workerstakingtest.jpgAlthough America has made great strides in civil rights, the legacy of our racist past still lingers. It is not easy to change the trajectory of a society simply by granting equal rights to historically oppressed minority groups. There must be compensatory measures. For nearly 50 years, black Americans have enjoyed voting rights nearly equal to those of whites (with some notorious exceptions, e.g. Florida 2000). And while black voters and politicians have helped to bring sanity and a sense of social justice to American society, white voters have remained numerous enough to consistently jeopardize and often disgrace the nation.

With this in mind, and given what is at stake in the 2008 elections, I propose that we bring back a relic of American political history–the literacy test. In the past, literacy tests asked questions about obscure laws and were used to disenfranchise black voters. The new literacy tests are different. They will ensure that white people meet a minimum level of cultural and political awareness before completing their ballots. And unlike literacy tests in the past, the new tests are not designed to usurp civil rights. Rather, they will ensure that voters properly educate themselves. To this end, study guides for the white voter literacy test will be readily available at your local Barnes and Noble.More…

Here are some sample questions from the test:

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All of the following countries border Iraq EXCEPT:
a. Syria
b. Jordan
c. Wahhabi Arabia
d. Iran

Which of the following is counted among the “five pillars of Islam”?
a. Hating freedom
b. Giving charity
c. Spreading terror
d. Oppressing women

The classic American novel, Native Son, was authored by:
a. Richard Wright
b. O’Shea Jackson
c. Calvin Broadus
d. Christopher Wallace

Select the answer choice that best completes the following sentence:

Prior to the September 11 attacks, ________ bin Laden operated military training camps in ________.
a. Obama // Iraq
b. Osama // Iraq
c. Obama // Afghanistan
d. Osama // Afghanistan

“NATO” is an acronym for the ________, a powerful international organization with vast military capacities?
a. Negroes And Towel-heads Organization
b. New Arab Terror Organization
c. North Atlantic Treaty Organization
d. Non-Aligned Trade Organization

Enron collapsed due to which of the following?
a. Affirmative action
b. Corporate corruption
c. The liberal media
d. The terrorists

In the sentence, “Global warming threatens the tundra’s survival in its current state”, the term tundra refers to:
a. where the Green Bay Packers play football.
b. an area with low tree growth due to short summers.
c. a small Latin American country where many immigrants originate.
d. a pick-up truck.

Who was George Herbert Walker Bush’s opponent in the 1988 presidential election?
a. Michael Dukakis
b. Willie Horton
c. Manuel Noriega
d. Ronald Reagan

The state of Israel was founded in:
a. 700 BC
b. 1 CE
c. 1492 CE.
d. 1948 CE

Saddam Hussein was formerly a member of which political organization?
a. Al Qaeda
b. Radical Islam
c. Ba’th Party
d. Evil Doers

Since the test is still in development, your suggestions for new questions are welcome.

There are some special rules about this test that impact the multiethnic Muslim community. Immigrants from historically Muslim countries will be required to sit for the test, but they will only have to respond to this question on the registration page:

[Please answer if you originate from a historically Muslim country. Circle the correct choice.]

True or False: I am considered “white” in America.

For those who answer correctly, the test will be waived. Those who answer incorrectly will not be allowed to vote.

And finally, many may wonder if white Muslims will be exempt from the test. It is true that accepting Islam is one of the most non-white things that you can do. However, this is still America. White privilege is white privilege. So white Muslims: you will have to take the test, no matter how much you like Zaid Shakir, Sherman Jackson, or Malcolm X.

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Keep supporting MuslimMatters for the sake of Allah

Alhamdulillah, we're at over 850 supporters. Help us get to 900 supporters this month. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.