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Sunday afternoon as I walked in to the Plaza branch of the Kansas City Public Library I was asked by an elderly black gentleman if I was a registered Missouri voter, and when I answered in the affirmative he asked me to sign a petition to “get civil rights legislation on the November Ballot.”

I did what I do before I sign anything – I read it.  Then I declined to sign.  It is racist, anti-affirmative action claptrap – and they are collecting signatures using the very people such a measure stands to harm the most.  The most-excellent Fired Up! Missouri website calls the proponents of the measure Wolves in Sheet Clothing – and they have been on these fools for a while now.

Even the Kansas City Star is shaking off it’s cloak of slumber and speaking up.   (I know!  Will wonders never cease?)

Voters should skip this petition

Missouri voters could face a tricky situation when they go to the polls Tuesday: They might be asked to sign a petition supporting “civil rights” in the state.

The trick is that the petition has nothing to do with the civil rights movement. Instead, the petition seeks to place an amendment on the November ballot that would gut state-supported affirmative action programs.

Supporters of the Missouri Civil Rights Initiative claim they’re just seeking a level playing field for all residents. But they deceptively use the language of Martin Luther King Jr. and the 1960s civil rights movement in an attempt to deny minorities, women and other disadvantaged groups the opportunity to gain equal status in employment and business.

Supporters of the initiative mistakenly believe that affirmative action, an extension of the real civil rights movement, was not or is no longer necessary. But even King saw its necessity: “What America has done to the Negro, it must now do for the Negro.” That goes for other minority groups and women as well.

Yes, many women and people of color have made political and economic gains in recent decades. The race for the Democratic nomination for president illustrates that perfectly. Yet studies show that disparities still exist in the workplace and in the awarding of contracts. If Missourians really want to protect civil rights in the state, they will ignore this particular petition.

This petition is a product of anti-affirmative-action zealot Ward Connerly and the petition is to get an initiative on the November ballot that would, if successful, amend the Constitution of the state of Missouri to outlaw affirmative action.  I wish we were at a place where, as a society, we didn’t need it, but we aren’t there yet.  Sorry, but until you show me it isn’t necessary…

Connerly’s  group successfully got an initiative on the ballot in Michigan – which passed – in spite of a court finding significant voter fraud in the signature gathering process.  (They deceived people of all races, so the fraud wasn’t in violation of the Voting Rights Act.  Seriously.)

The Michigan initiative was openly supported by the freakin’ Ku Klux Klan.  You remember the Klan, those progressive vanguards in the fight for racial equality…I’m soooo sure a “level playing field” is exactly what the Klan is primarily concerned with.

Missouri voters can visit We Can Mo!  for the latest actions that are being taken to push back  against the Connerly disinformation franchise with solid information and grassroots organization.  I would encourage anyone  signing any petition to read carefully what they are signing, and do not sign anything that you disagree with, or that you don’t understand.  

And when someone asks you to sign a petition – ask yourself if the issue even deserves to be on the ballot?  If the answer is no – or if you would vote against the initiative – decline to sign.