I could go on at length why this is not a good idea for the United States as a nation or Americans as a people except that Lemieux does all that already at the link.
If you're paying attention you understand that in many parts of the United States "conservative" outfits like True the Vote (as well as the usual suspects involved in gerrymandering electoral districts) are doing everything they can to ensure that anyone they suspect of voting to the Left of Lester Maddox is ghettoized into their own crowded districts when they can't disenfranchise them altogether.
I want to think about this for a moment, though, as part of a larger part of American life, a part us white folks really hate to think and talk about.
That's the part where we have to take one in the seat of the pants if we want to change the way "race matters" in the United States.
And the part where we haven't, and it hasn't, and race still matters in the United States.
Less than it used to, but matters.
Let's start with this: us white folks fucked over them colored folks - them folks being mostly colored dark brownish-black tho we didn't mind giving the redskins and brownskins and yellowskins a kick in the ass, too, whenever we could - for pretty much most of the first 150 years of this country or so.
Women didn't get such a great deal, either, but we've already talked about that a little.
Let's not kid ourselves.
This wasn't some sort of little gentle corrective slap from time to time.
Being black in the United States from 1776 to about 1969 was about as much fun as being the littlest guy in the yard at Salem Correctional Institution for Men.
If you were lucky you had to sit in the back of the bus and work for peanuts while taking crap from the scrawniest little bastard flying KKK colors. You lived in the shittiest parts of town and your kids went to the shittiest schools and got the shittiest educations. You worked at shitty jobs for shitty wages - less than the white boys doing the same shitty jobs - and shopped at shitty rundown stores for shitty products the white folks didn't want.
If you were lucky.
If you weren't you got beaten up, or raped, or killed. You got run out of town with nothing but the clothes on your back. If you were foolish enough to be accused of anything - or even just being nearby when someone else was accused of anything - you ran a real good chance of getting murdered out of hand.
Speaking for my home town, it was against the law to be black in Oregon from 1844 to 1926. The law wasn't much used, mind you, but it was there, and the knowledge of it probably had a lot to do with how few African-Americans ended up here.
Since the end of WW2 life in the United States has gotten better for those citizens-who-aren't-white-people. Lynching has been stopped. Overt, legal discrimination is dead as the dodo. Social, political, and economic opportunities that did not exist for blacks (and hispanics and asians) fifty years ago are now mandated by law and enforced by social pressure.
Let's not kid ourselves here, either.
If you're poor in the United States (and poor trumps white, by the way, in my experience...) things are pretty nasty for you.
If you're poor and you're NOT white, well, chances are that you STILL live in the shittiest parts of town and your kids still go to the shittiest schools. You still get shitty jobs and you still get shitty pay. The likelihood that you're out of work and unable to find work is higher than if you were white and always has been.
Some of this is because there are some real fucking bad habits that have worked their way deep into African-American communities and African-American culture.
(Mind you, when you're the punk of the prison yard you end up learning some pretty degrading tricks to earn your smokes. Doesn't mean it's not your problem. But it means that you need a little more than just the warden telling you that he's told the Aryan Nations gangsters to stop bending you over the weight bench four times between dinner and lights-out for everything to be peachy-keen from there on.)But a hell of a lot of it is because the rest of us have run like sonsofbitches any time there was a danger that we might wind up living and working alongside African-Americans.
We - largely the "conservative" and white "we" - have fought "affirmative action" that would have forced us to take on black people as peers in our schools and jobs whether we liked it or not. We've white-flighted every time black people have moved in next to us. We've worked very hard to avoid doing anything that would have seriously inconvenienced us as a means of trying to rub out the long-lasting effect of all that lynching and slaving and general 150-some years of fucking-over.
Well, it's worked. Many black Americans still have some problems here in America - and some black Americans still have some very big problems in America - and today the U.S. Supreme Court said that despite that history of fuckery it's fine with the fuckers fucking with other people's voting because "taking race into account" was okay as a reason for the fucking for 150 years but not when you're trying to unfuck the fucking for the past 50 or so.
The public in its infinite wisdom is now solidly against anything that can be described as "affirmative action" or "reverse racism" as if somehow trying to erase the legacy of all that racist shit was in itself racist. Because we're all "post-racial", right? If you walk into a bank to get a loan, or into a traffic stop, or into a polling place it doesn't matter if you're black or white, right?
Let's not kid ourselves.
We can keep going along just fine the way things are. Lots of black people (and hispanic and asian and other not-white people) are way better off today than they were. Nobody is going to Bastille the Capitol building because they can't be CEO of Goldman Sachs or because every so often they get stopped for driving while black; the U.S. 2013 ain't the slums of Paris 1788.
It's just that us white folks should be willing to look at ourselves and admit that we're okay that some people who don't look like us are a little more troubled and a little poorer and a little less part of the life of our nation so long as "we" don't have to make any sacrifices to change that.
That seems a little small and a little mean and a little miserable to me.
Hey, I don't like the idea of sacrificing something to make some anonymous black guy more likely to have what I've got any more than Lester Fucking Maddox did.
But I like to think that I'm a better man than Lester Fucking Maddox, and that my country is, too.