Edward Norton, who played the Hulk and his alter ego Bruce Banner in Universal Pictures and Marvel Studios The Incredible Hulk film before being replaced by Mark Ruffalo in The Avengers, recently claimed the Electoral College is deeply rooted in racism.
Norton made his claim on Twitter after sharing an opinion piece from the New York Times titled “How Has the Electoral College Survived for This Long?” by Alexander Keyssar, a professor of history and social policy at Harvard.
Norton wrote on Twitter, “All Americans should read this & understand how deeply rooted the antiquated Electoral College system is in racism & slavery.”
He then added, “We should have moved to a national popular vote 200 years ago. And we should have it now.”
The Electoral College was created in Article 2 Section 1 of the United States Constitution and it was ratified in 1789.
The section begins, “The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows.”
It then outlines the Electoral College, “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.”
“The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for two Persons, of whom one at least shall not be an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves. And they shall make a List of all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes for each; which List they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the Seat of the Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate,” Section 1 of Article II continues.
It then adds, “The President of the Senate shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the Certificates, and the Votes shall then be counted. The Person having the greatest Number of Votes shall be the President, if such Number be a Majority of the whole Number of Electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have such Majority, and have an equal Number of Votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately chuse by Ballot one of them for President; and if no Person have a Majority, then from the five highest on the List the said House shall in like Manner chuse the President.”
“But in chusing the President, the Votes shall be taken by States, the Representation from each State having one Vote; A quorum for this Purpose shall consist of a Member or Members from two thirds of the States, and a Majority of all the States shall be necessary to a Choice. In every Case, after the Choice of the President, the Person having the greatest Number of Votes of the Electors shall be the Vice President. But if there should remain two or more who have equal Votes, the Senate shall chuse from them by Ballot the Vice President,” the first section of Article II reads.
The part of Article II Section I about the Electoral College concludes, “The Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.”
Norton is no stranger to making grandiose political statements on Twitter. Back in June he claimed that racism is “shockingly prevalent” in the United of States in a lengthy thread.
He began that thread writing, “I’ve been proud to serve as the UN Goodwill Ambassador for Biodiversity for many years now and, today being #WorldEnvironmentDay w this year’s specific theme being Biodiversity deserves focus & attention as we face up to our ever-intensifying climate / ecological crisis…”
He continued in a subsequent tweet, “and I’ll share some posts on that following this. But it would be emotionally dishonest & difficult it is right now to detach from full engagement with the emotional, political, social urgency of the confrontation our country is having with the deep, ugly truth of racism..
He continued, “how shockingly prevalent it is, how violently it expresses itself, how much damage it does to our friends, our brothers & sisters our countrymen & women who experience it; how it woven into our social structure & economy, both by intention & by default. It shames us all.
“Diminishes us all. It shouldn’t take witnessing the grotesque & appalling murders of unarmed black men jogging, reaching for their wallets, selling cigarettes; black women sleeping in their beds… to become enraged enough to act, to protest. Nor seeing Americans, exercising the…,”he wrote.
He continued, “Constitutional right to legal protest & free expression, being beaten, pepper sprayed, run over by SUV’s, tear-gassed (journalists as well) to realize that we are at real risk of authoritarian thugs destroying our great democratic experiment. The enemy is truly among us.”
Norton would then transition to warning about “a global environmental threat.”
He wrote, “A global environmental threat looms over all of us. We are brutalizing the ecosystems that support our way of life & our economies; annihilating the innumerable species that live on the planet with us. This crisis isn’t taking a pause & we must pull together to meet it.”
“But how can we get people to pull together to stop brutalizing the Environment of our planet if we can’t even stop brutalizing each other? Right now, this must be the cause of the moment for America because we cannot unite to meet our many other challenges until we truly love,” he said.
He continued his thoughts, “protect & serve each other & stand up to gross injustice. Everyone. I don’t think my thoughts on this matter one iota more than anyone else’s but I think it takes every single one of our voices to make our chorus loud & powerful enough to overmatch the bullies, thugs & cheats.”
Finally he began to wrap up his thread, writing, “I’m proud to be on the Board of GoFundMe. We donated $500,000 to help kick off this campaign & we’re working to elevate it. I believe it supports specific organizations making a real difference in this fight.”
He then concluded, “I appreciate António Guterres posting this even on World Environment Day. Peace, Love & Commitment to Engage Actively, EN”
What do you make of Norton’s comments regarding the Electoral College and his opinion that racism is prevalent throughout the United States?