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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

March 6, 2013 at 7:01 AM

Supreme Court justices question relevance of Voting Rights Act

Scalia perpetuates his own entitlement

Residents from Alabama stand outside the U.S. Supreme Court, waiting for a chance to hear arguments regarding a legal challenge to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, Feb. 27, 2013 in Washington, D.C. (CHIP SOMODEVILLA/GETTY IMAGES)

Residents from Alabama stand outside the U.S. Supreme Court, waiting for a chance to hear arguments regarding a legal challenge to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, Feb. 27, 2013 in Washington, D.C. (CHIP SOMODEVILLA/GETTY IMAGES)

Justice Antonin Scalia recently sparked national debate when the Supreme Court reviewed a case challenging the 1965 Voting Rights Act [“Justices voice skepticism of voting-rights law,” page one, Feb. 28]. He warned about the “phenomenon that is called perpetuation of racial entitlement.”

Does he, like other Americans, think that the election of the first African-American president means the end of racial divides?

The discussion of race inequality and economic opportunity for minorities in America has somewhat disappeared in the past decade and perhaps that is why many think it is no longer an issue. It did not surface during the recent presidential debates, which instead focused on the 1 percent and its affect on the middle class. Perhaps this is because populations with more wealth and education, mainly white, are more likely to vote. Isn’t that reason enough to consider the continuation of the Voting Rights Act?

In reality, racial inequality is an epidemic in the United States and needs to be addressed at federal, state and local levels. It affects education, jobs and the economy, housing, health and human services, law enforcement and voting. Comments like Scalia’s only perpetuate the phenomenon known as white privilege — an unearned entitlement.

–Erin O’Roak, Seattle

0 Comments | More in Politics, Race, Supreme Court | Topics: Justice Antonin Scalia, Voting Rights Act

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