Spencer Overton recent wrote what looks to be a powerful book on voter suppression. Folks can talk all they want about how the Democrats must “reach out” to white evangelicals, about how they must come up with a message that speaks to “red state values.” But I believe the fundamental issue for Americans is and has been minimizing vote-jacking. I haven’t read Overton’s book yet, but I plan to, and will possibly assign it to my class in the Spring semester.
With that said though, I disagree with Overton’s assertion that the re-authorization of the Voting Rights Act represents a major victory. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those all-or-nothing types. I don’t need the revolution to come to claim our successes. But it seems to me that if anything, the re-authorization of the Voting Rights Act is a minor success at best.
Because the Voting Rights Act did little or nothing to protect black voters in FLorida in 2000, in Ohio in 2004. A major victory would’ve occurred had a series of powerful amendments adding NEW protections appropriate for today’s political climate. Granting cities the resources to provide the same level of voter protection that wealthier (GOP-supporting) suburbs receive. Though there was opposition to its passage, the symbolic value of it–even to the GOP–meant that it was highly unlikely that the VRA was ever in any real danger.
Adolph Reed has been arguing that we’ve been in a war for over 100 years against the same forces. Around 40 years ago, we thought the war was over…when all that happened was that there was a temporary cease-fire.
(Given my last post about black-on-black crime it may seem like I’m picking on the blackprof folks. I’m not. I just don’t read many blogs.)