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Obama Tells Civil Rights Leaders Supreme Court VRA Decision "Small-Bore", "Within our Power to Change"
Though President Obama is "deeply disappointed" at the Supreme Court's ruling in the Voting Rights Act (VRA), the community organizer in chief comforted the troops at a meeting of "civil rights leaders":
The setback from the Supreme Court’s decision striking down elements of the Voting Rights Act is bad, but not as daunting hurdles from past generations, President Barack Obama told a White House gathering of civil rights leaders Monday. “He said, ‘When you think about it, this is small-bore stuff compared to lynching and shootings and killings that happened 50 years ago,’” one participant in the meeting told POLITICO. “He said, ‘Ultimately this is within our power to change.’”
Obama told the group of about 15 civil rights leaders that it will be incumbent upon [them to ?] alert the Justice Department flag violations of what’s left of the Voting Rights Act, since the Supreme Court found the law’s preclearance requirements unconstitutional.
“They assured us that the Voting Rights Act may have been wounded but it’s not dead, it’s not even on critical,” said the Rev. Al Sharpton, the MSNBC host and National Action Network president. “There are other sections of the Voting Rights Act that the Justice Department can still enforce.”
Obama implored the leaders to alert federal authorities when local jurisdictions restrict voting rights.
“He said that the Supreme Court took away a very useful mechanism, his exact words, so that we didn’t have to go around chasing bad behavior and that now, unfortunately, we will have to do that now,” said Janet Murguía, the president and CEO of the National Council of La Raza.
Obama said his White House remains committed to a bipartisan congressional fix to the parts of the Voting Rights Act struck down by the Court.
“The president and the attorney general emphasized that the Voting Rights Acts have passed in a bipartisan fashion in the past, and that has to be the strategy going forward,” said Laura Murphy, director of the ACLU’s Washington Legislative Office.
Though the partisan climate in Washington has become more polarized – even from in 2006, when President George W. Bush signed the most recent reauthorization of the law – Murphy said there’s clear Republican support, from Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), among others.
National Urban League President Marc Morial said the fact that few Republicans have weighed in on the Supreme Court’s ruling or possible remedies is a sign that they take the issue seriously and will be willing to work in a bipartisan fashion.
“I don’t think you’ve seen a lot of comments coming from members of Congress negative to the Voting Rights Act or positive to the Supreme Court decision,” he said. “That to me is a sign that people are holding their powder, waiting to see what emerges.”
Obama: VRA Decision 'Small-Bore Stuff Compared to Lynching' Reid J. Epstein and Jennifer Epstein, Politico, July 29, 2013
So Obama says the Supreme Court decision is "small-bore" compared to "lynching and shootings and killings that happened 50 years ago,’”. So is it "small-bore" compared to the thousands of assaults, rapes and murders perpetrated annually by black criminals in the 21st century, against both white and black Americans? Just wondering.