Voting Discrimination

Topics: Southern United States, Election, American Civil War Pages: 1 (318 words) Published: September 29, 2011
“Congress enacted the Voting Rights Act in 1965 after many years of protests and increasingly violent acts against African Americans. The Act made it a federal crime to deny a citizen the right to vote. It outlawed a number of tricks and schemes used for decades to disenfranchise African Americans.” “From the 1860s to the 1960s, African Americans routinely were denied the right to vote. This occurred mainly in the south, in the former Confederate states. But elsewhere, other minorities also suffered this type of discrimination. It took the courageous civil rights movement to put an end to this discrimination.” “The Voting Rights Act doesn't just enforce the right to vote. It also ensures votes count. Elections can be set up in ways to cancel out the votes of minorities. This is called "dilution." The power of a bloc of minority voters can be watered down in a number of ways. The Voting Rights Act made it illegal to do this.” “After the Civil War, African Americans received citizenship rights through a number of legislative achievements including the Fifteenth Amendment in 1870 which gave African Americans the right to vote and prohibited racial discrimination in voting.” Even with these protections in place, many southern states resisted racial equality and skirted the law by administering tests designed to prevent African Americans from registering to vote and thus keeping them from participating in the electoral process. ( In March 1965, on a bridge outside Selma, Alabama, civil rights activists, led by Dr. King and others, took to the streets in a peaceful protest for voting rights for African Americans. They were met with clubs and violence. Many were beaten and severely injured, including a young activist named John Lewis later to be Congressman Lewis. (Id) Television brought this conflict of angry violence against peaceful, moral protest into living
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