Augusta’s 1972 school desegregation order was lifted this week. A judge ruled Augusta has changed markedly, and the case’s goals had been met.
Even the plaintiffs’ attorney had agreed.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the 1965 Voting Rights Act was out of date and needs work – because so much has changed in America.
As The Washington Post observed, Chief Justice John Roberts captured that fact in noting that “in 1965, white voter registration in Mississippi was nearly 70 percent and black registration stood at 6.7 percent. By 2004, a greater percentage of blacks than whites were registered to vote in the state, and that was true in five of the six states originally covered by Section 5” of the law.
Liberal reaction to the high court’s ruling was predictable, but no less disappointing. One editorial cartoon opined, ridiculously, that “Jim Crow” had been let loose from a bird cage. Other sky-is-falling pronouncements echoed through the media.
Poppycock. The Voting Rights Act is intact.
“The court did not strike down the law itself or the provision that calls for special scrutiny of states with a history of discrimination,” the Post explained. “But it said Congress must come up with a new formula based on current data to determine which states should be subject to the requirements.”
Maybe such developments aren’t a setback after all, but rather signs of progress toward King’s goal of racial equality.
And maybe those howling about it just don’t like that.