Millions of Americans Don’t Have Full Voting Rights. John Oliver Explains Just How Insane That Is.


To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday this weekend, an event that spurred the passage of the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act, John Oliver took a moment out during his show last night to remind everyone that nearly 4 million people living in the United States are still denied full voting rights. Why? Because they live in territories.

Coincidentally enough, 98 percent of these residents happen to be racial or ethnic minorities who were once categorized as government-acquired “alien races” and therefore not extended constitutional protections.

“Alien races can’t understand Anglo-Saxon principles?” Oliver asked. “I find that condescending and I’m British. We basically invented patronizing bigotry!”

As Oliver goes onto further explain, it gets even worse for American Samoans, who are the only people born on U.S. soil but denied citizenship. Last month, Mother Jones published a report detailing the Obama administration’s fight to continue denying citizenship to American Samoans using a century-old racist law to justify their case.

Oliver also summed up everything stupid about Daylight Saving Time in 3 minutes:

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

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