In explaining the results of the 2016 American elections, we are generally referred to the gap between the higher and the less educated, or the gap between the rich and the poor. But there is another element to the story: who had the right to vote?
He keeps his wild gray hair out of his face with a bandana. William More is wearing sneakers today, his socks pulled up to just below his knee. His wife comes over and tucks a dreadlock behind her ear. "I'm not saying who I voted for, but we have to stop that wall, you know?"
Every vote is one and God knows we are already missing a lot because of the racist voting laws.
It is now early afternoon and the enormous queue from this morning has largely resolved. "It will be busy again tonight," says More. "Every vote is one and God knows we are already missing a lot because of the racist voting laws. "
The laws More refers to are as old as the right to vote itself. Slavery was abolished in America in 1865 and the Fifteenth Amendment added to the US Constitution. This gave everyone the right to vote. But "everyone" was a flexible concept: women had to wait another fifty years for their right to vote, "free" blacks were still barred from voting in all sorts of different ways.
Read the full article by me and Vera Mulder in Dutch here
Originally published on De Correspondent – November 11, 2016