Day: August 26, 2010

90th Anniversary Of Woman Suffrage: The American South Tradition Of Human Rights Discrimination Remembered!

Today, August 26th, marks the 90th Anniversary of Women Suffrage, the right of women to vote!

Somehow, when we look back, it is hard to believe that there was such strong resistance to this, as far back as 1848, right after the Seneca Falls, New York, Equal Rights Convention which started the suffrage fight!

The struggle went on for 72 years, and only came about as a result of World War I military contributions by women, and President Woodrow Wilson backing away from his earlier opposition to the 19th Amendment, finally endorsing it!

But still it took to 1920, and the final battle to win the 36th state, Tennessee, which was won by a state legislator who listened to his mother and cast the decisive vote!

What is often forgotten is that there were still 12 states that refused to accept the adopted amendment by ratifying it for a long time after 1920! They had to obey it and enforce the amendment, but they took decades to ratify it! 🙁 And nine of them were Southern states!

Imagine: Maryland in 1941, Virginia in 1952, Alabama in 1953, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, and South Carolina between 1969 and 1971, and Mississippi in 1984 finally ratified woman suffrage! 🙁

Notice that it was also the South, which was, of course, openly antagonistic to African American civil rights in the 1950s and 1960s, and is still in many hidden ways working against it, now in the Republican party, instead of the Democratic party!

And what area of the country is most opposed to gay rights? Again, the South, which talks about “family values” and connects it to religion, wanting us to forget that it was religion that worked to keep women, African Americans, and poor people from voting in the South, and is now actively working against gay equality! 🙁

These “family values” in the South mean to keep women, African Americans, immigrants, and gays as second class citizens, unless the federal government interferes against “states rights”, meaning the power to discriminate! 🙁

The South may have lost the Civil War, but they have had tremendous impact in a negative way against the rights of women, African Americans, immigrants, the poor, and gay Americans over the decades since! Thank goodness that the US government has used its power and its influence, often belatedly, to enforce basic civil rights and civil liberties, overruling the false premise of “states rights”! 🙁