Jasmyne Cannick didn’t join the folks in West Hollywood celebrating the gay marriage victory handed down by the Supreme Court this week.
She was too busy mourning the assault on minorities’ voting rights the court unleashed the day before.
Cannick is a lesbian. She’s also black. “And I didn’t feel like dancing for joy,” she said.
She’s not alone in feeling conflicted. For many people, including me, the high court’s flurry of recent rulings feels like one big step forward on civil rights, and a whole lot of shuffling back.
The day before the court expanded gays’ rights to marry, it gutted the Voting Rights Act. That gives new life to old efforts to suppress minority turnout by freeing Southern states with a history of voter discrimination from strict federal oversight.
In the weeks before that, the court toughened standards for college affirmative action programs that promote diversity; made it harder for employees to challenge workplace discrimination, harassment and firings; and narrowed constitutional protections against self-incrimination, extending law enforcement’s reach.