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The Beacon Journal's, and my favorite, music writer, Malcolm X Abram, included this in his Enjoy column today.....
"If you engage me in the street, or more likely, a bar or a club, please refrain from using the phrase 'post-racial America.' Right now in 2013, the concept is a boldface lie and at best a fantasy goal that "We" as a nation and a species are still very far from achieving, and one that a sizable portion of "Us" frankly aren't interested in achieving...."
No doubt, Abram is referring to the Zimmerman verdict. And rightly so.
X captured the essence of conservative/Republican viewpoints today concerning race-relations and discrimination based on race.
It was not six months into Obama's first term in 2009 when the Republican Supreme Court ruled in the New Haven, Conn. case that WHITES were being discriminated against in a firefighter-hiring dispute.
That case signaled the Court's slant on 21st century discrimination in America. Instead of minorities, and particularly black Americans, being discriminated against in public employment or voting.....now it's majority whites who are being discriminated against.
And isn't that what we heard in the Zimmerman case? Regrettably, conservative media turned George Zimmerman into the victim and Trayvon Martin into the perpetrator.....even though Martin was profiled, stalked and murdered....for walking home while black.
The point here is that conservative whites in America are fed up with 50 years of corrective measures for over 200 years of inhuman brutality to blacks in America. Sure, they say, the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act passed in the 1960's were necessary THEN.....but everything is all better now.....we're...."post-racial America."
Of course, that is fiction. Yes, the U.S. has made progress since the 60's. But in light of the Zimmerman verdict, black parents still have to instruct their children, especially male children, to behave differently around police and authorities than white parents instruct their children. Young black males today are profiled with a presumption of guilt unlike anything white males experience. When it comes to incarceration....discriminatory bias against black males is even worse. One can call that paradigm a lot of things.....post-racial ain't one of them.
But that propaganda message from conservative whites in the land.....that America has now arrived at the post-racial gate.....and if anyone is being discriminated against or persecuted today, it's white Americans......is taking hold in our legal system.
When the conservative activists on the Supreme Court struck down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, Republican Party Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the decision that while voting discrimination based on race has not ended entirely, any continuation of the pre-clearance of new southern state voting laws is more discriminatory than schemes to stop minorities from voting in those southern states.
In his ruling, Roberts cleverly painted a picture of a "post-racial" America, which, at least to him, Alito, Thomas, Scalia and Kennedy,.....must be convincing. Here's how Republican Chief Justice Roberts put it in his ruling....
At the same time, voting discrimination still exists; no one doubts that. The question is whether the Act’s extraordinary measures, including its disparate treatment of the States, continue to satisfy constitutional requirements. As we put it a short time ago, “the Act imposes current burdens and must be justified by current needs.”
Readers may not be aware of this....there is not a law or a constitutional precept that prohibits "disparate treatment of the States" by the federal government. There isn't. States are treated differently by the feds all the time.This is exactly the point Justice Ginsburg made in her dissent. Republican Roberts simply made the whole thing up.
White-controlled southern states, according to Roberts, were being discriminated against by pre-clearance rules in Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act. Think about that. An historic Act to prevent voter discrimination against black Americans in southern states....voter discrimination which still continues to be a problem in exactly the states originally designated by the VRA.....was turned on it's head to mean that white-controlled states were being discriminated against by the Act itself.
Two more points here. 1) With the repeal of the Voting Rights Act, the 5 activist conservatives on the Court were assisting the Republican Party which put them on the bench in the first place. Without pre-clearance laws in place.....southern strategy states, without doubt, will create new restrictions on minority voting,...what am I saying, they already are....thus maintaining the GOP's grip on power in the former slave states. Sound like "post-racial" America to you? Sure, the DOJ can still investigate voter suppression and discrimination after the fact....but that's the point isn't it?.....it will be after the fact.
2) By deferring to imaginary "states rights", again, by turning the intention of the VRA on it's head, John Roberts vindicated the white supremacy conservative crowd out there who have been moaning and complaining about how the big bad federal government has been persecuting majority whites and awarding "taker" minority groups with privileges they don't deserve. In other words, just like any run of the mill GOP official today, John Roberts ruling striking down Section 4 of the VRA was an exercise in feeding white conservative GOP-base voters ahistorical and nonsensical red meat.....to buoy their future electoral hopes.
"Post racial".....my ass.