As other commentators have pointed out, the decision affects only part of the law — a part that affects some North Carolina counties, plus other states and areas.
Note that Northern states and areas are involved in the decision. As a Cato Institute writer points out:
The list of “covered” jurisdictions is bizarre: six states of the old Confederacy, plus Alaska,Arizona and parts of other states including California and South Dakota. Three New York counties are covered, all New York City boroughs. What’s going on in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Manhattan that isn’t in Queens or Staten Island?
And our progressive friends like to go on about the South’s past. Well, what about the North’s present? As a Wall Street Journal article says:
As the Chief Justice noted in oral argument in Shelby County, the state with the largest gap between white and black voter turnout is Massachusetts. Congress will have to explain why the Bay State deserves to be treated better than Mississippi, where black turnout exceeds white turnout.
That’s revealing. I’ve lived, literally, from coast to coast: from New York City to the San Francisco Bay area, and plenty of places in between. There are problems everywhere. The most racist place I’ve ever been is New York City — including Brooklyn and Manhattan. New Yorkers are too savvy to show it to the outside, but in that supposedly enlightened city I saw racism that stunned me.
The left yammers on about the South’s history of racism. Well, what about the North’s history of racism? I grew up in Illinois, “The Land of Lincoln.” The Springfield race riot of 1908 sparked the founding of the NAACP. In 1919, 38 people died in a Chicago race riot. A future mayor, Richard J. Daley, also the father of a Chicago mayor, was in an Irish “club” — i.e., gang — that was involved in the rioting. Daley never cleared up the question of whether he took part in the violence.
Ah, but that was long ago, you say? Yes, guess what, history is exactly that. 1908 and 1919 and 1963 were a long time ago. Yes, we need to learn the lessons of it. More should be done, of course. But getting stuck in the past won’t help us do better.Remaining fixated on the ills of 1963 won’t help us in 2013, much less beyond.