Today, is a shameful day. It’s the day the Supreme Court struck down a key component of The Voting Rights Act of 1965 effectively gutting the bill’s impact: Specifically as it relates to the map that determines which states must obtain federal permission before altering their voting laws. I hope there’s a backlash to this “Supreme” stupidity. This is like granting pardons to repeat offenders and then taking it on faith that they’ll promise to to be good. Bear in mind the voter shenanigans that took place during the last election cycle with people waiting for 12 hours or more merely to cast a vote–primarily in districts populated by people of color.
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia are the original nine states sited by the Act. Rather than narrowing down the Voting Rights Act–it’s a shame it couldn’t have been increased–most notably to include Florida–but that’s not what the Supremes were called upon to pass judgement. If they were, lets not overlook the insanity taking place in Michigan, Wisconsin, Maine and other mythological kingdoms.
Now, all that remains is to watch the baboons in the House of Representatives try and agree on how to reconfigure the national voting map in such a way that it can best favor a Republican return to the Leave it to Beaver world of yesteryear. But in America today, June and Ward Cleaver might be a mixed race couple peacefully eating Cheerios–much to the chagrin of the bigots around the corner–who wish the “Cleavers” didn’t have the right to vote or appear in TV commercials.
Justice Anthony Kennedy was the tie-breaker, which was particularly disappointing, as he has been known to make sense on occasion. The Voting Rights Act directly effects the aforementioned nine states, all of whom have a shameful history of racial discrimination, but there’s plenty of shame to go around. Here in Pennsylvania, where I live, billboards and pamphlets were produced in Spanish–which would seem like a step in the right direction–except that all those materials somehow listed the wrong date as being election day. It was just another slimy stunt like “bean counting” and literacy tests as prerequisites to voting.
The Voters Rights Act has been routinely renewed, and most recently in 2006, but the Act was based on a 1972 demographics map that includes the Alabama county who first complained that they were being unfairly targeted by the law for their own past sins. Alabama took the case all the way to the Supreme Court where five of the nine “Justices” felt it was their responsibility to set back racial voting equality by a half dozen decades. Roberts pointed-out data that indicates black voter turnout now exceeds white turnout in five of the states sited in the original law. It will be curious to see if that factoid changes once they’ve let loose the hounds. This ruling gives white supremacists a fighting chance to once again “fix” voting results in their favor by emboldening them to further block and intimidate voters with whom they disagree. It helps clear the path for corrupt officials to impose poll taxes, institute discriminatory ID laws and host an entire variety-pack of electoral misconduct to thrive once again unabated. Come on voters, don’t you think everybody should have to guess how many jelly beans are in the jar before they’re granted the right to vote? Our activist judges seem to have it out for the voting process–lest we forget the foolhardy embarrassment that is ‘Citizens United.’
Chief Justice Roberts said: “Our country has changed, and while any racial discrimination in voting is too much, Congress must ensure that the legislation it passes to remedy that problem speaks to current conditions.” Yeah, right. I’m sure Roberts cares deeply–as would Clarence Thomas if only he realized he was black. Singing the praises of the Act he just participated in gutting, Roberts went on to say: “There is no doubt that these improvements are in large part because of the Voting Rights Act–The Act has proved immensely successful at redressing racial discrimination and integrating the voting process.” What Roberts failed to mention is the set-backs this new ruling will cause–and the unforeseen abuses that will occur that everyone should have seen coming.
The late President Lyndon Johnson, who signed the Voting Rights Act into law in 1965 plans to be available for comment any moment now. He’s currently spinning around in his grave making ready to burrow up to the surface where I hope he spends the evening floating above Chief Justice John Robert’s bed rattling chains and making the bed curtains blow about.
Roberts, in a token statement of racial harmony, mentioned how Philadelphia, Mississippi, where three men died violent deaths while trying to register black voters in 1964 now has a black mayor. So does Selma, Alabama, where police beat hundreds of people marching in 1965. Both of those events happened during my lifetime, and they still seem awfully “fresh” to be discarded as nothing more than past history. So that makes everything OK in Justice Robert’s worldview–you know, history is so… so… you know… “yesterday.” Yeah, I’m sure things are gonna be the very picture of harmony leading up to the next election in Louisiana. And the House of Misrepresentations is going to be every bit as “fair and balanced” as FOX News when it comes to drawing-up voting districts.
President Obama is quoted as being “deeply disappointed” by the decision. Well duh.
But what can we expect with the likes of Justice Antonin Scalia considers voting rights as the “perpetuation of racial entitlement” continuing to comment in tongues that “it is very difficult to get out of them through the normal political processes.” So in other words, just cut to the chase and toss fairness under the bus.
“Things have changed in the South.” Claimed Chief Justice Roberts, not mentioning which “south” he was referring to. “Blatantly discriminatory evasions of federal decrees are rare.” Yeah, “rare” to well done. In other words: “cooked.”
When you vote in the upcoming midterms, and this time you will vote in the midterms, remember the three civil rights workers, James Earl Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner who were lynched on the evening of June 21, 1964 by members of the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan for attempting to register African American voters.
– Disassociated Press, 6/25/2013
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