The current racial and social unrest in the United States is evident. It stems from the poor government understanding and lack of proper representation for minorities. Take for example the Ferguson shooting in August 2014, when a white police officer killed black teenager Michael Brown. The court verdict failed to prosecute said officer and this led to further widespread protests regarding the case's racial discrimination. There has also been colossal backlash from the Republican Right regarding Obama’s recent Executive Action on immigration, which gives undocumented parents of U.S.-born children the right not to be deported.
While these are widely documented racial issues, there is another one trying to slip under the radar. Since 2011, counter to the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which insured that no American citizen was denied the right to vote on account of their race or colour, as many as 31 states have enacted restrictions in voting that, in my opinion, violate this right.
The years since Obama was elected president of the United States in November 2008 have been marked with a great proportion of racial tension, where the American people have had to come face-to-face with the diversity of backgrounds that the U.S. typifies and suffer the consequences of long-held prejudices and tension.
Racial friction is, of course, not new to America, but it is apparent that many minorities today are feeling especially disenfranchised. Instituting laws that require a voter-ID has become tantamount to charging a poll tax; IDs are expensive and not possessed by a significant amount of African-Americans and Latinos. In eight states, including Texas, Georgia and Mississippi, photo-ID will be strictly required for voters from July 2015.
A democratic society is only ever as good as its voters and those who represent them. When the dissonance between the people and the government is so loud, upheaval is inevitable.
Photography: Mario Anzuoni