FACTS

    This week marked the 100 year anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution, which 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 sex” and was the result of “decades of agitation” and “struggle.” Both sides praise the advances made by women but say there is much work to be done.

    LEFT

    Teresa Van Hoy, a professor of history at St. Mary’s University, noted that the Black Lives Matter movement has raised awareness about a “matter that had been covered up for 100 years” – that of “racism in the women’s suffrage movement.” A CNN op-ed agreed that “far too many will overlook the virulent racism, classism and xenophobia” that marked the movement.

    “The 19th Amendment didn’t guarantee women’s right to vote; it guaranteed white women’s right to vote. And so even as we commemorate this milestone, it’s crucial that we acknowledge its complexity.”

    Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

    Environmental activist Erin Brockovich said of the amendment that women were not “given” the right to vote, but rather, “you corrected your mistake in ever denying us. That being said, now that we have the power to vote, we need to use it.” It was noted that despite women having still not broken the “highest glass ceiling of the land,” we may be closer than ever with “Kamala Harris as vice president.”

    RIGHT

    In commemoration, President Trump announced on Tuesday an official posthumous pardon for Susan B. Anthony, a key leader in the suffragist movement and co-drafter of the 19th Amendment who was “convicted of voting illegally” in 1872.

    “Americans today need resilience to conquer COVID-19, reignite the economy, and overcome civil unrest. May the resilience on parade of yesterday’s suffragists inspire us to bounce back and overcome 2020’s challenges.”

    Jane Hampton Cook, media commentator and award-winning author

    Former Secretary of Commerce Barbara Hackman Franklin stated that “a new generation of women must fulfill the 19th Amendment’s promise: more women in leadership—and, at last, a woman President of the United States.”

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