I was highly disappointed but not totally surprised by the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision that essentially tosses out Sections 4 and 5 of the Voting Rights Act.
These very important pre-clearance provisions significantly affect the ability of minorities to get equal treatment when redistricting and other actions that impact voting rights are considered.
Racism and discrimination certainly are alive and well. While many people hoped the election of Barack Obama as the first black president signaled the end to racism in the country, one need only look at the vitriolic language used by many politicians of the opposing party when discussing anything Obama has tried to do as evidence that racism certainly hasn't diminished. In fact, the many polarized positions taken against most of the administration's actions, especially against minorities holding high offices, clearly have their basis in racial animus.
One need only recall that before the last general election, 38 states enacted laws focused on or resulting in suppressing the voting rights of certain groups. This should be convincing evidence that protecting the civil rights of all people, when redistricting or laws affecting voting are being proposed, is essential to assuring the rights of all voters and all potential minority candidates.
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The Supreme Court got it wrong, and it is now up to both political parties to unite and assure timely congressional action to remedy this mistake.
Michael F. Vezeau
Sun City Hilton Head