The Slatest

Hong Kong Politician Says Protesters Can Wait for Voting Rights Like American Slaves Did

Laura Cha with other Hong Kong officials.

Bobby Yip/Reuters

A prominent Hong Kong political figure says protesters in her city shouldn’t be upset by the slow pace of democratic reforms because black Americans also had to wait many years for voting rights. From The Standard:

The chairwoman of the Financial Services Development Council, Laura Cha Shih May-lung, has spelled out her stand on pushing for election reform.

She says be patient.

“American slaves were liberated in 1861 but did not get voting rights until 107 years later, so why can’t Hong Kong wait for a while?”

Cha’s statement has, not surprisingly, been criticized as historically inaccurate (for one, the Emancipation Proclamation was signed in 1863 and the Voting Rights Act 102 years later in 1965; for another, many black Americans were able to vote in the interim despite widespread discrimination) and insensitive (for insinuating that the conditions of slavery are an appropriate baseline for the introduction of democratic reforms).