A set of Supreme Court decisions made over 100 years ago has left U.S. territories without meaningful representation. That’s weird, right?
What I want to know is if the U.S. territories have petitioned to be recognized as official states. Hawaii is currently the only island territory that is officially recognized as a U.S. state (as far as I know). What exactly are the political roadblocks that are preventing these territories from becoming U.S. states? I see little to no evidence that the residents of these territories are opposed to the idea, since it would instantly elevate their status in the eyes of other Americans and they’re already U.S. citizens, except for American Samoans (which is downright horrible). And the sad part is that I actually understand why this is an issue; I actually didn’t know ANY of this before John Oliver bought it to my attention, and that really pisses me off. But this is the 21st century, people should know about this crap. So what’s the excuse? People get riled up in the mainland states about civil rights and even start freaking riots over it, but they completely disregard the parts of the U.S. that are in way worse political/economic condition? That’s crazy.
“United States of Amoogaboink” XD
Several points: 1. these people can vote for the president if they move to a US state. Eg. people on Guam, the US virgin islands, puerto rico, etc can vote for the US president when they move to any US state. There is zero legal restrictions on them Moving to a US state. they are citizens. It would be the same as a New yorker moving to florida.
2. They are allowed to vote for their local officials, who 99.99% of the time control what happens in those islands.
3. These territories do not pay federal income taxes. Quite frankly I would rather not pay federal income taxes if all I had to give up was voting for the POTUS.
There is no great injustice being committed on these people. if voting is so important to them, have them move to any of the 50 US states. Nothing in the legal code is stopping them. many of them prefer not having to pay federal income taxes.
You’re not an American. You immigrated here for what reason? To bitch, complain and berate The U.S.? Who immigrates to a country only to complain about it? Shut the fuck up you whiny little cocksucker. Someone is going to kick the ever loving shit out of you, stuff you into a duffle bag and ship you the fuck back to England. Dumb asshole.
American “Nationals” cannot vote, even though they serve in the American military and participate in straw poll elections at a higher percentage than citizens do.
Yes, they can’t vote on presidential elections because they aren’t states. They are territories. When I first learned about US territories my first question was “Why don’t they become states?” Well apparently some of them don’t want to be states. In 2012 Puerto Rico was considering becoming the 51st state but 54 percent of respondents voted against it. Once the territories want to become a state then they can get all the rights that come with being a state. Until then they can remain a territory with limited U.S. rights. The District of Columbia isn’t a state and none if its residents can vote on the president but I guess that’s something John Oliver knows but just chose not to think about. Honestly I would love to see the territories become states. I think they definitely deserve it, especially American Samoa and Guam.
Voting… At best: a sick ritual used to fool people into thinking their rulers represent them. At worst: a way for some people to commit unjust “legal” aggression against others.
No one should have the right to vote away my freedoms.
I was never taught about U.S. territories in school. Off the top of my head I have no idea where these places are… and they’re supplying my military with soldiers. This is shameful.
How many Canadians were allowed to vote on the new British royal succession law?
Just a thought.
Requiring an ID to vote is a red herring. It’s a NON-issue which has been portrayed as a serious problem with society. Most of the developed world, and even a lot of 3rd world nations require voter ID. So, why is it okay for them to require it, but it’s some how NOT okay for us to require it? This is how we make sure the elections are fair. Why is it wrong to want it to be fair? The whole notion is absurd.
“Anglo Saxon principles” ….Anglo Saxons have been the minority in America sines the 19th century.
Americans didn’t invent television, John Logie Baird (a Brit) did. John Oliver should know better.
I admit that I did not know this, and I am very very deeply upset to learn it. #statehood #votingrights #citizenship
USA — DISCRIMINATES AGAINTS TERRITORIES ACCORDING TO HIS ANTHROPOLOGICAL DOCTRINE(RACISM)!!!
Puertoricans are not Americans by international law how do you think we have an olympic team??
How do citizens not vote. It can only be racism. I wonder if they were mainly white what the rule would be
Clayton's Americans…. the Americans you have who aren't Americans.
Puerto Rico has had 4 referendums that I can find over the past 50 years to see if the citizens want change their territorial status. The first 3, in 67, 93, and 98, the majority voted AGAINST status change. It wasn’t until just 2012 that a majority of Puerto Rican voters voted in favor (54% to 46%) of ending their territorial status. And, of those who voted to end it, 34% voted free association and nearly 6% voted for complete independence from the United States.
This video tries to make it sound like these people have been desperate to become a non-territorial part of the US for decades, when in reality, its only been a few years that there has been a majority of US territorial residents (at least in Puerto Rico) who actively wish to change that, and even among those who would do wish for that change, there’s a not-insignificant portion that do not wish to be US citizens.
They are also not required to pay taxes if you live in the territories.
Check out this video on YouTube:
I’m from Guam. If the territories cannot vote. Then I don’t think we should be the territories of the United States
Why do I feel like half the reason these “territories” aren’t states is that we’re just too lazy to figure out how to squeeze any more stars on the flag…
Theres a Constitutional app for that: become a state. The end.
The biggest rallying cry in the formation of the United States of America, was no Taxation without Representation. the fact that we are violating that principle should shake America to its very core.
when there a things like this happening in the world they should be sorted at a higher priority than gay marriage
As soon as Puerto Rico starts to pay full taxes to the Republic then they can vote. Many of the US territories cherry pick their dedication to the Republic.
Most Americans are so dumb they don’t even know their country has territories and think Samoans and Puerto ricans are immigrants!
US territories are economically better off their their independent neighbors, and how is anyone surprised that in 1901 people thought like that, also it should be noted, the islanders were at the time likely illiterate, and territories without citizenship was so incredibly normal and widespread no one would have batted an eye. That wont stop rampant presentism and decontextulization though, because that’s what fake outrage is all about. Should they vote? Probably it’s complex, should we scoff at century old laws, maybe, but understand them in their context. Letting illiterate non-English speakers vote in US elections was so out of the question in 1901, It’d be like being surprised to see Puritans didn’t believe in same sex marriage.
John Oliver is such a patriot, brave man for speaking about all these issues that are very important. He probably just sees himself as a comedian, but he’s a fucking hero to be honest.
Guamanian right here. ^^
In America, we have something called the “electoral college”
In this system, the STATES, not the general public, vote for the president.
These territories cannot vote because they are not STATES. If they chose to apply for statehood, then the people would be able to vote. That’s in the constitution, folks.
We are so attached to the 50 states concept. Give DC, Puerto Rico, Guam et al what they deserve. We don’t even have to call them states, just give them the full legal power.
Puerto Rico is a colony taken by force by the US, who entered here to rape our women and experiment on our people and guess what, they still experiment on our people.
We demand our independence and we demand that the US to be OUT of Puerto Rico, inmidiatly.
They don’t pay federal income taxes.
This probably won’t get seen, but it also has something to do with the fact that the territories aren’t taxed (at least not for federal income tax).
So they don’t get voting rights, but they don’t have to pay income taxes either, and can enjoy the benefits of being a citizen and territory of the US, military, visas, etc.
I hadn’t heard about the american samoa thing though. Thats awful. They should at least give them the same rights as other territories.
And regarding the VA, its also a disgrace. a veteran’s a veteran.
Usually i agree with John Oliver but not with this one. U.S territories dont pay federal taxes. They don’t deserve the right to vote and have a say in our government if theyre not going to contribute taxes like every other state. That’s why they refuse to be a state. They dont wanna pay taxes for it. And if i was them i wouldnt either. They get protection from us and are lucky enough to call themselves U.S. citizen which is appalling since theyre a different country.
WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AS A VET I’M SICK OF THIS F/EN MESS THE BANKERS HAVE DONE TO OUR COUNTRY! AND OBAMA! WHERE THE F- IS OBAMA’S PROOF HE’S A DAMN AMERICAN???????????????????????????? SEND HIM BACK TO WHERE EVER HE CAME FROM WE THE PEOPLE WANT OUR COUNTRY BACK!
Acquired them? More like took them …sigh
Well, the threshold reason is that they are not states, and only residents of the 50 states and District of Columbia can vote in Presidential elections…
These days it really comes down to the precarious balance of power in Congress and how one side might be afraid of upsetting the existing balance (or losing an existing advantage) by admitting a new state or even giving the District a member of Congress. Is this guy for real Racism????
I want to live in Thinmintissippiippi.
America the greatest country my foot.
ALL PUERTO RICANS CAN VOTE FOR PRESIDENT IN MAIN LAND BUT NOT IN PR THAT IS CRAZY,,,
I literally just clicked remind me later on my updates less than a minute before the reference……….
Just a thought, if we want to keep to 50 states, merge Montana, Wyoming, North and South Dakota into one state (population less than 2 million) and give the territories voting rights.
Hands down the most hilarious person ever, yet he still manages to get his message across. Bravo John Oliver!
I hate to be ‘that’ guy, but in the words of Mark Twain, “‘If voting made any difference they wouldn’t let us do it.”
One of the many reasons that these territories cannot vote is because republicans know that the islands are mostly made up of minorities who would likely vote democrat, making it even more difficult for a republican nominee to win the presidency, which is why it is unlikely that they will be voting anytime soon.
Turn out for what – John Oliver 2015
TURN OUT FOR WAT!
Thank you for these stories. I would never have known this if you had not brought it to my attention.
I wish he would have mentioned if they pay taxes to the U.S.Govt.
Anglo-Saxon principals = Magna Carta, which states that the law is above everyone including the king. Unique to England/GB. The US laws don’t apply to US Territories looks exactly like the Roman system: Twelve Tables = applies to Roman citizens only, full legal protection under the law. Law of Nations = non Roman citizens, which had limited rights compared to citizens under the Twelve Tables. To get under the Twelve Tables rights/ full-citizenship, they would have to serve in the military. Pretty weird how the US has a system that is similar to the Roman system 1600 years ago. and its complete bull shit how they lack voting rights or automatic citizenship.
The main issue here is that when the United States was created they only had a system of creating new territories that would eventually become states, and therefore, an integral part of the United States. Cue the Spanish-American war and America jumps on the imperialism bandwagon to compete with Europe, where we were assholes to the Philippines for 50 years, then nuked most of the rest of the islands that we got from Spain for the next 50. The problem is and was at the time it started, of these territories that we were never going to integrate in the first place and now we are dealing with the repercussions. In my opinion, statehood should not be a major factor in elections or representation, being a natural U.S citizen should. I apologize if this article might be a bit insensitive, but history is not rainbows and sunshine. But, I am only a North Carolinian so what do i know.
That Lil Jon Song moment killed me
i have good LOLI
his eyebrows put me off :3
Just wondering what Donald Trump would say about this!
…this is a shame, and very unfair!
When Donald Trump becomes president, the territories will become concentration camps.
I could watch that moment of the judge getting hot from his singing over and over again :-)
hope CIA doesn’t kill our favorite luni balloni….
There is no cobras in Colombia ¬¬ and the stethical surgeons used here are imported from the “”cut my body culture”” of U.S.
I don’t think the newscasters were throwing shade at her. They were probably referring to her parents moving to a place that maybe didn’t even speak their language. Puerto Ricans have a parade every year to represent the pride in their flag becasue they still consider themselves unique from the US, which might be why some people still think of it as a country. Do people from St. Thomas or Alaska do a parade to wave their flags? I am just curious.
I’m pretty sure that British territories have the same lack of rights as the US territories…
I’m from Puerto Rico, currently serving in the US ARMY. As a kid, I always though that it sucked for me having to spend all of my life learning about America, being forced to remember the states, the wars they participated in, and study pretty much every single thing about them, but the moment I talk to someone about where I come from, they have this dumbfounded look on their face and ask “I don’t know where it is.” US territories are forced to implement US history in the school curriculum, but most Americans don’t even know ANYTHING relating to the histories of Puerto Rico, Guam, The US Virgin Islands, and America Somoa. Fuck, they can’t even locate the territories in the world map. (the proof is in the comments)
I legitimately got pissed at someone because they asked me how did I get my green card to serve in the armed forces. Are you fucking kidding me?
Other facts not covered by John. Their men MUST register for the selective service (AKA Draft) and they pay ALL federal taxes that are applicable by law in their territories. As a US citizen and a US sailor, this disgusts me and saddens me.
4:50 **meanwhile in the translators episode** “It’s just 200 square miles of palm trees and storage space. It’s GUAM”- John Oliver, October 2014
Not even sure if it’s worth being a USA citizen anymore. Those territories should just claim their independence and tell the US to take a hike.
All the territories excluding Puerto Rico should be states or have voting rights. I exclude Puerto Rico because they don’t pay federal taxes.
In Canada our territories are just different on a territorial/provincial level.
“The bearer is a United States National and not a United States Citizen.”- Passport
Wtf… that is so messed up and wrong on so many levels! If you were born in a RECOGNIZED US country, then automatically that should earn you a full citizenship. This really is a mess that can be cleared up with a stroke of a pen!
John Oliver missed that fact that all five territories have voted “NO” to becoming states. I’m not sure how often they get to vote on this, but I know Puerto Rico has had this vote at least three times in my lifetime. If they voted Yes, then we would get more stars on the flag and they would in turn have to pay federal taxes, but all of the people would receive full citizenship rights.
The funniest part is just before the video started, I clicked remind me later on a computer update hahahahahaha
I always find it odd that Puerto Rico sends its own team to the Summer Olympics. Shouldn’t they be on the U.S. team?
if you think that’s shameful. Look at what America does to the people of Okinawa.
Yep, those rules are oooollddd!!!!
very interesting! :)
return those territories back to Spain, you stole them with tricks and lies
You live in a country ran like a JAIL simply waaay too many states, makes it easier to manipulate all of you Let all the prisoners live together you’ll have a Riot eventually or they will start having more rights or become stronger etc etc.. Separate them all though, and you have total control over them There is no points in having so many dam states,, We all have same laws in canada other then maybe vancouver they have legal whore parkings and legal heroin houses.. like wtf why…lol But ya we have only 10 provinces and 3 territories and it is bigger,,, Yet in that smaller land you squeezed 52 states?… and put different laws in each of them… it’s has if every state was a patient on a different dose of LSD and they are just waiting to see who is the weakest minded targets to take full advantage of lets call it *United of the too many fkin states*
This status has existed since the founding of the country, territories, do not have a vote until they vote for statehood and it is accepted by the congress. Puerto Rico has had the opportunity to vote for statehood several time in the last 50 years they have rejected it every time. They choose citizenship with all the economic benefits with out the responsibilities.
That turn out for what joke was too good.
Did anyone ever stop to ask the question.. What if they don’t want American citizenship?
I’m the great-granddaughter of a man from St Thomas USVI and even though I knew some of the history of the island, I didn’t realize the depths of disrespect U.S. territories received from the mainland. How fuckin’ disgraceful.
Why should they be able to vote when they are territories. They got to vote first to either become a State, become independent, or stay the way it is. Their coconut brain can’t handle that fact that they first need to decide. If they choose to become a state, then they can vote. If they choose to go, then why should they vote? If they decide to stay, then they know what they’re getting themselves into.
Who gives a fuck about Guam?
It’s actually quite sad
Why don’t they just declare independence and sod the USA?
white people saying “puerto ricans have US citizenship, but they’re not american” ayee, Puerto ricans have fought in every US military conflict since ww1 for the “freedom” of this country they have died just like black and white people. what makes you think that we’re not just as americans as you guys?
“..to partial orgasm.” I am so glad he caught that. I thought I was just being weird.
I am an Obama supporter, but this is one situation that his administration should have dealt with better. I am a U.S. vet from Iraqi Freedom and today I am ashamed of the U.S.A.
America, land of hypocrisy.
I made the mistake of referring to a Puerto Rican as American because she had a US passport. She angrily lectured me for 5 minutes about how she was a US Passport holder NOT an American.
This shows how unexceptional US is though Politicians Brag to the end of the world about this and we swallow this pride lock stock & barrel.
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