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:

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate