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Take the Impossible “Literacy” Test


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#1    jugoso

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 06:34 PM

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This week’s Supreme Court decision in Shelby County v. Holder overturned Section 4 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which mandated federal oversight of changes in voting procedure in jurisdictions that have a history of using a “test or device” to impede enfranchisement. Here is one example of such a test, used in Louisiana in 1964.

After the end of the Civil War, would-be black voters in the South faced an array of disproportionate barriers to enfranchisement. The literacy test—supposedly applicable to both white and black prospective voters who couldn’t prove a certain level of education but in actuality disproportionately administered to black voters—was a classic example of one of these barriers.

Update: This test—a word-processed transcript of an original—was linked to by Jeff Schwartz, who worked with the Congress of Racial Equality in Iberville and Tangipahoa Parishes in the summer of 1964. Schwartz wrote about his encounters with the test in this blog post.

Most of the tests collected here are a battery of trivia questions related to civic procedure and citizenship. (Two from the Alabama test: “Name the attorney general of the United States” and “Can you be imprisoned, under Alabama law, for a debt?”)

But this Louisiana “literacy” test, singular among its fellows, has nothing to do with citizenship. Designed to put the applicant through mental contortions, the test's questions are often confusingly worded. If some of them seem unanswerable, that effect was intentional. The (white) registrar would be the ultimate judge of whether an answer was correct.


Attached File  Louisiana literacy test.jpg   158.95K   53 downloads


http://www.slate.com...?wpsrc=upworthy

My personal favourites are question # 1 & 10. I  probably would have flunked. :rofl:

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#2    Jessica Christ

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 07:06 PM

Sadly disenfranchisement is still being attempted in various forms. The Supreme Court ruling might seem like a setback but fortunately the largest attempts will be continued to be challenged. Unfortunately in smaller districts, such as school boards, the price of lawsuits will make that more difficult if even impossible but when it comes to statewide efforts of disenfranchisement they will be acknowledged and addressed in court.


#3    Valdemar the Great

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 07:28 PM

"in the first circle below write the last letter of the first word beginning with 'L'".

:unsure2:

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#4    DeWitz

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 10:31 PM

The Supremes have taken a bold step back into the past. Next session they'll be wearing their quaint wool wigs, to round out their atavistic obeisance to "the way things used to be." I'll retire to Bedlam.

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#5    MySummerJob

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 04:12 AM

View PostColonel Rhuairidh, on 04 July 2013 - 07:28 PM, said:

"in the first circle below write the last letter of the first word beginning with 'L'".

:unsure2:
I believe the answer would be "T"

The only word starting with "L" in that sentence is "Last" because there is no way they can be that cheap...

Could they be that cheap?

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#6    jugoso

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 05:24 AM

View PostMySummerJob, on 05 July 2013 - 04:12 AM, said:

I believe the answer would be "T"

The only word starting with "L" in that sentence is "Last" because there is no way they can be that cheap...

Could they be that cheap?

I´m sorry but you answered incorrectly. The question specifically indicates an upper case "L" so no letter should have been circled.. No vote for you! :rofl:

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#7    tapirmusic

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 04:42 PM

View Postszentgyorgy, on 04 July 2013 - 10:31 PM, said:

The Supremes have taken a bold step back into the past. Next session they'll be wearing their quaint wool wigs, to round out their atavistic obeisance to "the way things used to be." I'll retire to Bedlam.

You are actually completely wrong.  The court decided that the old law needed to be updated.  That's Progress!


#8    F3SS

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 05:35 PM

#1 makes no sense. #11 is a trick question because you have to cross out more than one number 0 to make it one million. And #10 doesn't specify the first word with the letter L in the sentence. I was trying to think of the first word in the dictionary that starts with L.

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#9    questionmark

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 05:39 PM

View PostF3SS, on 05 July 2013 - 05:35 PM, said:

#1 makes no sense. #11 is a trick question because you have to cross out more than one number 0 to make it one million. And #10 doesn't specify the first word with the letter L in the sentence. I was trying to think of the first word in the dictionary that starts with L.

The point of the test was to not let people vote, not test their literacy in case you have not noticed.

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#10    F3SS

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 05:47 PM

View Postquestionmark, on 05 July 2013 - 05:39 PM, said:



The point of the test was to not let people vote, not test their literacy in case you have not noticed.

I figured that. It's crazy that in such obvious deceit this was an officially recognized test. I was just commenting on the obvious.

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#11    questionmark

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 05:50 PM

View PostF3SS, on 05 July 2013 - 05:47 PM, said:

I figured that. It's crazy that in such obvious deceit this was an officially recognized test. I was just commenting on the obvious.

All it took at the time was a state legislature approving the procedure, they could even get away with giving the test only to non-whites. And hat is why the federal voting laws were enacted. They have now been rolled back-- whether they were still needed the future will show.

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#12    jugoso

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 06:01 PM

View PostF3SS, on 05 July 2013 - 05:35 PM, said:

#1 makes no sense. #11 is a trick question because you have to cross out more than one number 0 to make it one million. And #10 doesn't specify the first word with the letter L in the sentence. I was trying to think of the first word in the dictionary that starts with L.

questioning the validity of the test questions.....no vote for you! :rofl:

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#13    Taun

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 06:19 PM

View Postjugoso, on 05 July 2013 - 05:24 AM, said:

I´m sorry but you answered incorrectly. The question specifically indicates an upper case "L" so no letter should have been circled.. No vote for you! :rofl:

Actually the answer is "a"... The first (and only) word with a capital "L" is in the heading "Louisiana"... The instruction said nothing about a specific line of text


#14    jugoso

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 06:36 PM

View PostTaun, on 05 July 2013 - 06:19 PM, said:

Actually the answer is "a"... The first (and only) word with a capital "L" is in the heading "Louisiana"... The instruction said nothing about a specific line of text

Damn, no vote for me! :rofl:

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#15    Taun

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 07:33 PM

View Postjugoso, on 05 July 2013 - 06:36 PM, said:

Damn, no vote for me! :rofl:

Yeah... No vote for me either on several of those I'm sure...





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