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Alabama progressives warn blacks to vote or face silencing, targeting and ‘Klan’ events

Sen. Hank Sanders (D-Selma), President Emeritus of the Alabama New South Coalition
Sen. Hank Sanders (D-Selma), President Emeritus of the Alabama New South Coalition

The Alabama New South Coalition (ANSC), whose stated purpose is “to promote the general welfare of all people through independent focused organizations dedicated to progressive ideals of freedom, justice and democracy,” appears to be working to accomplish those goals through a simple method — fear.

The group is disseminating a mailer to black households around the state warning them that if they do not vote, the state will be controlled by “extremists” who will take away their “right to speak,” continuously conduct drug raids “only in the Black community,” and “honor klansmen,” among other things.

(Click image to enlarge)
New South Coalition

Background on the Alabama New South Coalition

ANSC was founded in Birmingham in 1986 and featured Jesse Jackson as its first convention speaker. One of its founders was Sen. Hank Sanders (D-Selma), who continues to serve as the group’s president emeritus. Sen. Vivian Figures (D-Mobile), the current minority leader in the Alabama senate, also serves on the group’s board of officers.

Sanders has frequently used similar racially charged campaign tactics in the past.

In 2010 he warned voters in a robocall that Alabama would go “back to the cotton fields of Jim Crow days” if Republicans rose to power.

In 2013, Sanders joined Louis Farrakhan in leading a mass protest across Alabama of conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

This election cycle, a sister organization of the ANSC encouraged its members to take advantage of Alabama’s open primary system to swing Republican elections, in spite of having endorsed a straight Democratic ticket in years past. Their efforts came up short, apparently leading them to return to these more familiar efforts to drive voters to the polls.

With very little drama at the top of the ticket, voter turnout on Tuesday is expected to be low. ANSC is likely hoping their latest tactics will swing some close elections as a result of Republicans sitting at home thinking their vote won’t matter.

RELATED: Everything you need to know about voting in Alabama

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