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June 24, 2009

Voting Rights Act: Clarence Thomas Puts On His White Robe

Earlier this week, by an 8 to 1 vote, the high court decided that the time wasn’t quite right to discard a provision of the act that requires most Deep South states and more than 12,000 municipalities to seek permission from the Justice Department before changing polling places or times or reshaping electoral districts or any number of other things that could make it tough for blacks and other minorities to vote. Of course, the court narrowed the act a bit by lifting the pre-clearance provision for the Texas water district that brought the lawsuit and by allowing municipalities that have a clean record to ask for a bailout.

A surprisingly unified court found a compromise that allowed it to sidestep questions about whether the key provision of the law is constitutional, therefore avoiding a divisive showdown with Congress, which just three years ago found that the 1965 act was still needed. 

The court’s eight white justices – even Scalia – decided not to gut the act that made it possible for blacks across the South to vote without having to recite the Constitution word for word or without having to guess how many bubbles were in a bar of soap as a prerequisite to vote.

Only Justice Clarence Thomas, the court’s lone African-American, found the provision unconstitutional.

According to Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas Black voters no longer need voting protection.  According to Thomas, the South has changed enough so that the Voting Rights Act was no longer needed. He said, “The violence, intimidation and subterfuge that led Congress to pass Section 5 and this court to uphold it no longer remains.”

Clarence Thomas is a complete ass because things have not changed that damn much; if he read the newspaper on election day he would know what continues to happen!  Of course black voters no longer encounter Ku Klux Klansmen or racists armed with guns at polling stations or are asked ridiculous qualifying questions as they did during the Jim Crow days but today there are more subtle things being done that will disenfranchise blacks and other minorities from voting. 

In the 2008 general elections blacks in Georgia (where Thomas is from) and other Southern states would show up to vote to the polling place listed on their voter registration cards to find that the polling station had been recently moved to a neighborhood that is five miles away – making it impossible for them to get to the polls before closing since many were working class and they had to work and take public transportation. There were many polling stations that opened in black and minority neighborhoods but had no machines or had broken machines plus a plethora of unbelievable voter disfranchisement scenarios. This was just 7 months ago!!!

A look at the electoral map shows that the above scenarios aren’t born of paranoia, but of reality. Currently the Republican Party – a party that built its ranks by playing to the fears of Southern whites – has largely been isolated to the Southern region of the United States. John McCain carried states such as Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Texas. Those states have every reason to fear huge turnouts of black and minority voters since that could most probably upset the outcome in certain political contests and further loosen the Republicans’ hold on the south.

Myers Anderson, Clarence Thomas’ grandfather who raised him often said to Thomas, “Don’t shame me. And don’t shame our race.”

There is no way of knowing what Myers Anderson would think of his grandson’s performance as a Supreme Court Justice.  Anderson, whom Thomas called “Daddy” died two days before his 76th birthday in 1983 while Thomas was still chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Would Myers Anderson, a black man who struggled mightily to do for himself and who, according to Thomas, routinely put up his property as bond to bail student protesters out of jail, take pride in his grandson’s service on the high court?

Would “Daddy” be able to reconcile the steadfast support that he gave the local NAACP chapter in Savannah, Georgia with his grandson’s votes on race and civil rights-voting issues, which Thomas’ black critics have characterized as traitorous?

How would “Daddy” feel if he could hear people of color say the man he helped raise from childhood should be ashamed of himself for having dishonored the seat Thurgood Marshall held?

Shame on Clarence Thomas.  His vote against the Voting Rights Act that allowed his grandfather “Daddy” to vote will forever be his legacy.  Shame on Thomas.

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6 Comments »

  1. In the 2008 general elections blacks in Georgia (where Thomas is from) and other Southern states would show up to vote to the polling place listed on their voter registration cards to find that the polling station had been recently moved to a neighborhood that is five miles away – making it impossible for them to get to the polls before closing since many were working class and they had to work and take public transportation.

    Didn’t these voters receive notification in the mail that the polling place had changed? Two years ago, I had the polling place changed in our precinct from a Republican gun club (yes, there were guns being fired) to a more peaceful and neutral location. All the registered voters received notification from the County Board of Elections of the change in voting location. Now, I must say, the Judge of Elections is a Democrat and she posted notices at the prior location as a reminder to the voters. From what you stated, the polls were change on or very near election day so that voters didn’t have time to be notified of the change.

    Clarence Thomas is an uncle tom who sexually harassed Anita Hill and several other women. He is a “white wannabe” and hopefully a dying breed.

    The election of a racially mixed person to the highest office in the United States has changed many things. I notice more racial diversity in TV commercials. The upcoming generation will look at this racism and ask themselves “WTF was that all about?”.

    Comment by Cats r Flyfishn — June 24, 2009 @ 8:32 pm | Reply

    • Cats – thanks for helping me to clarify. The black communities which I’m referring to had their polling stations relocated at the last minute or without notification – that’s why the Voting Rights Act has to be in place for now.

      The example you used about polling stations in your community changing but the voters receiving proper notification is exactly the way it’s supposed to happen in every community here in America.

      How can we want to butt into other country’s elections but ours are less than perfect. But I digress.

      Thomas has deep psychological issues and so much self hate that is is frightening. Very, very, very sad. He might as well join the KKK and bleach his skin color and call it a day. Sad.

      I agree with you Cats — things have changed for the positive since President Obama was elected. This might sound unusual but to me I see less of a fear factor, more of an immediiate respect and more embracing of diversity in general. I like you also see a very obvious change in commercials etc — there are more blacks and minority included. Of course there are the crazies out there who are scared of diversity and inclusion but I’m hopeful. 🙂

      And I love what you said, “…the upcoming generations will look at racism and say WTF…” — how sweet it is.

      xo!

      Comment by Paulette — June 24, 2009 @ 8:59 pm | Reply

      • First of all, it was interesting to see Justice Thomas vote opposite Justice Scalia because I wasn’t sure if he knew how.

        Have race-related situations improved during the past 40+ years? Sure, but that doesn’t mean we’re there yet. Actually, we still have a long way to go.

        Interestingly, the concept of race was developed by humans against other humans. Hmmmm …

        Comment by afrankangle — June 25, 2009 @ 8:06 am

      • Frank – things are much better but there is LOTS of room for improvement.

        I am encouraged by Cats statement that future generations will be flabbergasted by the thought that racism once existed.

        I was also amazed that Thomas vote opposite Scalia. Shocking. Someone needs to exile Thomas to The Congo…

        Comment by Paulette — June 25, 2009 @ 9:52 am

  2. Justice Thomas just did it again … 8-1 in the strip search case of the middle school student.

    Comment by afrankangle — June 26, 2009 @ 7:55 am | Reply

  3. Spot on. I was upset when I heard of this vote by him but not surprised. He is a strict constitutionalist giving very narrow interpretation to many of the parts of the Constitution that Congress used to extend the Civil rights legislation of 1965. The most dangerous form of racism I believe is actually the subversive. Because people foolishly believe it is gone, or explains it away with perfectly logical explanations, thus weakening the argument or position of those that stand up and declare its injustice when it raises its head in the 21st century. Its hard to progress when you think a problem no longer exists.

    Comment by SpkTruth2Pwr — June 28, 2009 @ 7:53 am | Reply


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