[Ed. – The recipients of this babying have to be willing participants in order for the relationship to endure.]
Like many of our racial debates of late, the discussion about voting rights has a certain broken-record aspect to it. Republicans call for voter restrictions in the name of ballot integrity, while Democrats pretend that it’s still 1964.
That was the year before Congress passed the Voting Rights Act, which might be the greatest achievement of the civil-rights movement. In 1964 only 6% of blacks in Mississippi were registered to vote, the lowest percentage in the region. Two years later, that number had climbed to 60%, the highest in the South. “In every southern state, the gains were striking,” wrote the late political scientist Abigail Thernstrom. “Sometimes good legislation works precisely as initially intended.”
In 1970, there were fewer than 1,500 black elected officials in the U.S. Today there are more than 10,000, and they have included mayors of large cities with significant black populations. …