September 30, 2004

Black civil rights activist suggests blacks not "technologically savvy" enough to use electronic vote machines

Joanne Bland, director and co-founder of the National Voting Rights Museum and Institute in Selma, AL, says that black voters in Florida and elsewhere will be disenfranchised because they are not "technologically savvy."

"The computers really terrify me. The electronic voting -- the new machines -- I think it will turn off a segment in my community, particularly the elderly. We are not as technically savvy, and we are afraid of machines like that, and they (African-Americans) probably won't go [to the polls] and they probably won't ask for assistance, said Bland, who spent the last week in Florida.

"It is going to turn them off totally and I want that to stop," said Bland, who also serves as a spokeswoman for the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for Public Accuracy, which predicts that "several million voters" may be "deprived of voting rights again" in 2004.

When asked if she preferred low-tech punch-card ballots that produced the controversial hanging chads in Florida in 2000, Bland responded, "Now that was low technology to who? People that have been privileged to learn technology? There have been lots of changes in the United States, but if you look at the statistics, our biggest block of voters would be between 40 and 80, so when did those people have access to any kind of technology?"

Bland's insult is not lost on all blacks.
"I think it's insulting to imply that African-Americans are unable to comprehend or assimilate modern-day technology," black GOP consultant Tara Setmayer said.

"As a registered voter in Florida, I am familiar with these touch screen voting machines,and they're very easy to understand, very voter-friendly," Setmayer said. "Her claim is absurd," she added.

Bland is trying to grasp at straws, and insist that any move that lies "off the plantation" of liberal thought is a move backward.

She, like so many others in the "Soul Patrol" and elsewhere, would rather see black voters intimidated and shift blame for that intimidation to whites in general, and conservatives in particular. And we're supposed to be the bad guys? Yeah. Right.

(More coverage at Booker Rising)

Posted by mhking at September 30, 2004 07:52 AM

This story just solidifies my thoughts that we are still fighting the civil war. Democrats still are enslaving blacks and want to continue to do so. Although not literally, they are definately doing it idealogically.

Could you imagine a republican making that kind of statement that blacks were not technologically savvy enough to use electronic voting machines?

Wake up people.

Posted by: chris at September 30, 2004 08:09 AM

If pushing buttons terrifies them, how do they switch stations on their car stereos? Telephones must be extremely terrifying... thank goodness for rotary phones.

Posted by: Laurence Simon at September 30, 2004 10:29 AM

Where do these people come from? It sounds really idiotic.

Posted by: Lola at September 30, 2004 01:41 PM

Barbara Milkulski is Black?

Posted by: DarkStar at September 30, 2004 10:40 PM


Posted by: Michael at September 30, 2004 11:06 PM

This is disgusting. She's actually saying that black people are too stupid to touch a computer screen.

Posted by: kimberley at October 1, 2004 11:31 AM
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