#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.

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Birthright Citizenship and How the GOP is Abandoning Asian American Voters

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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.

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10 examples of #AAPI’s rich history of resistance

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The Asian American Movement: protesters protest police brutality and racial profiling during the 1970’s (photo credit: Corky Lee). For a far better description of this photo and associated protests than I could provide, please read the fantastic comment from Gavin Huang in the comments section immediately following this post, as well as his post on the subject here.

In the wake of the #AsianPrivilege response hash-tag to #NotYourAsianSidekick and #BlackPowerYellowPeril, it appears as if (among other misguided ideas) there is a prevailing notion out there that, in contrast to other minorities, Asian Americans “lack a history of resistance” (or that we think we do), and that this invisibility and dearth of civil rights history actually confers upon the Asian American community a form of racial privilege.

Putting aside the second half of that assertion regarding privilege for a minute, there’s one other major problem: any argument that relies upon the assumption that Asian Americans lack a history of resistance is patently ahistorical.

Like really, really, really wrong. Like insultingly wrong.

After the jump, here are 10 examples of Asian American’s history of oppression and political resistance.

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