Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Palabra Final > Politics > The Voting Rights Act is a long way from being ‘racial entitlement’

The Voting Rights Act is a long way from being ‘racial entitlement’

LatinaLista — The yardstick used by Latino leaders to prove we have politically ‘arrived’ has been Latino voter registration and turnout at the polls. Unfortunately, that same measure of accomplishment is being used to prove to the Supreme Court that the Voting Rights Act has outlived its usefulness.

Today, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments about the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that has ensured people of color and the disenfranchised get an equal chance to cast a vote.

Critics of the Voting Rights Act say one particular feature of the bill — that certain areas of the country have to notify the government if they make even the slightest changes to voting procedures — isn’t necessary anymore and the proof is in the swelling numbers of people who register and turn out to vote.

Conservative Justice Antonin Scalia went as far as to describe it in racial terms.

Addressing the question of why Congress had extended Section 5 in 2006 with no opposition at all in the Senate, Justice Antonin Scalia said it was “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.”

Characterizing the Voting Rights Act as “racial entitlement” is both an insult to disenfranchised communities and a glaring illustration that ignorance knows no heights.

The fact that this country has gone from a point in history that necessitated legislation like the Voting Rights Act to a Supreme Court Justice who sees it as ‘racial entitlement’ is a reflection of how institutionalized racism has embedded itself in US society.

While it’s true that more people of color, low-income and otherwise disenfranchised have been able to register and vote, it doesn’t always translate that their votes have been properly counted or that these people were able to cast votes easily.

During the election, the nation saw example after example of how voters of certain precincts, namely minority, had to overcome misinformation and polling place irregularities just to cast their votes.

Luckily, Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act was in place at that time. Otherwise, no telling to what depths some people would have gone to keep others from casting a vote.

The Voting Rights Act is not another example of Affirmative Action that can be challenged to benefit only a select few. The Voting Rights Act benefits all who are at the mercy of those who think cheating is the only way for their candidate to win.

Unfortunately, to too many people that’s the definition of politics.

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  • ajain31
    March 4, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    The Voting Rights Act (VRA) must be upheld by the supreme court: Discrimination is alive today unfortunately; Liberty and justice for all is openly sabotaged and the Supreme Court is inviting trouble of great magnitudnal proportions if it dares to fail its ultimate mandate: to uphold everyone’s constitutional rights. We not only need to keep the protections in the current Voting Rights Act, it should be expanded. The numerous despicable attempts to restrict voting made during the last election cycle are proof of that. Anyone who truly believes the VRA is obsolete needs to recognize, given last years voter suppression efforts, the Jim Crowe era is biding its time, lurking in the shadows waiting for an opportunity to rear its head once again. The entire nation will speak against it because the Voting Rights Act (VRA) is not about political parties; the Voting Rights Act (VRA) is about individual rights protection. Bank on it! it is time to review; the Supreme Court’s “entitlements” as, it is no longer acting as an unbiased institution and that, your magistrates , can be amended. get up and do your job or we will make it happen! count on it! Now Even if you are dumb enough to believe that all is OK with the world and there are no reasons to have the voting rights law on the books. Then why are the the parties at opposite end’s on this ? Why are the Republicans in America trying to keep people from the poles ? Well I will tell you what I think. I think there may be a dozen or two, man and women in America that have the means to buy the power it wants to call all shots in this Country. The only way they can obtain this right now is get the people they went in office. To buy them so to say. But they know they can be stopped at the voting polls.They know the more that get out and vote there chances are reduced substantially. George Will knows this and should be ashamed. He say 47 years old. Is that old ? I don’t think so. Look at the constitution, at that II Amendment a lot older right. SS, Medicare, still very new in the big picture. But look at who wants to change them. Not working men and women, no the big bosses. They do not like to mach payments that is what this is all about. They did not like it back in the 1930s and they do not like it now. So Americans do not be fooled and all of you older people that now have this little benefit fight like h— to keep it just as it is. It just might be all there is between eating and striving !! All the republicans crapping about The Voting Rights Act (VRA) on this board and the likes of you in the REPUBLICAN House should move aside in 2014 because the REPUBLICANS are the crux of the problem. President Obama won the elections of 2008 AND 2012 fair and square but the REPUBLICANS are not allowing him to govern through their rule of RECORD number of filibusters in the Senate and the HOUSE of REPUBLICANS has achieved nothing since it came to power in 2010. In 2014 its the REPUBLICAN’s time to go and let OBAMA our democratically elected PRESIDENT rule the country and leave a legacy behind like the achievements of the 2008-2010 years when DEMOCRATS had the House Senate and the Presidency. We want the obstructionist REPUBLICANS out of the way in 2014. We want our House and Senate back in the DEMOCRATIC hands so we can govern and achieve something. All these doomsday fiscal deadlines that REPUBLICANS keep pushing on the country will haunt them in 2014!! Mark my words. March 4th 2013. Vote Democratic always!

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