We hear about the blue states and the red states referring to the Democratic Party and the Republican Party dominated states, respectively. It is midterm election time in Atlanta and perhaps it is time for pink states. Often the America of both major parties is not the America that some citizens have known. The Tea Party is sporting different faces but much of the same old rhetoric. In the interest of fairness, this fear satuated political environment causes many to hold tighter to possessions and ideals. The pink states could perhaps represent those who (have seen the light) want to help others and not hoard for themselves.
Many Atlanta political ads have crossed lines of decency and good taste. Some even articulate nostalgia for apple pie, hot dogs, and baseball, but in a twisted fashion. Here is a harsh reality representing the pink states. Women only won the right to vote in this country in 1920 after a long and bitter fight. Helena Hill Weed spent 3 days in jail during that struggle just for carrying a sign that read-“Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed.” All races, ethnic groups, genders, and religions, who are citizens of these United States of America, are the governed. A fact that is often overlooked. There are no throw-a-ways. Atlanta in particular has truly become a multi-cultural, diverse city.
Sadly, African-American women did not actually win the right to vote until the Civil Rights Act of 1960. Here is a short history lesson written by Jesse Gordon on 8/9/2000 in OnTheIssues: In 1789, African-Americans were defined in the Constitution as 3/5 of a person for counting representation, and could not vote at all. (Constitution’s Article 1, section 2, and elsewhere)
In 1865, following the Civil War, African-Americans were given the right to vote and the “3/5ths clause” was rescinded. (14th and 15th Amendment). The clause relevant to your question is the 15th Amendment, article 1: “The right… to vote shall not be denied or abridged… on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” (the “previous condition of servitude” meant that states couldn’t deny the right to vote to those who had been slaves).
For 90 years thereafter, states did all sorts of things to abridge the right to vote for African-Americans. The main means were seemingly “objective” criteria like “literacy laws,” which required that a person be able to read before they could register to vote. Since most African-Americans at the time were illiterate, that effectively prevented their voting. There were many cases before the Supreme Court, mostly in southern states, in which means of blocking the vote were removed.
The real change came during the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, when the last of the racial restrictions were finally removed. Prior to the 1960s, the Supreme Court had determined that schools could be “separate but equal,” which meant there were separate schools for African-Americans. During the 1960s, the Supreme Court enforced the desegregation of the schools on the grounds that “separate is inherently unequal.”
Legally speaking, the right to vote came with the 15th amendment. But socially speaking, it took the Civil Rights movement to make it a reality.
The question today is: Is it time for pink states? Platform: An America of, for, and by all its citizens.