Peter Scotto: ‘These are dark days indeed’

Published: 7/13/2021 2:45:21 PM
‘These are dark days indeed’

The recent decision by the Supreme Court upholding Arizona’s restrictive new voting laws marks the end of the Civil Rights era that began with the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1964. By neutering the most important legislative weapon in the struggle to dismantle the apartheid America of “Jim Crow,” it effectively puts an end to this country’s “Second Reconstruction.”

Justice Alito’s statement could not be clearer: “Even if the plaintiffs were able to demonstrate a disparate [racial] burden caused by [the Arizona laws], the State’s ‘compelling interest in preserving the integrity of its election procedures’ would suffice to avoid [VRA] liability.”

Alito’s ruling is nonsense on its face: “Integrity” cannot and does not exist in a democracy under laws which disadvantage one group of citizens in favor of another - laws that have been designed to suppress their vote and calculated to keep them away from the polls.

The ruling represents the culmination of a decades-long campaign against racial equality that, at least since the “Southern Strategy” deployed by Richard Nixon, has been a project dear to the heart of the Republican Party. Carefully prepared, it has finally succeeded.

These are dark days indeed. Those of us who truly believe the Declaration of Independence when it says that all are “created equal,” need to pick ourselves up, gather our courage, and together begin a “Third Reconstruction” to make these promises real for all Americans without exception.

We have no choice.

Peter Scotto

South Hadley




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