When President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law in 1965, everyone thought that would be the end of Jim Crow laws that mandated segregation throughout the South and prevented African-Americans from exercising their right to vote.
Everyone was wrong!
Within days of the Supreme Court striking down the portion of the law that forced many southern states to seek pre-clearance from the Department of Justice before changing their voting laws, the Republican-dominated legislatures in Texas, North Carolina, and Georgia have introduced laws designed to restrict minority voting. South Carolina and Mississippi are also considering changes designed to marginalize minorities.
Thanks to the conservatives on the Supreme Court, minorities in these states no longer have the protection of the Department of Justice. Their only recourse is to file lawsuits. By the time these lawsuits wend their way through the court system, the damage will have already been done.
In other words, the Supreme Court and the GOP have set the Way Back Machine to 1964!
This is at the heart of the new GOP strategy. Following the Romney defeat last November, Republican strategists realized that the party was unlikely to win if Democrats continued to dominate the growing minority vote. Then the more conservative wing of the GOP stepped forward with an alternative strategy. Instead of pandering to minorities, they intend to institutionalize racism by focusing almost exclusively on white voters – particularly those struggling in the new GOP economy.
After reviewing the demographics of the 2012 presidential vote, GOP strategists discovered that there was a sizable portion of white people who didn’t vote. So the new strategy is to maximize the white vote while suppressing the votes of minorities.
If you’re white, uneducated, religious and poor, the GOP wants you.