Civil Rights Movement Archive
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NPR Blogs - Code Switch
Here's an astonishing speech by U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves, one of just two African-Americans to have ever served as federal judges in Mississippi. He read it to three young white men before sentencing them for the death of a 48-year-old black man named James Craig Anderson in a parking lot in Jackson, Miss., in 2011. They were part of a group that beat Anderson and then killed him by running over his body with a truck, yelling "white power" as they drove off.
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Of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, John Lewis, Jimmie Lee Jackson, Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks, Coretta Scott King, Herbert Marcuse, Joseph Weydemeyer, Karl Marx, Frederick Douglass, Jim Crow, the New Jim Crow, and the New New Jim Crow:Shelby County v. Holder
Ginsburg attacks the ahistorical character of the majority decision. Quoting Shakespeare, she notes that the majority "ignores that `what's past is prologue'". What a profound observation, `the past is prologue'. It neatly, and with a literary flourish, sums up the deep defect with the Court's decision, its deliberate ignoring of both the contemporary ramifications of historical racism in this country as well as its current vitality.