Racism persists in the United States, according to recent polls, even as the country is projected to become a majority-minority country within 30 years. Except for Asians, ethnic groups continue to trail white Americans on most economic indicators, but minorities are flexing their electoral muscle, with blacks and Hispanics largely attributed with handing President Barack Obama his win last fall over Republican challenger Mitt Romney. As a result, both major political parties are courting Hispanic voters. Many also predict that the growing power of the Hispanic voting bloc could finally prod Congress to overcome its longstanding divide on comprehensive immigration reform and overhaul the nation’s immigration laws. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on June 25 effectively eliminated a key provision of the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965, considered the civil rights movement’s crowning achievement.

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