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America is Not a Post-Racial Society

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Angela Glover Blackwell. Photo by Dale Robbins

The Court went outrageously wrong in assuming we have become a post-racial America that no longer needs to be bound by the legal protections that have preserved the electoral process for nearly a half-century. Indeed, discrimination still happens, and it’s not limited just to the southern states covered under provisions of the Voting Rights Act. Discrimination happens across America: North, East, West and South. And, unfortunately, it is not rare.

The Supreme Court’s decision utterly ignores the efforts to suppress voting in 2012. With no real evidence of voter fraud, more than 30 states considered laws to make voting more difficult for African Americans, low-income communities, the elderly and people with disabilities. Fifteen states implemented such measures. The efforts did not rely on poll taxes, dogs or fire hoses, but the intent was the same. Given this trend, the last thing the Court should be doing is sending a message of leniency. Instead, they should make it clear that efforts to suppress the vote will not be tolerated.

Angela Glover Blackwell is founder and CEO of PolicyLink, the national research and action institute advancing economic and social equity. She is co-author of Uncommon Common Ground: Race and America’s Future, and contributed to Ending Poverty in America: How to Restore the American Dream and The Covenant with Black America. Blackwell serves on numerous boards, including The President’s Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

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  • lynne

    How many times Paula Dean used the N word is insignificant compared to the importance of each of us having the right to ONE VOTE. We can’t afford to sit this one out.

  • Scott TheTechguy

    I completely agree with Angela. It is VERY offensive in 2013 that our government can’t seem to respect (HELLO) Civil Rights. EVERYONE’s Civil Rights. It is even more offensive to me, as an American History geek, to remember that we fought a CIVIL WAR in this country for these equal rights, and have the 14th Amendment, Section 1 that says, BLACK AND WHITE, very clearly that ALL Americans deserve the same rights. ALL. What part of ALL don’t these haters understand? Or more like WON’T they understand. Hey – haters in the SOUTH: YOU LOST. Hey Mitt Robme voters: YOU LOST. That means you shut up, and behave and get along with the rest of us. Now! Stop hating on people, stop killing people you don’t like or disagree with. Stop using your state legislatures to hate. Your hate is NOT valid, it never has been, stop being proud of it! And most of all STOP supporting corporations trying to make slaves of almost all of us. I have worked in IT for almost 15 years and I am only now almost making what I was making when I started out. THAT is wrong too! The anti-everybody culture wars, the sit on our hands and refuse to govern, and the economic class wars and attacks on jobs in America, ALL funded by the Repugnicans need to STOP.

  • Scott TheTechguy

    Well, what IS significant about her story is that a whole list of corporations dropped her. THAT is how afraid they are of backlash from the REST of us. THAT is a good thing. It SHOULD be in our country that you can’t attack other people’s heritage, ethnicity, race, and be rich and successful doing it. We need to now take this same battle to Glenn Beck, Rush Limbigot, Pat Robertson, and everyone like that. There should be nothing left of them once we are done. No radio show, no national bestselling books, no nothing. HATE should be history. But we have to be vigilant. It’s not.
    Corporations will only do the right things in this battle when we FORCE them to.

  • drushing

    We will never become a post racial society, never. That’s not bigotry it’s just facing reality. Bigotry lives in every race creed and color. It thrives in the fringes and rears its head when a majority is present. I’m amused and saddened by the comments on here by supposedly “tolerant, loving people” toward someone who holds different views. You need to check yourselves. When the GOP was in power sitting down and shutting up was not the behavior employed by the Demos. This thinking just reveals extreme naevity and hatred.
    Requiring ID to prove you are who you say you are is a sensible step to cut out voter precinct fraud. Low income communities, it’s free and I’m sure just like every other aspect we will provide a way to even come to you just to make sure you have access. Elderly same for you, and of course you can get free ID’s now. Disabilities, no way will they be infringed. We go to unbelievable costs and measures to make sure they have access to every privilege.
    The only reason this measure would be offensive to anyone is simply the fact that they would be hard pressed to continue voting multiple times like the woman in Cleveland. Fair is fair and the more stringent usually the the fairer it is.
    This woman has not one fact, just diatribe and scary opinion.

  • edward

    This ruling is horrible. I find it hard to believe it was made without malice.

  • shabby_chic_chick

    I agree. This ruling really did seem to be created out of malicious intent. There’s definitely no humanity within this terrible ruling.

  • Rev. Constance McIntosh

    Thank you for placing this on the door mat of all America, not just the south. People scapegoat the south as if racism was localized and we don’t take responsibility for looking at the SYSTEM we all participate in, to varying extents.

  • Anonymous

    No evidence of voter fraud? what planet is the author from? A simple google search turns it up all over the place and there are actually folks going to jail. the woman is a IDIOT! Now as i have to show a ID to do much of anything including when I vote and they are free Just what is the problem? Maybe she thinks that some folks are just to stupid to get a free ID. Again the woman is a IDIOT! As for racism, I agree it exists always has and always will. Just like stupidity it is a incurable human condition. what amazes me is government and many other organizations say we must be colorblind but when you fill out any of their paperwork they want to know what color you are. Seems kind if stupid to me. Unless of course you are trying to segregate folks into groups, Just more stupidity.

  • Care2btrue

    Unfortunatly, I was told by all 3 working there that I COULDN’T VOTE! Due to the fact that I was a registered Independent “and there were no Indepndent candidates on the ballot in the AZ State election for this County”. What if I want to vote for who I believe has the most focus and dedication? “No, you still can’t vote in this election.”
    What?! Is that the way it should work? Or would I have able to go get the Sherrif and make a citizen’s arrest? One of the workers said she didn’t believe it was right, either.

  • Warren J. Warren

    We should be another nation when we get rid of the different race of people. Interracial marriage is the only way. Biracial people should be making decisions for the world. Lets make it happen. can do just that. Ain’t that right? WWW

  • voting_issues_matter

    was it a primary? Or the real deal? it makes a difference…

  • Kenny Jaeger

    Many think we may have gone backwards so far as equality is concerned since the sixties. We took some giant steps forward only to take some almost as giant steps backward. RFK, MLK and all who worked so hard and were killed for their right and decent position on civil rights have been recently trample on again and again. One half of the USA seems angry at the NAACP and their leaders and they seem to hold very little power in our cities. The ACLU is often seen as the enemy by an entire party of men who hold tremendous political power over US. 911 to often was used as justification for a fear and hatred for blacks and Muslims even as we know that 911 was about a very tiny percentage of people who attack the USA as a target because of our perhaps too capitalistic attitudes and behaviors in the world markets. When Rev Wright spoke the truth about the USA being too far right in our politics and our businesses, he became the target of the republican party revenge along with Bin Laden and gangs. Our blacks are afraid to say anything which the far right will use as proof that they (we) are un american and not True Patriots like say The Tea Party or those who have pledged their total voting rights to lobbyists like The Norquist Pledge, ALEC, Citizens United and even the US Chamber of C!

  • Kate Madsen

    I have been thinking about bias and how we can be righteously indignant of others obvious hypocrisies and blind to our own. The court has always been biased and always will be. They are not poor and do not experienced anything that would have informed their vote in the other direction and they seem to be libertarians, which is great in theory but too permissive in practice.

    There now needs to be a case that changes it from certain states having to report to ALL states having to report and changes it from race to class, because folks, it is now almost ALL about class. Judge Thomas could vote anywhere at any time. Have to take a bus? You are in trouble.

    I am not saying race is not part of it but we need wider protection now.

  • Mike Burchfield

    Well no country is. Using the bible as history Joesph was next to the pharoh in power but he had to eat by himself because it was an abomination to the Egyptians to eat with him. A sad but true fact that racisim has been around a long time and probably will not be eliminated in the next few weeks but on the other hand explain to me how this law is going to make it harder for someone to vote?