Automatic restoration upon release 

Published 4:44 pm Tuesday, June 22, 2021

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To the editor:

My name is Hakim Muhammad. I’m a returning citizen and member of Virginia Organizing. During the 2021 General Assembly, the state legislature started the process of amending the constitution so that anyone in prison would have their rights restored automatically. Additionally, Gov. Ralph Northam restored the rights of more than 200,000 returning citizens. This is a move in the right direction, but there is more work that needs to be done.

White supremacy aims to disenfranchise minorities. First, they disproportionately imprison black and brown people. Next, they relocate black and brown prisoners into prisons in rural white districts. Step Three: They legally change their residency into the district where they are being incarcerated. Step Four: They count them in the population census of their district. Now, when white people decide how many representatives each district gets, the white communities get more because they have more people in their district by the population of the black and brown people in prison, even though they can’t vote.

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The white supremacy system is using the bodies of the black and brown prisoners without their consent. The black communities are losing power to the tricks of white supremacy. Is this slavery at its best? Of course it is. Check and see who voted in opposition to the SJ 272 (Locke) Right to Vote constitutional amendment. This amendment will end felon disenfranchisement and guarantee the right to vote to all adult Virginians who are not incarcerated.

This is the time for all of those returning citizens to register to vote. Your voice needs to be heard. The old Jim Crow system has plotted a plan. Now that you know the plan, get out and vote and put someone in office that has your best interest.

Hakim Muhammad