Friday, June 17, 2005

Restrictive ballot access = Jim Crowe?

Speaking Wednesday night at a fund-raiser to retire the debt from his 2004 presidential campaign, Nader complained that Democratic Party powerbrokers had kept him off the ballot in such Southern states as Georgia and Virginia - which reminded him of the oppressive Jim Crow laws that denied African-Americans equal rights. "I felt like a [n-word]," remarked the 70-year-old white multimillionaire graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School.

Maybe that explains the harsh reception Nader has gotten from Supreme Court Justices Rehnquist and Thomas.

Yesterday, Nader said he was using the word in the same spirit as the Black Panthers of the 1960s: "as a word of defiance." But few were buying that explanation.

According to Al Sharpton, "If Ed Koch had said what Ralph Nader said, we'd be marching. This doesn't rise to the level of a march. It rises to the level of a wrist slap...Nader is not a racist by any stretch of the imagination."

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