University of Miami Race & Social Justice Law Review

Document Type



Historically the United States has proudly described itself as a “melting pot,” declaring, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” However, if the truth is told, the United States of America has never been a melting pot. In a melting pot, the ingredients each contribute something to the pot that equalizes them into becoming a well-seasoned, indistinguishable meal. No one ingredient dominates the mixture, and each adds something that makes the pot richer. This country is more like a gumbo, a dish whose ingredients stand out, where some purportedly add more value to the mix than others. The term “purportedly” is intentional because the cook determines which ingredients are more deserving of being added to the gumbo and which should dominate the flavor, style, and end result. Yes, the United States of America is a gumbo, White supremacy has been the cook for far too long and the maintenance of power has been the main ingredient. America needs some new cooks in the kitchen.

The right to vote has always been an unkept promise as America’s vision of equality has been distorted since its very inception. Many Americans believe the First Amendment is the most important right. The authors of this Article, however; believe that the right to vote is the foundational right because voting allows citizens to engage in the political process. Without participation in the political process, all other fundamental rights are diminished. While voting is touted as the cornerstone of American democracy, it is a promise repeatedly broken. We acknowledge that every person who is a minority in America, suffers from racism; however, but our focus here is on Black America.