Last time a journalist dared to use their platform and freedom of speech to discuss this question on the Huffington Post, she was silenced and the article was taken down. However, I saw it and thought that the benefits of reversing white men’s suffrage was definitely worth discussing. After all, women and people of colour went through times of not being allowed to vote, and the fact that white men never had to experience that is an injustice. Despite the fact that we are given the illusion of democracy today (even though in reality the electoral college decides our future for us), do oppressors of minorities and women deserve to choose to continue our oppression, or should we help them by withdrawing the right to vote from them for a while until we can truly get on the same page and connect?
Women were not allowed to vote in the United States until 1920, so that’s over a millennium of women lacking the right to vote. And what reparations have been paid since then? Nothing. Where’s the justice for women? Black suffrage in the United States has also been a slow process where even when people of colour were legally allowed to vote in the 1860s, there were many obstacles such as the “Black Codes” and voter intimidation in general. Where’s their justice? Nowhere to be found. Historically, white men have had few problems voting and the way things are going, they will never understand the kind of injustice others have faced.
Now, history lessons aside; many people who disagree so far might be thinking, “Yes, all this injustice that happened in the past was undoubtedly awful. However, two wrongs don’t make a right.” However one can’t be sure if withdrawing the white man’s vote could be considered a “wrong”. Furthermore, the point here that has to be made is that banning white men from voting temporarily will help them understand systemic injustice and help them become better, more empathetic allies to the social justice cause. In contexts like these, identity politics can be helpful, empowering and contributing to an important learning experience. White men who want to become better allies always come across the problem of “I will never understand what it feels like to be systemically oppressed” but this proposal may further their understanding of minority needs and improve relations between different genders and races, which is the ultimate goal; equality.
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