Ocasio-Cortez schools Republicans on voting rights and prison reform

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's first speech from the House floor is a hit on Twitter. Screen capture by C-SPAN via YouTube video

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) had to teach Republicans another lesson about how American society unfairly treats nonviolent prisoners.

In many states across the country, convicts lose their right to vote even if their crime was non-violent. This is especially true of people convicted of possessing marijuana.

Furthermore, many nonviolent felons don’t have their voting rights restored even after they’ve served their time, disenfranchising millions of Americans whose voice should be heard.

At a time when every vote is crucial in our democracy, this small percentage of Americans could sway several local, state and federal elections, especially since it’s mostly black people who are disproportionately affected by such practices.

On Thursday, Ocasio-Cortez once again stood up for the disenfranchised and argued that nonviolent felons should have the right to vote.

She then pointed out that we incarcerate more people than anywhere else in the world and that our system particularly picks on people of color and the poor while white people and wealthy people are treated with kid gloves.

Ocasio-Cortez concluded by blasting Republicans for having a 1st grade reading level.

She’s right. This is an important issue. Our country cannot go on pretending that our prison system is not a modern day plantation system where blacks are sent to rot and provide free hard labor for states without even getting to vote.

This is an example of something our society needs to change and Ocasio-Cortez is doing her damnedest to highlight it and bring it to people’s attention. Some states are literally using the justice system to strip people of color of their civil rights and suppress the vote and it needs to stop. Until then, slavery will never truly be over in the United States.

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