Overcoming American racism: We ain’t there yet
A couple of powerful stories at The Nation deserve your attention this morning.
In the first, Rick Perlstein examines a 1981 recorded interview with the late Lee Atwater (now released publicly for the first time as part of the article) in which the old conservative henchman for the Reagan-Bush administrations explained the evolution of white southern racism in some rather disturbing terms. The conclusion: Atwater’s clumsy and offensive attempts to deny the persistence of racism only confirmed its still-powerful grip on white southerners.
In the second, Ari Berman explains the folly of the Supreme Court’s current flirtation (explained here by Sharon McCloskey earlier this morning) with doing away with section 5 of the Voting Rights Act — a law reauthorized by Congress by overwhelming margins just six years ago. To quote:
“Indeed, only a Supreme Court wholly divorced from reality would review the record on voting rights since Congress reauthorized the Voting Rights Act in 2006 and conclude that a key pillar of the law was no longer needed.”