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As I sat down to have dinner with my family, I noticed that my 2-year-old did not look well. This was surprising to us considering that moments before, he was dashing through the yard with his older brother.
We were alarmed to discover he had a 105-degree temperature. We decided to take him to the emergency room. Thankfully, after a battery of tests, it was determined that he did not have anything life-threatening. He was assigned some very strong medicine.
It was when I went to get the medicine that I had a first-time experience. Apparently I could not purchase this medicine for my child without providing a valid ID showing that I was over 18!
It’s interesting all the things that require an ID. Activities such as purchasing certain medicine, alcohol or tobacco require a state ID. Travel through an airline requires ID as well. Opening a bank account, applying for a job or renting a house also requires ID. Recently in Wilson it was determined that to enroll a child in school requires valid IDs on the behalf of the guardians. This is reasonable as are all of the other activities that require an ID.
Why is it considered unreasonable to have an ID in order to vote? I hold that it is not unreasonable.
Some argue that requiring an ID is voter suppression because it targets poor minorities. Well, this argument is fallacious and emotionally charged. First, those who are poor are likely receiving the benefits of some of our social programs such as housing, medical aid or food stamps. Guess what? In order to receive those benefits, you have to have an ID.
How is requiring an ID to vote targeting poor minorities when those same people must have an ID to receive government aid? Where’s the argument that our social services departments are targeting the poor by doing things decently and with propriety?
Lastly, why are poor minorities — instead of simply poor people — always the scapegoat of fallacious arguments? As an African-American, I’m sick of people using my race to divide my country. I stand for all Americans. I also stand for voter ID.
The writer is pastor of Bethel Baptist Church and a candidate for N.C. House District 24.