It is simply amazing to watch how Southern states, ruled by Republicans, have moved so quickly, after the Supreme Court’s VRA decision to push through a series of new laws the only aim of which is to limit black voting: voter ID laws, ends to same day registration, early voting, weekend voting. Here’s yet another example from North Carolina. But we noted numerous other examples within a day of the decision coming down.
Okay, sure, what did I expect? I’ve been writing about this for years. Everything I’ve written and so many other better than I could has predicted this. But still, to see it, it’s another thing again. This is supposed to be the 21st century. And yet, in a broad swath of the society we’re in an ersatz version of the late 19th century.
It is—and always has been—unclear to me how much of this is driven by straight-up anti-black animus and how much is purely partisan, with blacks as collateral damage. Probably some of both. But really, how much does it matter? Is outright racism really any worse than simply not giving a damn if your only route to harming Democratic Party interests happens to require making it more burdensome for blacks to vote?
I suppose, yes, it is worse. But not by all that much.