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29 September 2010

Read This If You Want, But I Already Told You What Would Happen

Tuesday evening, Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Ernie Suggs posted an article covering a press conference that criticized the Dept. of Justice (DOJ) decision to exempt Sandy Springs from section 5 of the Voting Rights Acts (VRA).

Much like I predicted, Joseph Lowery and the rest of the old guard strongly suggested that no federal oversight over elections in the south is an attempt to roll back the clock on racial progress

“One thing we want Sandy Springs to know is even if they opt out, they can’t opt out of the scrutiny, they can’t opt out of the concerns we have and they can’t opt out of the vigilance,” Lowery said. “We shall call upon the Justice Department to look at this and ensure that Sandy Springs will not be exempt. Justice must roll down like waters for the citizens of Sandy Springs just like the citizens from Turkey Run.”

“The Voting Rights Act is one of the most important pieces of legislation ever passed and signed into law,” [Hasan]Crockett, an associate professor of political science at Morehouse College ,said. “Many Americans fought and died for this law. If we allow Sandy Springs to bailout of this law, we will be desecrating the memories of Martin Luther King Jr., Thurgood Marshall, Rosa Parks…and countless other Americans who fought for justice and fairness.”

Suggs, Ernie (2010-9-28). Lowery challenges Sandy Springs on Voting Rights Act. Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved on 2010-9-28.

Lowery said there is "no need" for Sandy Springs to even think about denying the vote, and he's right. The city of Sandy Springs isn't thinking about denying the vote. What's more, if the thought of denying the vote cross that north Fulton County city's mind, all hell would break loose. There would be protests and rallies and legal action 'til the cows came home.

We must remain eternally vigilant so that Sandy Springs and other jurisdictions opting out of section 5 of the Voting Rights Act don't return to a sad time in American history. But we also must stop punishing people for the sins of their fathers and their grandfathers.

Federal elections oversight for a city that has no history of denying the right to vote makes about as much sense as me requesting slavery reparations from somebody white who had some ancestors that owned slaves.