Unfair voting practices target blacks

editorial cartoon by Christian A. Lopez
editorial cartoon by Christian A. Lopez

When the term “voter irregularity” is mentioned, many Americans immediately picture Florida, with its strange interpretation of the 15th Amendment.

The Amendment states that, “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous servitude.”

However, during the last presidential election, many things occurred in Florida that made America wonder if this country was moving forward or backward.

For those unaware, prior to the November election, Florida Governor Jeb Bush and his secretary of state Katherine Harris, ordered 64,000 votes to be thrown out, stating that the ballots were punched by felons who were not entitled to vote. Perhaps Florida officials are unaware that the word “felons” is not defined as African Americans because 54 percent of the votes tossed out belonged to them.

It is unconstitutional, racist and sad what happened in Florida. It also explains why people there wonder if the right man is sleeping in the White House.

Perhaps the state of Florida hit rock bottom with the November 2000 election. However, it is rarely a lonely place to be and the state of Tennessee should know.

The visual, according to Alternet.org, an independent news and information service, was something out of a history book. Black voters were told to line up behind white voters. In one instance, an election volunteer reminded them how they “knew what it was like to stand at the back of the bus.”

Police were present and witnessing it all.

It makes you wonder what century this country is living in and also if certain state’s populations are aware of what human rights are.

There is another problem that should be evident despite the voter disenfranchisement occurring in Tennessee. It goes beyond the fact that black Nashville college students were not permitted to vote, despite their registered status. It extends farther than the mockery black voters endured from election volunteers.

What is most upsetting is the fact that hardly anyone outside of the Tennessee bubble has heard anything regarding the hidden attacks on black voting.

The only form of media in the United States that has shed light about this problem is the black press in Tennessee, such as the Nashville Pride, Urban Flavor and the Tennessee Tribune. Those newspapers are the only ones doing their job and educating and informing America about another state’s tactics gone wrong. Internationally, the BBC and other organizations have vigorously covered this story. And yet, it has been ignored by America’s mainstream press.

Certain organizations such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the American Civil Liberties Union have combined forces and filed suit to eliminate such unfair voting practices. Plans have also been made to send representatives to Nashville to hold hearings which will hopefully result in change. For more information to reform the system, the websites, www.aclu.org and www.naacp.org may be helpful.

As a country, it can only be hoped that their actions as well as concerns made by the leaders of this nation come forward and stir change.

Otherwise, America will find herself tangled in the dirty pages of her history, struggling to remember what her nation stands for and whom she protects.

Latest Stories

Related articles

Voters to decide on mental health services

California voters will help decide the fate of the state’s mental health services in next week’s election.

Vote for your future, your voice matters

Voting allows your voice to be heard. It is important for all of us to have a say in issues that directly impact our lives, from human rights, education and health care, to the environment and our economy.

Puppies fetch voters

Jordan Knutzen, junior biology major, pets Gracie the golden retriever at the Puppies to the Polls event Tuesday in the Campus Center sponsored by ULV Voter and Civic Engagement.

La Verne City Council cancels March Council elections

The La Verne City Council has canceled the March 5 council election and has reappointed existing council members Wendy Lau and Rick Crosby, to districts two are five respectively, for additional four-year terms.