|Posted by Shawn Carter on June 28, 2013 at 9:40 AM|
There is a very simple reason why the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down part of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 doesn’t really matter for Homewood:
We don’t vote.
No law or government action will ever be as effective at disenfranchising African-Americans from registering to vote or voting as African-Americans are at disenfranchising African-Americans.
But as for why the Court invalidated Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, I guess the Court must have thought, "We warned Congress in 2009 that the coverage formula was stale and they didn't fix it. We have spent the last 3 years upholding Section 5 on technicalities in the law and the lawsuits, Shelby County v. Holder is as good a case as any to rid ourselves of these constant Section 4 and 5 challenges, because Congress can't fix Section 4 anytime soon anyway, and we won't have to deal with this again, for some time."
In a variety of different ways, they actually did say this:
Last week, Elwin lamented that a scant 18% of registered voters in Homewood bothered exercising the franchise in the May 21 Primary Elections. I share his frustrations.
That is the kind of result that some people fear VoterID would produce. But we can't blame VoterID. It's still in a judicial coma.
Opponents of VoterID admit that according to state elections officials only somewhere in the neighborhood of 410,000 voters could be denied the ability to cast ballots if the law is allowed to stand.
410,000 voters. Out of 8,508,015 voters. That's only 5 percent. That's five times more endangered voters than the same Commonwealth officials fessed up to just a year ago, but who's counting?
Because, come to think of it, Obama crushed Romney last year by 309,840 votes, a whopping 5.4%!
Thank goodness for the 68% turnout in that election. Even higher in some parts of the African-American community.
Which demonstrates a very important point. It's easier to steal elections when 82% of the voters don't participate.
When was the last time you heard of a case where some candidate rigged a blowout victory in his or her election?
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Homewood had a total of 6,370 residents in 2010.
Homewood has 5,128 registered voters.
Of that number, 917 showed up to vote in an election whose outcome has such direct impact on their immediate daily lives.
No action of the government is responsible for that.
The problem with voting rights isn't Congress, or racists, or jurists, the problem lies with the supermajority of us who can but do not vote.
Voting may not solve everything. That truth wasn't lost on those who made the sacrifices for us (but, sadly, it appears lost on many of us).
This is why they also sacrificed to desegregate the nation, to gain better jobs for the poor, to keep young Americans from dying in wars overseas and to participate more fully in the economic arena.
I do wonder what one man, in particular, would have to say to us today about the rights so many of our forefathers and mothers fought and died for and which so many of "we the beneficiaries" have abandoned our responsibility to.
Aaron MacGruder had a thought about that a few years ago in his cartoon:
Keep that in mind.
This, as we will go into further depth in a subsequent post, is an ever recurring theme.
Thank you for this time.
Categories: Citizenship and Governance