This is being written from the gut, it may be revised on a later date but today it is how I feel. Tuesday, June 25, 2013 on what would have been my maternal grandmother’s 93rd birthday, I was saddened by the ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court. The highest court of the land upheld the decision in Shelby County, Alabama vs. Holder, Attorney General, et. al that section 4 of the Voting Rights Act was unconstitutional. In summary what this means is that some specific states and counties primarily in the south can now make changes to their states laws with regard to voting rights without oversight of the U.S Justice Department. The problem with this is best stated in Justice Ginsburg’s written dissent “Just as buildings in California have a greater need to be earthquake proofed, places where there is greater racial polarization in voting have a greater need for prophylactic measures to prevent purposeful race discrimination.”
On Monday, June 24, 2013 the U.S. Supreme Court sent the case regarding Affirmative Action practices in universities back to the lower court. Both this and the ruling on Voting Rights Act which I should state was 5 to 4 make it seem that the United States has been cured of all that ails it. Yesterday in discussing validity of Affirmative Action, I described it as follows. A person who has a hypertension that is controlled by medicine, may think that because they have no negative symptoms, they can stop taking medication. However upon stopping their daily heart medicine the symptoms, which they had as well as higher blood pressure will ultimately return. The educational and vote suppressing symptoms of racism still exist and more so in Southern states, we as country are not yet healed.
When we forget the mistakes of our past we increase the chance of repeating them in our future. Medgar Evers; Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr; James Chaney; Andrew Goodman; Michael Schwerner and so many more individuals’ lives were lost fighting for voting rights for all citizens. I thought of them when I learned of the ruling by the court and my heart ached. There are those who may honestly believe that blatant racism is a thing of the past but I believe it very much does still exist. There is a need for oversight of some states and I don’t think it will be long before this is evident. It is now the task of the U.S. Congress to ensure that voting rights for all citizens wherever they reside is kept in place. If you follow my blog then you know my overall beliefs and I ask you to contact your Senator and Congressman demanding the need for Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution until proven otherwise.