“Whenever a society adopts racial entitlements, it is very difficult to get out of them through the normal political processes.” -Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia
When Ronald Reagan left office twenty-four years ago, I knew that the damage the dirty old dingbat did to this once-great nation would be reverberating for generations. Antonin Scalia is merely a trickle in the torrent.
It could only have happened in the Washington DC of 2013. At Statuary Hall inside the Capital Building, the president of the United States was dedicating a statue of Rosa Parks, the woman whose refusal to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama bus to a white man on the afternoon of December 1, 1955 was the spark that ignited the modern-day civil rights movement. Meanwhile just across town, the esteemed justices of the United States Supreme Court were debating whether or not to abolish the Voting Rights Act of 1965, one of the two milestone laws that are forever associated in the minds of most people with that same movement. I'm not kidding you, folks. These two events actually occurred simultaneously. Isn't life strange?
Scalia proceeded to etch into stone his reputation as the one of the more outrageous racists to sit on that court in one-hundred years or more:
“I don’t think that’s attributable to the fact that it is so much clearer now that we need this. I think it’s attributable – very likely attributable – to a phenomenon that is called perpetuation of racial entitlement.”
Twice he used the term. He refers to a phenomenon "that is called racial entitlement". Oh really? Called by whom? I had never even heard of the term until the other day when it came spewing out of Scalia's clueless mouth. He's obviously winging it, playing to perfection the role he has assigned himself as the plutocracy's legal handmaiden, hurling one verbal bombshell after another - something he has publicly stated he likes to do. In an interview Thursday on the Daily Show, Rachel Maddow compared Antonin Scalia to a troll who will anonymously post rude and insulting things on the comments section of a blog or a website. I get quite a few of them as well.
On The Martin Bashir program on MSNBC the brilliant and witty political commentator known simply as "Touré" was a bit more blunt:
"Is fairness a racial entitlement? Is protecting people’s right to vote a racial entitlement? We have these shenanigans happening all the time, and protecting them is an entitlement? So, you’re giving us the right to vote, as if we were the takers in this game of makers and takers? That whole language is completely racist. And, this idea that, ‘white people work hard and then they give their money to lazy black people.”
The guy doesn't mince words. I like that.
The only reason we've come to this point is because some half-witted stooge in Alabama (ALABAMA??? OF ALL PLACES!!!) decided to challenge what is known as "Section Five" of the Voting Rights Act, which singled out seventeen Southern states that had certain - "habits" shall we say? - of voter discrimination. Those states are required to get the permission of a federal judge if they want to make any changes in their voting laws. The argument is that the Voting Rights Act is no longer needed because, well, that was then and this is now. Everything is fine 'n' dandy now, thank you very much. Or at least that is what they would have us believe. This at a time when voter suppression nationwide is worse then it's been at any time in half-a-century. Ain't that a hoot?
Instead of repealing the Voting Rights Act all together, Section Five should be amended to include every state in the union. In case it's evaded your attention, certain Yankee states (Ohio and Pennsylvania come immediately to mind) have tried to make "adjustments" to their voting laws that would require citizens who don't own a drivers license to purchase voter ID's in order to participate in the democratic process. It's the modern-day equivalent of the old poll tax, and would directly effect young people, old people, city people, poor people - you know....THOSE PEOPLE - the traditional progressive constituency. Section Five needs to go nationwide.
It was obvious by their questions to the lawyers making the anti-voting-rights argument that the five right-wing neanderthals on the bench have every intention of going gently into that dark night of voter suppression. As expected, Clarence Thomas did not say a word during the entire proceedings (he rarely does) but, given his track record, I know damned well which way he's gonna go. The man gives new meaning to the word "pathetic". Uncle Thomas is as predictable as the setting sun.
Reagan really could pick 'em, couldn't he? What curse of rotten luck brought us to this point? That someone as ignorant and bigoted as Antonin Scalia should be interpreting law from a bench on the highest court in the land is too weird to even contemplate. I guess it never entered his isolated little mind that these "entitlements" he refers to as "racial" were meant for all the people, and that We The People are indeed entitled to them. Does the silly bastard even know the definition of the word "irony"? As Robert Plant once wrote (or was it Jimmy Page?) "It makes me wonder". It sure does.
"Racial entitlements"? Well, yeah; when pertaining to the human race, sure. It's just sad that a United States Supreme Court Justice refuses to think in those terms. Antonin Scalia is an ignoramus.
We all ought to get down on our collective knees and thank the heavens above that Mitt Romney wasn't elected to the presidency in 2012. One or two more appointments of one or two more right wing extremists would have spelled the end of democracy in this doomed nation. As it is, it's barely holding on.
Aren't politics fun?
Saturday, 2 March 2013