KEN BLACKWELL: Remembering The Real Reason For Black History Month

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KEN BLACKWELL: Remembering The Real Reason For Black History Month

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Black History Month is about remembering the history of black Americans’ struggles to earn equal citizenship. The month should focus on celebrating the 15th Amendment and the civil rights movement. Now, nearly all of Black History Month has gone by and I bet you’ve heard little about either of these important historical lessons.

Instead, Black History Month has turned into frivolous topics like watching Kerry Washington play a Washington Fixer in the show “Scandal” or listening to a Beyoncé song. It’s about supporting black individuals in the entertainment industry, not about remembering the long struggle that blacks faced to earn and exercise their right to vote.

What’s worse is that while Black History Month is being diluted to frivolous topics, black Americans’ voting power is being diluted by foreign nationals in many cities across the country.

New York City and Washington, D.C., have passed laws allowing foreign nationals to vote in municipal elections. This undermines the meaning of citizenship and is a slap in the face to black Americans who fought to have their voices heard at the ballot box for over a century.

Expanding the right to vote to foreigners not only diminishes the work of black Americans to have their vote counted, but it also gives the right to vote to people who have no stake in the future of our country. Part of being a citizen is caring about leaving the country better off for the next generation. Foreigners living in America do not have the same shared interest in that investment.

Additionally, allowing foreign nationals to vote will diminish the voting power of black American citizens in these cities. Even worse, lawmakers in New York City were aware of this.

In New York City, the Public Interest Legal Foundation, of which I am a Board Member, filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of four black New York City voters to have the city’s foreign citizen voting bill declared unconstitutional for violating the 15th Amendment and the Voting Rights Act. In America, you cannot have any election laws that are racially motivated to favor any group.

We must fight these foreign citizen voting laws wherever they are passed and protect the hard earned right of black Americans to have their voices heard through our elections.

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We cannot let citizenship cease to mean anything. black Americans have fought too hard for citizenship and the right to vote to see it diminished.

Let’s take a moment and remember the real reason for Black History Month.

It’s to remember the historical struggle that black Americans have faced to be equal citizens. From Reconstruction to the 1960’s Civil Rights movement, black Americans have fought long and hard to have equal citizenship and secure the right to vote.

Let’s take this month to celebrate the important figures like Frederick Douglass and Martin Luther King who fought and helped secure these rights. Let’s teach these historical lessons to the next generation. These fights and struggles should not be forgotten.

Ken Blackwell is the Distinguished Fellow for Human Rights and Constitutional Governance at the Family Research Council. He is a member of the board of directors for the Public Interest Legal Foundation and was the Ohio Secretary of State from 1999 to 2007.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.

All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

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