Opinion

We’re the land of hypocrites regarding elections

First off, I am very proud to be an American. However, I am tired of the hypocrisy involved in being one. We, as a nation, enjoy telling others what to do, but it is time for us to take a look at what is going on here in the United States.

The U.S. wants elections in the Middle East to be transparent and free for all, but we aren’t even close to having those ourselves. This nation is over 228 years old and women were not allowed to vote until 1920, 144 years after the nation came into existence and two years after Kyrgyzstan allowed women to vote. Kyrgyzstan! In 1866 the Civil Rights Bill was passed in Congress and gave blacks full citizenship, but we all know that did not happen regarding voting until the Voting Rights Act was passed in 1965. Blacks were allowed to vote 189 years after we became a nation. God bless America.

In the last presidential election many former felons were disenfranchised, and the list was disproportionately black, though their rights were legally restored before the list was printed. International observers chastised Florida and the U.S. for the way in which the recount took place and are predicting even more problems this year because of faulty machinery, intimidation of minorities and the elderly, and disenfranchisement of a few more felons. We would expect a nation with democratically elected officials to be able to figure out a simple problem over four years, but this has not happened.

There was another felon list used by Gov. Jeb Bush to strike voters off the register this year, and the only reason we know anything about it is because a judge ordered that it be released to avoid more mistakes and embarrassment.

There is a legal system felons have to go through to make certain that their rights are restored. First they have to find out if they are on the voting list in the first place and then go through the arduous task of having their rights returned through a system that does not favor them because, in the U.S., our legal system is not fair for all. I break it down into three categories: Rich/poor, white/nonwhite and famous/anonymous. Individuals may be in more than one of these groups but because they are felons, there are two strikes against them: They are not white and probably poor.

I say before we decide to tell another group of people how they should be more like America, maybe we should actually try to live up to the ideal America all of us would like to live in.

Vontilla Steven can be contacted at v.steven@umiami.edu.

November 2, 2004

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Pro Football Focus unveiled where Power 5 programs rank in tackles for a loss or no gain against the ...

A six-pack of Hurricanes notes on a Thursday evening: ▪ UM coach Mark Richt has explained his decisi ...

Braylen Ingraham’s final college visit before decision day took him just about as far from home as p ...

The Miami Hurricanes had traveled half the field to start the second half when coach Mark Richt enco ...

Jeremiah Payton was one of those prospects the Miami Hurricanes coveted from just about the time he ...

UM’s annual Food Day celebration will highlight the need to eat sustainable, locally sourced foods ...

University of Miami changes program title of Women’s and Gender Studies to Gender and Sexuality Stud ...

Two families with deep ties to Miami—the Millers and Fains— celebrate two endowed faculty chair appo ...

The University of Miami remembers alumnus Erik Hauri—the man who discovered water on the moon. ...

Through an innovative program, Miami Law students are empowering local high schoolers to think like ...

The Miami women's tennis team opened play Friday at the ITA Southeast Regional Championships Pr ...

The University of Miami women's swimming & diving team impressed in its quad-meet Friday af ...

The University of Miami volleyball team (10-6, 6-3 ACC) came up short in an ACC home match for the f ...

Junior averaged 11.4 points and 6.7 rebounds per game last season. ...

University of Miami head coach Gino DiMare released the Hurricanes' 2019 baseball schedule Thur ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.