I’ve seen real racism. And voter ID isn’t it.

By Ken Fontenot

Raleigh, NC – Perhaps, there is nothing that infuriates me more than an argument against racism that itself is inherently racist. I am about 40 years old, but in my short life I have tasted the harsh reality of racism. I know what racism is, and I know what it isn’t.   

When I grew up in central Louisiana, there was a Klan rally in the town we shopped in, Ville Platte. When we walked up and down the local streets that had no sidewalks, we were instructed to jump into a ditch if a car came by, because someone white might hit us on purpose and get away with it. In high school, I had a white girlfriend. My mother panicked when she learned her race. She believed her father would have me killed.   

Just to be transparent, her father met me, still allowed me to date his daughter, and treated me with the utmost respect. To be fair with my mother, considering she grew up in the Jim Crow South, I understood her perspective. Now that I have clarified what racism is, let me tell you what it is not.   

Voter ID is not racist. Rather, the arguments used against voter ID are racist. For several years now, I have heard alarmist elitist leftists decry the demand for voter ID during our elections. The argument I continue to hear is that voter ID will disenfranchise African Americans and Hispanics. The black and brown people are somehow targets of unjust Republican aggression. Apparently, there are swaths of these two minority groups who don’t have identification. Therefore, Republicans will start winning lopsided victories. Clearly, these arguments fall on their face upon a brief examination. 

First, I have never, ever heard an opponent of voter ID say that Asians and poor whites will not be able to vote. Somehow, Asians and whites are far more responsible and successful than blacks or Hispanics. And unbeknownst to me, Asians and whites can acquire an ID but blacks and Hispanics cannot. This is despite the fact that ID is required for Social Security, disability benefits, social services benefits, to get a driver’s license, to enroll a child in school, to buy alcohol, and to buy tobacco.   

There has never been and never will be a call to repeal ID requirements in any of these areas because this requirement somehow discriminates against blacks and Hispanics. Likewise, when Georgia enacted voter ID in the 2021 Senate election, there was record black turnout and almost no report of people being unable to vote because of a lack of ID.   

Furthermore, NC’s voter ID law allows for over 100 types of ID, and if someone somehow does not have one of those IDs, he or she can receive one for free at the board of election, paid for by the state.   

Lastly, the Republicans Party of NC has achieve a supermajority in the House, the Senate, and state Supreme Court without voter ID requirements. Therefore such a demand serves no purpose to further the momentum of the Republican Party. Such accusations of under handedness only serve to continue to perpetuate weak arguments in order to provoke political and racial animosity. Such aims would typically upset me, but Bernie Sanders captured it the best.   

For the first time in the Democratic Party’s history, the GOP is gaining on them in the polls with the working class, blacks, and Hispanics. For arrogant leftist philosophers, such a problem might be perplexing. However, its not that complicated. Minorities are tired of being shoveled the soft bigotry of low expectations and the bitter pill of race baiting.   

All Americans want the same thing. Results. After decades of loyalty to a party that has not returned the sentiment, African Americans and other minorities are departing for greener pastures.   

I conclude that I support voter IDs. IDs will only serve to give assurance of the security of our elections in a time when public doubt in our government institutions and processes is at an all time high. Americans deserve assurance, security, and confidence in what we do on Election Day. This is one step in the right direction. 


Rep. Ken Fontenot, R-Wilson, is a United States Marine Corps veteran and former public school teacher. Ken is the lead pastor of Door of Life Church in Wilson. He is married to Francesca. Together they have three children.