President Obama’s Muted Response To A Civil Rights Challenge

Source: Josh Gerstein / Politico

Even a Supreme Court decision knocking out a central element of a landmark civil rights law couldn’t push President Barack Obama to abandon his muted approach to racial issues.

The court’s 5-4 ruling Tuesday torpedoing a core provision of the Voting Rights Act led the the first black president to issue a tepid, two-paragraph written statement referencing “discrimination” and declaring that he was “deeply disappointed,” but never invoking the vivid and searing dogs-and-firehoses imagery that spurred the passage of the law in 1965. He made no mention of African Americans or Latinos, the groups viewed as the act’s main beneficiaries, but simply called for making voting “fair” and ensuring it was open to all.

“I am calling on Congress to pass legislation to ensure every American has equal access to the polls,” the president said, without elaborating.

Other members of Obama’s administration were notably more explicit and more emotional about the racial issues at stake in the court’s decision.

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