This Day in History….The 15th Amendment
150 years from now people will no doubt look back on this date -March, 30- and talk about the Coronavirus and COVID-19. Our descendants will marvel at how the nation and the world virtually shutdown to snuff out the spread of a deadly virus. Of course the world will know if the battle as fought today will be looked back on and considered a victory or not in terms of loss of life, medical breakthroughs, pandemic preparedness, lessons learned, economies crushed, economies restored, new plans and pathways emerged, etc.
That will be then, but for us today, a look back 150 years on matters of great national significance must focus on the passing of the 15th Amendment to the Constitution.
The 15th Amendment states: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”
According to Wikipedia , "The vote in the House was 144 to 44, with 35 not voting. The House vote was almost entirely along party lines, with no Democrats supporting the bill and only 3 Republicans voting against it, some because they thought the amendment did not go far enough in its protections......The final vote in the Senate was 39 to 13, with 14 not voting. The Senate passed the amendment with a vote of 39 Republican votes of "Yea", 8 Democrat and 5 Republican votes of "Nay"
We often hear conservative talk show hosts try to remind us all of how it was the Republicans, NOT the Democrats that gave African-Americans the vote. It's true.
Somehow that got lost over the next 150 years with most minorities becoming part of the Democrat party and identity politics.
Before the Coronavirus hit, the unemployment rate for African-Americans was at an all-time low, lower than during our first African-American President Obama's administration. The talk was of growing support for President Trump among the African-American community.
An article in the NY Post from February of this year noted, "Four years ago, candidate Donald Trump’s pitch to African Americans heading to voting booths was simple: “What do you have to lose?” While he captured just 8 percent of the black vote in 2016, recent polls suggest things could be different this time around. In November, an Emerson poll reported a 34.5 percent approval rating among black voters, and a January Gallup poll reported a 14 percent increase in satisfaction over race relations among Americans."
Hopefully, in this period of social distancing and and sheltering in place, with the election still 7 months away, we'll all find time to google American history and be reminded just who it was that first carved out the path to the ballot box for people of color....150 years ago today.