This week has been one of the busiest weeks in American politics that I can remember. The Supreme Court has obviously been on some type of rampant power trip and it’s been striking down rulings left and right. I’m sure we’ve all heard the gist of what’s been going on, but let’s think about and analyze what this really means for us as a nation.
First, on Tuesday, America took what I would like to describe as: a thousand million steps back into history regarding civil rights. This came about when the Supreme Court decided in a 5 – 4 decision to strike down a part of the Voting Rights Act. In layman’s terms, the VRA is the act that was enacted in 1965 to protect people from discriminatory voting practices. This act was essentially made to ban states from incorporating practices that would hinder or prevent minorities from voting. Well Tuesday, the Supreme Court ruled that, that thinking was outdated and basically we no longer need those protections. Not striking down the entire act, the Supreme Court has only taken away the map that describes in essence who is allowed to do what, where, and how. Leaving states to make their own decisions. President Barack Obama stated that he is “disappointed” in the Supreme Court decision. What does this mean for us? Well envision a time before 1965 in states like Alabama when black lawyers, teachers, and doctors had to wait in line for hours to take what were called “literacy” tests to determine if they were eligible to vote. Only to be told they were illiterate and therefore could not…let that marinate.
Then on Wednesday, as we were still dissecting and analyzing what just happened a day earlier the Supreme Court (in an effort to take our minds off of…nevermind) struck down yet another historic and controversial act. This time for the better. The Supreme Court ruled in another 5 – 4 decision that the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional. A victory that the LBGT community as well as us folk who just believe that Love is Love have been waiting for. This is NOT to be confused with the legality of gay marriage. So what does this mean for us? Well for the 12 states that recognize same sex unions, these couples will now be protected and eligible to receive some federal benefits that heterosexual couples enjoy.
A victory and a set back…at the same damn time.
What do ya’ll think of these two rulings? For? Against? Indifferent? Let me know!
Peace, Love, & Blessings
Founder & Editor of This Brown Queen