I am extremely disappointed with Edgar Allen Beem’s remarks in his July 17 article, “America makes a correction.” His comments highlight a fundamental difference I have when assessing and commenting on the founders and our U.S. Constitution.

Mr. Beem says: “All of the founding fathers were racists and sexists, otherwise Black citizens and women wouldn’t have had to fight for the right to vote. Forgive, but don’t forget.”

It is true that only white, male property owners were allowed to vote, but the 1787 Constitution recognized that the individual states had jurisdiction over voting, and states proceeded to expand voting rights.

Property rights qualification for whites was abolished in Kentucky in 1792, and there followed a string of such changes on voting qualification in the various states.

Nationally, the Fourteenth Amendment (1868) granted citizenship to “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof,” and the Nineteenth Amendment (1920) gave the vote to women. The genius of the founders was to recognize the need for changes to the U.S. Constitution, and they provided for those changes in the provisions of Article V.

The problem may be in applying current standards to historical events.

Bob Casmiro
Bridgton