www.washingtonjewishweek.com/enewsletter/

As a naturalized American, I fully understand why I have to produce evidence of who I am to perform everyday tasks such as buying a travel ticket, purchasing alcohol, entering restricted areas and so forth. So I am confused by the claim that a similar requirement to vote is suppression.

While it should be every citizen’s duty to exercise their right to vote, every official responsible for voter registers must ensure that only legitimate citizens are on the roll. It is ridiculous to suggest that ensuring that those who are deceased, have moved from the state or are not citizens are removed from the voting register is a Republican attempt at voter suppression. Every political party should support such an effort to ensure the democracy we enjoy continues into the future.


Ensuring that only those who have the right to vote are the only ones who can vote is not suppression.

STANLEY ORMAN
Rockville

The bully you know

Regarding “Nikki Haley talks defending Israel, leaving Iran deal” (March 18): Nikki Haley’s record in defending Israel as the United Nations ambassador under former President Donald Trump is commendable. However, she undermines her intolerance of bullies by not speaking out against the bullying initiated by her former boss.

In a 2020 article, The Washington Post wrote: “Trump’s words [and] those chanted by his followers at campaign rallies … have been wielded by students and school staff members to harass children more than 300 times.” If Haley wishes to become the Republican party’s 2024 presidential nominee and win in the general election, she needs to recognize that Asian Americans such as herself are among the victims currently suffering from the racism against non-whites that was fueled by her party’s current standard bearer.

BARRY DWORK
Alexandria

More on Leonard Kravitz

Many thanks for bringing the 125th anniversary of the Jewish war Veterans to the attention of your readers (“Jewish War Veterans at 125” Editorial, March 18). Not mentioned, however, is that JWV is the oldest active veterans organization in the United States. That said, the paragraph about Leonard Kravitz had some significant errors in it. His award of the Medal of Honor was the result of a Defense Authorization Act that called for the review of Jewish-American and Hispanic-American veterans of World War II, the Korean and Vietnam Wars to ensure that no prejudice was shown to those deserving the Medal of Honor. This re-examination process had been pursued for over half a century by Mitchell Libman, Kravitz’s childhood friend, whose research led him to conclude that a number of Jewish recipients of the Distinguished Service Cross, of which Kravitz was one, should have been nominated for the Medal of Honor.

Libman convinced Rep Robert Wexler (D-Fla.) to propose the “Leonard Kravitz Jewish War Veterans Act of 2001.” Because a fire had destroyed many military records at the Military Records Center in St. Louis, it took over 10 years to reconstruct the records of those DSC recipients who were reviewed. Finally, of the hundreds of records reviewed, 28 men, of whom Kravitz was the only Jew, were selected, and on March 18, 2014, Pfc. Leonard Kravitz’s niece, Laurie Wegner, accepted the Medal of Honor on her uncle’s behalf from President Barack Obama.

As the docent at the National Museum of American Jewish Military History, it was my distinct privilege to be interviewed about this award that night on the PBS “News Hour” by the late Gwen Iffil.

SHELDON A. GOLDBERG
Lt. Col. USAF (Ret.)
Silver Spring

1 COMMENT

  1. Although I sympathize with Mr. Orman’s take on proper voter identification, the reality is that government generated photo IDs are not held by upwards of 11% of otherwise eligible voters, with a disproportionate skewing toward those of lower income and racial and ethnic minorities (and particularly seniors and people with disabilities). Cost and access—transportation, long drives….— are factors that make the obtaining of these documents literally out of reach for many of these citizens.
    So, in reality, voter ID laws ARE suppressing the vote, and are a solution in search of a problem since significant voting fraud (including those alluded to) is not a consequential issue—-but plays well with those who may embrace Trumpian falsehoods and hyperbole.
    The constitutional precept that ALL citizens shall be able to cast their votes is among the most sacred of our
    democratically derived rights. We should make this process easier: I hope we can all agree on that.

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