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Letters to the Editor

Remembering segregation

Wanda Jo Stapleton July 3rd, 2013

I write with a heavy heart because on June 6, five men on the U. S. Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act, thus erasing fundamental protections against racial discrimination in voting. What the court did takes me back in my mind to the dehumanizing days of segregation in Oklahoma.

In those days, I was a teenager working as a waitress in the bus station in Checotah. When African Americans got off a bus and came up front to the restaurant section of the bus station for food, I had to tell them, “No.”

They had to eat at a counter in back, behind the kitchen, near the toilets. Incidentally, those toilets were labeled “WHITES” and “COLOREDS.”

Because of the court’s recent action, states legally restricted from doing so in the past are now free to enact stringent voter ID laws, limit polling hours, limit polling places and purge voter rolls — all in an effort to keep minorities (mainly Democrats) from voting.

—Wanda Jo Stapleton, Oklahoma City

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