The U.S. Supreme Court ruling Tuesday effectively said that requiring seat belts in cars (requiring preclearance under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act) has indeed saved lives (prevented racial discrimination), but because of that remarkable success (greater black voter participation), we no longer need the requirement for seat belts.
Sounds irrational and contrived? It is, and worse. The court’s majority said it recognizes that people still get killed in accidents (racial discrimination in elections still exists) but because there’s not a consistent basis for what vehicles and passengers are covered by seat belt requirements across the nation (Section 4 is objectionable), then nobody anywhere has to use a seat belt until we get a uniform standard.
The decision is a slap in the face of victims of racial discrimination and all people of conscience who oppose barriers that handicap certain groups. Patriots on the eve of celebrating Independence Day should feel insulted. Voting is the great equalizer in our democratic republic; we are all equals at the ballot box. Section 5 was the most effective tool for making real that promise for millions of Americans. It still exists on paper, but the decision says nobody is affected by it until some far off date when a dysfunctional Congress agrees on who and where.
Meanwhile, discrimination in elections can ramp up and freedom lovers will have to find other legal tools to protect basic American rights.
— Bob Hall
Bob Hall is executive director of Democracy North Carolina.
The Vashti Chapter No. 122-Order of Eastern Star would like to thank everyone who attended this year’s Juneteenth Celebration. God blessed us with a beautiful day. Special thanks to East Spencer Mayor Barbara Mallett, William Peoples (NAACP) and Salisbury City Councilman William “Pete” Kennedy for participating in our opening ceremony.
Thanks to Walt Brotherton, Sister April Lee and Tiffany Miller for serving as our emcees; to DJs David McCluney and Horace Davis for great music and patience. Congratulations to all Apollo talent contestants and winners for a great display of talent.
The family fun-filled day was complete with a car show (Vette Club — Larry Dalton and Vette crew), basketball contest (North Rowan High School dance team — Krystal Stukes) and horseshoe tournament (Judge Cherry). We appreciated the participation of community service organizations, including the free blood pressure checks. Your dedication and service is priceless.
Thanks to the food and merchandise vendors. Special thanks to the Salisbury Post, F&M Bank, Walmart, Holmes Iron and Metal and Tim Bailey.
To the sisters and brothers of Vashti Chapter No. 122, thank you for keeping the dream alive. I love you for accepting the challenge. You did a great job!
— Jill Burch
Jill Burch was one of the organizers of the Juneteenth Celebration.