“Now, I don’t think that’s attributable to the fact that it is so much clearer now that we need this. I think it is attributable, very likely attributable, to a phenomenon that is called perpetuation of racial entitlement. It’s been written about. Whenever a society adopts racial entitlements, it is very difficult to get out of them through the normal political processes.”
The U.S. Supreme Court is reviewing the Act because of a lawsuit brought by Shelby County, Alabama. Attorneys for Shelby County claim that the Act has essentially worn out its welcome because the nation has a biracial president and plenty of non-Caucasians in positions of power. If it isn’t for the fact that the state of Alabama has a vitriolic history of voter suppression and intimidation, the lawsuit might have some validity. But, the images of White police officers beating Black people protesting for their right to vote keeps swinging through my mind. Despite the election of Obama, some Republican-dominated districts have made an attempt in recent years to reconfigure some areas that could ensure GOP wins. Many of these areas are in the Southeastern U.S. where – if anyone has done their research – racial discrimination was more entrenched just a half century ago. Selma, Alabama is the site of one of the most vicious attacks on unarmed citizens by police in U.S. history.
It doesn’t surprise me that Scalia would make such a statement. As far as I know, he’s never experienced firsthand the feeling of a water hose against his face just because he wanted to be treated as a human being. Then again, neither have I. But, the Voting Rights Act and its predecessor, the 1964 Civil Rights Act, were meant to ensure that. I guess Scalia – sitting up on his ivory throne – still hasn’t figured that out.