At the moment the Supreme Court is hearing arguments for and against the Voting Rights Act. The Act, passed in 1964, gives the federal government supervisory authority over elections in places where there has been a long pattern of disfranchisement, e.g. “the South.”
I think it is attributable, very likely attributable, to a phenomenon that is called perpetuation of racial entitlement. It’s been written about. Whenever a society adopts racial entitlements, it is very difficult to get out of them through the normal political processes.
It’s difficult to be a historian of the US and not be flabbergasted by this comment. Because Scalia is right–for nearly all of its history, the US has perpetuated racial entitlements with the greatest enthusiasm. Those entitlements have been for entirely and overwhelmingly for white people.