Friday, May 18, 2012

Don't Know Much About History [Updated]

Update: Although I received no direct response from the Obama campaign yesterday after I contacted them about the error, as of Saturday morning, the GottaVote.org website below has removed "or African Americans" from the sentences I highlighted in the original posting below.  The pages have simply been revised with no reference to the original erroneous statement, although the Google cache of the site contains the original.  I will try not to be hurt that the Obama campaign has not sent a note of thanks.  I am just that magnanimous.

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    Friday morning, the Obama 2012 campaign began promoting a new website, GottaVote.org.  One section of the website contains stories about how voting rights and regulations affect individuals.  One of the stories concerns Dorothy Cooper, a 96 year-old African American woman, and the article begins as follows:
Dorothy Cooper was born in 1915, before women or African Americans could exercise the right to vote in the United States.
Here's a screenshot of that part of the page:

While it was not until 1920 that the 19th Amendment to the Constitution guaranteeing women the right to vote was ratified, the 15th Amendment prohibiting the denial of voting rights based on color or race was ratified in 1870 following the Civil War.  So while it is true that no women, African American or otherwise, could vote in 1915, and it is also true that states often found ways to discriminate against blacks  well into the 20th century before civil right legislation was passed in the 1960s, the Obama campaign is at least 45 years behind the times in its assertion that African Americans could not vote in 1915.

Update:  This is also the first item highlighted on the blog at the new site (screenshot below.)

Update: I just noticed a third place the incorrect claim appears (at least part of it,) on the home page of the site as a preview to their news/blog page:

Since their site says "Voting is easy when you have the facts...," let's hope the rest of their facts were better researched than this one.

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