CHRIS UGGEN ON RACIST HISTORY OF DISENFRANCHISMENT PART 1-- LAWS-Andrew Stelzer

07/15/04

13 percent of all Black men in the United States are not allowed to vote; because they have a felony conviction on their record, and have been disenfranchised currently or permanently—this is 7 times the national average. One in 50 black women in America also no longer have the right to vote. Florida has one of the highest rates of black citizens with no voting rights—the state is one of only 7 which do not automatically restore rights to felons after they have paid their debt to society. A new study, “Felony Voting Rights and the Disenfranchisement of African Americans.�, examines the root of the disenfranchisement laws, and found that they are often linked to slavery and efforts to keep black people from participating in the electoral process. WMNF’s Andrew Stelzer spoke with Chris Uggen, a University of Minnesota sociologist, and of one of the authors of the study, about the history of these racist laws, and how they have changed over the last 140 years.

UGGEN INTERVIEW PART 1

That was Chris Uggen, author of a new study on the roots of felons’ disenfranchisement laws. Well hear part 2 of that interview tomorrow; to view Uggen’s research, you can go to wmnf.org for web addresses.

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