#WomensEqualityDay Forgets Women of Colour

23590 03: Young girls hold up banners supporting women's equality at the "Call to the Nation's Conscience" ERA rally on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial October 12, 1981 in Washington, DC. The Equal Rights Advocates (ERA) is dedicated to guaranteeing women equal opportunity and the rally was held on the final day of the NOW National Conference. (Photo by Penelope Breese/Liaison)
Young girls hold up banners supporting women’s equality at the “Call to the Nation’s Conscience” ERA rally on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial October 12, 1981 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Penelope Breese/Liaison)

On August 26th, Americans marked the 95th anniversary of the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, after a long and hard-fought battle by suffragists. With its passage in 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment declared it unconstitutional for any effort to disenfranchise any voter on the basis of sex. In 1971, Congress christened August 26th as National Women’s Equality Day to mark the passage of the Amendment and to celebrate the winning of the right to vote for female voters.

I think it’s extremely important to celebrate the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, without which female voters would still be denied a political voice. We should not forget America’s roots. At the founding of this country, the right to vote was limited to land-owning White men; the subsequent two centuries have seen a progressive expansion of civil rights (including voting rights) to encompass marginalized American groups, and this country has been made the better for it. The Nineteenth Amendment was — and is — a crucial victory in the larger war to establish and defend voting rights for disenfranchised groups, and fully deserves our celebration.

But, while the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment did indeed create equality for female voters, it only established ballot box access for some female voters. When we brand August 26th as “Women’s Equality Day”, we forget that voting rights were not won for all women on August 16th, 1920. For many of this nation’s women of colour, voting rights would take up to a half a century longer to be realized; and for many of today’s women of colour, equal ballot box access remains stymied.

Continue reading “#WomensEqualityDay Forgets Women of Colour”

Jeb Bush Clarifies his Position on “Anchor Babies”: “It’s more related to Asian[s].”

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. (Photo credit: M. Spencer Green / AP Photo)
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. (Photo credit: M. Spencer Green / AP Photo)

Snoopy believes Jeb Bush — son of the country’s 41st president and brother to the country’s 43rd president — will ultimately emerge as the Republican Party’s presidential nominee next year. So it is with particular interest that I watch Bush’s statements on the crowded Republican primary campaign trail right now: what Bush says now could come back to haunt him in the fall of 2016.

Consistent with this prediction, Bush appears to be running in the Republican primary season as a middle-of-the-road conservative. For the most part, he has rejected the radical ideas of his primary opponents, and instead has issued statements designed to ensure appeal to moderate voters in the general election. When Donald Trump declared last week that he would back trade embargos against Mexico and a Constitutional amendment to reduce or eliminate the birthright citizenship standard, most of the other Republican candidates followed suit; Jeb broke from the pack with an ardent support of birthright citizenship as “a constitutional right”.

Just when I was on the verge of writing a post titled “Jeb Bush: The Voice of Reason”, however, Bush couldn’t help but remind us that he’s still running in a primary race that has become little more than a clown car of hate. Asked to clarify and defend his use of the term “anchor babies” — a term referring to the US-born children of immigrants who have American citizenship by birthright, and a phrase that is implicitly racist and derogatory when used by Republicans — Bush told a reporter yesterday that he doesn’t use the phrase in reference to Latino immigrants.

According to Bush, the problem is Asians.

Continue reading “Jeb Bush Clarifies his Position on “Anchor Babies”: “It’s more related to Asian[s].””

Birthright Citizenship and How the GOP is Abandoning Asian American Voters


Asian Americans voters are America’s fastest growing population of voters, growing from 1.6% of registered voters in 1996 to 3.4% in 2012. Not only are we a sizable share of the electorate but we often cast our ballots as a unified voting bloc: in 2008 and 2012, nearly three quarters of voters cast their ballot for President Barack Obama in the general election, and in many states, Asian American votes might well have swung the election outcome.

Despite the Asian American community’s strong turnout for a Democratic candidate in the last two general presidential elections, the Asian American electorate is also unique in that it remains uncommitted to either of this country’s two major political parties. In California, for example, one fifth of Asian American voters describe themselves as politically unaffiliated despite their typically left-leaning politics, and in Texas, Asian American voters are equally divided between Democrats, Republicans, and unaffiliated voters. These electorate characteristics have led many politicos to speculate that the Asian American vote may be a “persuadable” electorate, amenable to being wooed and won by either party.

Continue reading “Birthright Citizenship and How the GOP is Abandoning Asian American Voters”