Today, the GOP canceled a vote on renewing the 1965 Voting Rights Act due to a rebellion of Republican House members. One of the major reasons for their rebellion is the requirement that ballots are to be printed in Spanish or other languages where there are sufficient numbers of people who need the ballots to be printed in another language in order to understand what and who they are voting for. Their revolt against a law that requires equal opportunity for all to vote is spurred on by their revulsion to immigrants.
I am all for teaching everyone in this country English. It is the unifying language of this country. It is very difficult to succeed in this country and achieve the American dream if you do not speak English.
To disenfranchise any vote of any single citizen of this country because of language is immoral and un-American. There is no provision in the constitution that requires that you can read English to vote... In fact, you don't even need to be able to read to vote. It is not a requirement in this country to learn English.
The only constitutional requirement in this country to be able to vote is to be a citizen of the united states.
And guess what - all Puerto Ricans are full citizens of this country. They have ever right and privilege as everyone else who was born on the main land. If they move to Topeka, they have the right to vote in the local elections. If they move to Atlanta, they have the right to vote in the local elections.
Since it is not required for all of our citizens to learn English, it is a clear violation of the constitution and the democratic principals to discriminate against them because they do not speak English.
But of course, I have met very few on the right who considers any naturalized immigrants or Puerto Rican to really be Americans anyway. Of course, they didn't think blacks were even people for 400 years either.
This rebellion by Republicans is bigoted and wrong. From the landless, to ex-slaves, to women, the movement in this country has always been to ensure full opportunity to take part in the democratic process, regardless of your background. Now the Republicans want to take us backwards.
GOP Rebellion Stops Voting Rights Act
By Charles Babington
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, June 22, 2006; Page A07
House leaders abruptly canceled a vote to renew the 1965 Voting Rights Act yesterday after rank-and-file Republicans revolted over provisions that require bilingual ballots in many places and continued federal oversight of voting practices in Southern states.
The intensity of the complaints, raised in a closed meeting of GOP lawmakers, surprised Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) and his lieutenants, who thought the path was clear to renew the act's key provisions for 25 years. The act is widely considered a civil rights landmark that helped thousands of African Americans gain access to the ballot box. Its renewal seemed assured when House and Senate Republican and Democratic leaders embraced it in a May 2 kickoff on the Capitol steps.