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Whoopi Goldberg takes stance on felons' voting rights

by Zach Wagner - Staff Writer
Tue, Apr 30th 2019 10:00 pm
Heated debate  Whoopi Goldberg's support for criminals' voting rights came as a surprise to many as she has been a community activist for years. Goldberg believed if terrorists like Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, known as the Boston bomber, are released, they should also be given the right to vote despite their criminal history.
Heated debate Whoopi Goldberg's support for criminals' voting rights came as a surprise to many as she has been a community activist for years. Goldberg believed if terrorists like Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, known as the Boston bomber, are released, they should also be given the right to vote despite their criminal history.

Caryn Elaine Johnson, famously known as Whoopi Goldberg, has ventured into many different areas within the media world. From her award winning acting career, authoring 11 books and making a name for herself in daytime television, Goldberg has been able to make herself an American household figure. 

In a recent episode of ABC’s “The View,” Goldberg and her fellow co-host Meghan McCain exchanged comments regarding a controversial statement made by presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. 

According to Fox News, during a rally in Houston on Wednesday, April 24, Sanders claimed he thinks felons should be granted the right to vote after serving their time. 

“That is a right we must protect because we know the history of this country,” Sanders said. “We know that women didn't have the right to vote. We know that African-Americans didn't have the right to vote.” 

According to the Washington Examiner, the hosts of “The View” shared their opinions and took their stances on the topic. The mood in the room was mainly set on disagreeing with Bernie, except for Goldberg who had other opinions pertaining to the statements. 

According to the Washington Examiner, Goldberg saw where Bernie was coming from, stating that as American citizens, they should be granted the right to vote after serving their sentences. They referred to the Boston bomber as an example, discussing whether a terrorist should be given back their right to vote after committing such a horrid crime. 

“Here’s what I’m going to say: If they let this terrorist out because he served his time, he gets his, if he’s an American citizen,” said Goldberg to the Washington Examiner.

McCain had no understanding for Goldberg’s perspective whatsoever. Her jaw dropped to the floor after hearing what Goldberg had to say on the issue. Goldberg noticed the disgust on her face, asking McCain why her reaction was so colorful. She clapped back at Goldberg saying “he killed people.”  

Goldberg responded with reasoning, still trying to get her point across. She referred to the United States Constitution, touching on how every citizen deserves the right to earn their voting responsibilities back after paying their debt to society. 

“Yes, lots of people do this, our Constitution says, if you have done your time, you have, we hope, been reformed, been changed,” said Goldberg. “If they let him out, that means they feel his time is up and he gets to become an American citizen again.” 

In my opinion, this is a very sensitive subject. There are a lot of different perspectives when it comes to this issue. From a petty possession charge to first degree murder, the range of charges that are categorized as felonies vary.

Of course, a number of felons have broken the law once in their life, have learned their lesson and do deserve these rights back. On the other hand, you have perpetrators like the Boston bomber who maliciously set out to kill. 

Disturbed people like that should not be allowed to vote under any circumstances. Looking at both sides of the spectrum, it wouldn’t be right to go through and hand pick the felons that should be granted their voting rights. If you grant it to one, then you have to grant it to all. 

With that being said, it would not be a good idea to give felons their voting rights back. The ones responsible of crimes need to realize they violated their freedom, caused harm to society and shouldn’t have a right to participate in it. 

The statement by Bernie Sanders will definitely be a heated topic of discussion heading into the 2020 election. It will be interesting to see the discussions that surface regarding this issue and the stances taken by each candidate.