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Why are black people the only people who have a constitutional amendment to safeguard...

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denise83 | Student, Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted April 20, 2012 at 10:03 PM via web

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Why are black people the only people who have a constitutional amendment to safeguard their voting rights?

Other groups such as poor whites in the American south and immigrants from Europe do not have a constitutional amendment to guarantee their right to vote.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted April 20, 2012 at 11:01 PM (Answer #1)

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There are two ways to answer this.  

First, it is not technically correct to say that there is a constitutional amendment that serves only to give African Americans the right to vote.  The Fifteenth Amendment forbids denying anyone the right to vote "on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude."  This protects any racial group, not just African Americans, from being discriminated against.

However, the Fifteenth Amendment was meant to protect African Americans.  The reason for this is that they were the group who were denied the right to vote in a systematic way.  This did not happen to poor white Southerners or to immigrants from Europe.

 

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