“The Voting Rights Conundrum”

Stephen Griffin on how voting rights commentary often ignores history, especially in the South.

Unfortunately, this viewpoint leaves out one region and one group of surpassing importance to the Democratic party and, one hopes, to the nation as a whole – African Americans in the South.  Perhaps Levin is overlooking the question of race because he references the “Freedom to Vote Act”, rather than the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, the response to Shelby County and Brnovich which renews for a new era the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA).  But, in fact, a number of elements in the two laws are linked in that many of the states that have enacted restrictive laws are in the South, such as Georgia, Texas, and Florida.  If Levin is suggesting that Democrats ignore the perspective of African Americans in the South, that is an obvious nonstarter.  Indeed, given the history represented by John Lewis, their perspective ought to be our perspective.

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