Those persons from Shelby County, Alabama who petitioned to have the U.S. Supreme Court overturn Section 5 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act are much like the former slave owners after the Civil War who had sired so-called mulatto children with black slave women. After Reconstruction, they enacted draconian laws against miscegenation or “race mingling.”
Moreover, they reinforced those laws and customs with brutality and widespread lynching of mostly black men, although essentially all interracial children were the products of white men and black women who were powerless to refuse them.
The current fear of black voters in Shelby County, Alabama and elsewhere is much like the old obsession with black men as sexual predators. It is not based on fact but is imagined. Some might say it is a projection of white men who, for so many years, denied or curtailed the right to vote to African Americans and now fear retribution from empowered black voters.
There is little or no evidence that blacks misused their power or mistreated whites when granted the right to vote in Alabama. In fact, once granted the right to vote, the significant black majority electorate in Selma, Alabama re-elected white mayor, Joseph T. Smitherman, from 1965 through 2000, when he lost to a black man, James Perkins. Mind you, Joe Smitherman was mayor of Selma during the 1965 “Selma Crisis” and was Sheriff Jim Clark’s boss.
“Payback” is always intimidating, but in Shelby County, it seems that imagined “payback” is grounds for overturning Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. WOW!!
Elizabeth Brown deserved to win the recent battle against Scott Brown because she is sincere in her effort to work for all people throughout the state (“Warren, Brown vie for black votes as election day draws near,” Bay State Banner, Nov. 1, 2012)
Brown is all about sitting on the fence. His refusal to establish campaign offices in minority communities and to attend the political event sponsored by the NAACP and other community groups said it all. It’s a sad day when people of color can be paid to go against their own best interest.