The Declaration of Independence clearly states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” During the course of our country’s often turbulent history, this quote has applied to one group of people while others have struggled to survive within a white hegemonic structure laid forth by the founding fathers and their kinfolk.
African-Americans have strived to gain their rightful place at the table to receive a slice of the American economic pie we created through our arduous, inhumane labor, but we continually receive the middle finger in return. Last week, the Supreme Court participated in one of the most egregious forms of judicial activism in our country’s history by striking down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act. As a result, the majority of the southern states, who wanted to secede from the Union prior to the Civil War are rewinding their clocks back and working feverishly to enact legislation to dilute the power of the African-American voting bloc.
By extracting the heartbeat from the Voting Rights Act, the conservative-led Supreme Court will allow the south to rise again for all the wrong reasons. Much to the chagrin of most African-Americans, we’re returning to Paula Deen’s vision of “Americana.” This ruling was eerily reminiscent of the Plessy v. Ferguson ruling where separate meant equal under the law. Unfortunately, this southern methodology of “separate but equal” continues to be as American as apple pie. African-Americans have been experiencing disenfranchisement since we arrived onto the shores of Jamestown, Virginia in 1619.