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There has been a lot of crowing about the projected demographic shift in the US population which indicates that by mid-century whites would be a minority. The anticipation is that the white conservative establishment that the GOP depends on for its base will lose their hold on political power. I think that it is a mistake to just take that as an inevitability.

I grew up in Alabama during the last days of the Jim Crow regime. As a young adult I participated in the civil rights movement. The Voting Rights Act was one of the great accomplishments of that struggle. In reading today's decision I have the very strong feeling that history is moving in reverse. In many ways the civil rights movement has always remained a work in progress with many aspects of equality, particularly economic, still not accomplished. However, most liberals/progressives assumed that what had been accomplished would not be undone. Today it has.

In recent years there have been recurring instances of various attempts to restrict and dilute the voting power of racial minorities. By no means have these been limited to the deep south. Again, we have assumed that it was just a matter of time before such ruses would be ruled unconstitutional. Well, we better have another think about that. Yes this was a 5/4 decision and the shift of one seat on the court could shift it the other way. However, there are efforts to hold onto power at all levels. Legislative districts were gerrymandered following the 2010 census.

I'm not trying to concoct some over blown conspiracy theory here. There is enough reality to take this seriously. There are all sorts of ways to keep people from voting. It is not just the more heavy handed tactics that slam the door of the polling place. There is also the systematic diversion that lulls people into a stupor that persuades them that it is not worth bothering about politics and voting.

Political rights are not guaranteed. You use them or you lose them.    

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