TRMS Explores Literacy Tests in Our Nations Voting History

Posted by: Audiegrl

Rachel Maddow ShowMSNBC’s Rachel Maddow reviews the history of how “literacy tests” were used to prevent Black people from voting in America and why Tom Tancredo’s opening speech to the Tea Party convention calling for the return of those tests is so abhorrent. Harvard Law School professor Charles Ogletree shares his insights on racism in the United States.

This clip caught my attention, because as Rachel pointed out, this is not ancient history, the Voting Rights bill was passed in 1965, when I was three years old. The topic also reminded me of a story my parents told me. But a little background first. Although, they came to Northern Illinois in 1942, the first election they were ‘allowed’ to vote in, was for President John F. Kennedy. Seriously… They were not in the Southern states that Rachel mentioned, but in the North. I’m not sure all the literacy tests they were given, except for one. My mother was given the task to name all of Shakespere’s sonnets. She didn’t pass that test, so she was not allowed to vote.

When they voted for President Kennedy, they went as a group from the American Legion, because my father served honorably in World War II. My Great-Uncle also went with him that day, he served honorably in World War I. Amazingly although both were veterans, this was the first vote for both of them, and they sure were proud. 🙂

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2 Comments

Filed under African-Americans, Civil Rights Movement, Creepy right-wing antics, Culture, Elections, History, Law, Media and Entertainment, MSNBC, Networks, News, Non-Violence, Politics, Rachel Maddow, Racism, Tea Party Protestors, The Rachel Maddow Show, TV Shows, Uncategorized, US, Video/YouTube

2 responses to “TRMS Explores Literacy Tests in Our Nations Voting History

  1. thelcster

    This is only one of more than a few blemishes in RECENT American history… I have to assume that those people applauded out of ignorance for the historical significance of the literacy tests. You know, kind of how you clap at your favorite band’s concert when they start he next song even if you haven’t heard it before…That must be the case as I cannot imagine there would be a room full of intelligent people who would clap for those damn things. I just keep reminding people who say dumb things like that to me of the historical impact that this has had on not only black people every major election since the 60’s.

    • Megan McCain came out strongly against this type of coded language. She called it what it is…racism…

      She said this is why young people are turned off on the Republican party.

      Thank you Ms. McCain, for keeping it real 🙂

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