|Image via Wikipedia|
“I moved here from Iowa.”
She replied, “Isn’t it supposed to be pronounced... Ohio?”
Despite public perception, Iowa is not a state filled with uneducated, redneck hicks. Though a toothless farmer in overalls seems to be the media’s go-to guy when they are reporting stories from my home state, the reality is different.
I think it’s time for progressive, educated people everywhere to learn more about the state where I live.
I don’t buy into that mindset. Here are some of the many reasons why Iowa should be recognized as one of the most progressive states in the nation:
- Interracial marriage was legalized in 1851 (Loving v. Virginia legalized interracial marriage in the U.S. in 1967)
- Slavery was abolished in 1844, (The abolition of slavery was included in the State Constitution before Iowa actually achieved statehood. The Constitution, including the abolition law, was finally fully ratified in 1857, 8 years before the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was passed)
- 96 years before Brown vs. Board of Education, in 1868, Iowa ruled that separate was not equal and our schools were integrated
|Buxton, Iowa integrated school (note the African-American teacher)|
Photo via African-American Museum of Iowa website
- Women were allowed to enroll at our state universities as early as 1871
- 80 years before Rosa Parks refused to move to the back of the bus Emma Coger, a mixed race woman, was asked to leave a whites only dining room on a steam boat. She fought the decision and in 1873 the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that she could not be denied the right to eat wherever she wanted to eat
- Iowa was the first state to name Barack Obama as a Democratic nominee for president
- Iowa was the third state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage