Civil Rights are Under Siege in America

Racism in American elections in 2012? Don’t be silly! That issue was settled almost half a century ago, wasn’t it? It’s hard to believe today’s Americans could still be so unenlightened as to judge a man by the color of his skin and not by the content of his character.

After all, there’s a national holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. And any politician who mentions racism is immediately lambasted by the media for “playing the race card.”

But we should examine the evidence before jumping to the conclusion that America’s hard-won progress is safe. There’s a massive movement afoot to bring back Jim Crow and other horrors from the past.

Much of today’s racism is cleverly disguised. State laws designed to disenfranchise African Americans, for example, are presented as a remedy for voter fraud. Of course, there’s no evidence of widespread identity fraud in US elections. Even Republican legislators behind the voter ID laws admit they’re a tactic to block minority voters and defeat President Obama and the Democrats.

The situation could have even more sinister implications. The various voter ID laws passed by Republican-controlled state governments could be the first step in a far more ambitious strategy. This looks like a scheme to overturn the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

For example, a voter ID law in Texas could be the bait in a diabolical trap. The Texas law, which is blatantly in violation of the Voting Rights Act, could be designed to provoke a court challenge from the federal government. And, in an article in Colorlines (circulated by Reader Supported News today), Brentin Mock, reports:

 The U.S. Supreme Court justices …. have been signaling they may be ready to gut the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

A similar strategy could be behind the spate of anti-abortion legislation being passed by Republican state legislatures. They have a right-wing majority in the US Supreme Court and they could probably count on their justices to overturn the Roe vs. Wade decision that legalized abortion in America.

You might suppose that state legislatures are acting independently on an array of right-wing issues, from immigration and gun laws to abortion and voting rights. But the evidence says otherwise.

Activists like the Koch Brothers are known to be orchestrating a coodinated assault on American society, providing Republican allies across the land with legislative templates and limitless campaign funds.

If these billionaires and their political pawns are successful, America would retreat from the social advances of the past century. Women would be denied access to birth control and legal abortion. The social safety net would be shredded. Children would beg in the streets as they did in the days of Charles Dickens. The aged would languish in poverty and disease.  Unions would be wiped out. Workers would be subject to dangerous conditions and sweatshop pay. Immigrants from Latin America would be harrassed and exploited.

And African Americans would revert to second-class citizenship.

Photo above shows a crowd of 250,000 gathering in Washington DC in August 1963 to demand jobs and freedom for black Americans.

Click here to read Mock’s article.

Click here for background on the Voting Rights Act.