oa Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa - The promise in the right to vote



A critical analysis of the constitution of the United States indicates that there is a long and arduous road ahead in which the larger expectations in a promise, even in a written constitution, may be circumvented in order to frustrate the eager black voter. If anything, this article may reveal the human weakness of racism which can fester for years before it heals. In one country, the healing process has begun leaving many of the scars readily visible, while in the other, the weakness has only just been diagnosed an many cures are on offer. In this comparative analysis some socio-political similarities between the American South and the present-day, right-wing South Africa emerge. In both countries a bitter civil war was fought and attempts were made to placate the vanquished side in the hope of a unified state. In those attempts, the thorny issues (like the black right to vote) were quickly brushed aside and emphasis fell on economics. In time, however, the civil rights issues re-emerged.


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