Maryann Tobin

There are millions of Americans who don't vote and don't think that what happens in Washington affects their everyday lives. However, there are two cases coming up before the Supreme Court that may hit them over the head like a sledgehammer.

In the next term, the Supreme Court will begin hearing arguments on affirmative action and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. If either or both are overturned, Republican extremists will be well on their way to achieving the radical reform they want for America—without winning a single vote.

Affirmative action is the reason there is diversity in the American workforce and on college campuses throughout the nation. It has allowed the disabled, women, blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans and other non-white groups to have access to opportunities they didn't have before the law was passed.

Now imagine how drastically America would change if affirmative action is erased. Suddenly, colleges could legally refuse to admit anyone who is not white or male, or of a specific religion. The same would hold true for employers.

The discrimination that was once declared illegal can become the new standard. Combine that with other state-level, Republican-proposed or -enacted legislation to roll back the minimum wage, child-labor laws, women's health and reproductive rights, and bold attacks on union rights, and the stage is set for a level of educational discrimination and worker exploitation unseen in modern American history.

In overturning affirmative action, the court will argue that America has already achieved racial balance, making the old laws obsolete.

The decision might be flawed, but it is difficult to imagine the majority of Republican-appointed conservative justices ruling any other way.

The Voting Rights Act of 1965, if overturned, would allow states to reinstate poll taxes and literacy tests and tie other stipulations to the right to vote, like the old property ownership requirements. Therefore, a state legislature could potentially pass laws that stop millions of citizens from voting.

What the repeal of these laws represents is part of a much bigger agenda.

When you fit these two pieces into the larger puzzle, you see a concerted Republican effort to legalize racism by restricting the rights of non-whites, more specifically, African Americans.

The obvious questions are, why have conservative Republicans become so open about rolling back civil rights? And, does the repeal of civil rights somehow fit into the Republican pro-big business formula to turn America into a cheap labor society?

Reuters reports, "In his self-published 2009 book titled ‘Letters to the Editor: Confessions of a Frustrated Conservative,’ state Rep. Jon Hubbard of Jonesboro, Ark., writes that ‘the institution of slavery that the black race has long believed to be an abomination upon its people may actually have been a blessing in disguise.’”

Is the true goal of the Republican Party to establish a white-supremacy society? If not, why are so many of their efforts focused on separating whites and blacks on so many levels?

In 2010, while a candidate for the U.S. Senate in Kentucky, Republican Rand Paul actually endorsed a return to segregation in restaurants and movie theaters. What may be even more disturbing is that he won election with his pro-discrimination platform.

What the media seems afraid to ask is, why now?

Why are anti-discrimination laws that have been on the books for decades suddenly under attack by right-wing Republican fundamentalists?

Has anyone noticed that the intensified timeline coincides with the election of America's first black president?

Is it a coincidence that racism reared its ugly head with voter-suppression laws in local Republican-controlled legislatures after the 2010 elections?

Reviving racism is not an easy task in 21st century America, at least not among mainstream voters. Therefore, efforts have to be subtle or deliberately misleading. But white supremacists can still make their mark by using the Supreme Court to do what voters might not let them do, which is to do everything possible to make sure that no person of color ever rises to a position of power in America—ever again.

Remember that in 1790, only adult white male property owners were allowed to vote. What do you suppose America would be like if that law returned?

If you like to write about U.S. politics and Campaign 2012, enter "The American Pundit" competition. Allvoices is awarding four $250 prizes each month between now and November. These monthly winners earn eligibility for the $5,000 grand prize, to be awarded after the November election.


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