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The “Singular” Fight for Rights! We see it everywhere; there’s Tea Partying & Rallying, Civil Rights Fighting, Immigrant Rights Fighting, and a multitude of others. Sometimes the celebration of interracial, multiethnic and multicultural people are drowned out by the noise as the active fights are like a trigger with an angry, passionate person behind it to “choose a side.” Looking at major news broadcasts I see the 3 main census of black, white, and latino social classification groups fighting, “This is one of your many forms of racial suppression, we want change” or “1/2 of minorities want hand outs and government assistance. Get a JOB!” and the Latino community, well yes the “illegal” immigrants broke the law by coming into the U.S. with no prior checks or permission, but they are hard working non-citizens and deserve reform!” I often imagine a Group of Asian and Indian Americans sitting back with popcorn and their drink of choice watching this exchange of racial bias and hatred take place, & they seem to be just waiting for the smoke to clear to step up and actually state their petitions if any. I’m not saying that there aren’t valid points in the message of each group. I live in the Southern part of the United States & there are people who hang confederate flags in their front yards and paste them all over their cars and belongings celebrating an era in U.S. history where racial hatred was not only legal, but a way of life. Ultimately this is part of A larger problem. If you live in America or any part of the world where racial classifications and social hierarchy is measured then fair skin has been king.
A quick story. I went to an attorney’s office. The attorney and I were talking about the reason that I was there with my husband. She classified herself as “white” American and of course I as “black” American. We’re talking and in her attempt to make me comfortable she says to me, “If the 14th amendment was reversed or taken away, then I would be the first on to fight.” I didn’t know whether to be happy or sad. The 14th Amendment:
The Fourteenth Amendment (Amendment XIV) to the United States Constitution was adopted on July 9, 1868, as one of the Reconstruction Amendments.
Its Citizenship Clause provides a broad definition of citizenship that overruled the Supreme Court’s ruling in Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857) that had held that black people could not be citizens of the United States.
Its Due Process Clause prohibits state and local governments from depriving persons of life, liberty, or property without certain steps being taken to ensure fairness. This clause has been used to make most of the Bill of Rights applicable to the states, as well as to recognizesubstantive and procedural rights.
Its Equal Protection Clause requires each state to provide equal protection under the law to all people within its jurisdiction. This clause was the basis for Brown v. Board of Education (1954), the Supreme Court decision which precipitated the dismantling of racial segregation in United States education. In Reed v. Reed (1971), the Supreme Court ruled that laws arbitrarily requiring sex discrimination violated the Equal Protection Clause.
The amendment also includes a number of clauses dealing with the Confederacy and its officials.
I immediately thought, well should it be? I was absolutely surprised that she considered it. If I’m honest, I hadn’t paid much attention to it, less knew exactly what it said so I done some research. This was an attorney that was going to “represent” me. In a what I considered a failed attempt to make me comfortable, she was subtly reminding me that I was not a part of the original plan and she was. WoW! What a way to reel in the dough and fight for equality? It’s sad to say but it took from1860 ish until a Civil Rights Movement that started in 1955 and went up until 1968 and beyond for any measurable change to take place in the U.S. That’s a Hundred plus year difference!!!! When I was on a visit to one of my in-laws house in NY some years ago, my aunt in-law, who is LATINA asked me, “Why are “Black” people so stuck on slavery?” It’s over let it go! I’m sure this is something that she had wanted to ask me since she met me. Being that she was born outside of the U.S. she was really only familiar with what had been taught to her by the people around her. I said Well, it’s more than slavery, It’s the Civil Rights Act of 1968, The Fair Housing Act, Desegregation of Schools, The Right to marry interracial, which she is now, just to name a few. Although her closed mind still didn’t grasp the concept that there was a 100 year difference in these amenities that she now enjoys as well as her children, that was the “Black” Civil Rights Movement, and it happened in our lifetimes. It was much to her benefit and EVERY person who doesn’t classify themselves as “white” American. After I calmed down the fire and tendency to want to whip out a chalk board and teach, I walked away.
There are definite points in the “Singular Fights” of the many races and ethnicities that I understand and can personally relate to, but where does that place the people who have already integrated their lives and looking to build a bridge through these present, long-standing issues. Imagine going to the home of a person who is passionate on one of the pressing issues and your face represents the “Enemy!!!” Merry Christmas and Happy Thanksgiving, because that is going to be a mess!!! The truth is when families have integrated, and especially when there are innocent children involved, there has to be a line drawn in the sand. Children who check OTHER in their racial classification boxes, 2 or multiple boxes, trying to integrate into a system that exists on racial and social classification, find themselves on multiple sides of issues because they love all sides of the table. They aren’t truly considered. They can’t be affected by the past or the present, because they are the future. People have always been mixed as I stated in an earlier blog, but it is now with barriers being removed for racial segregation and the ability to “legally” marry beyond your racial classification, that this subject can really began to be explored by people and science. Can a child that classifies as both Black and White fight for both issues? Is it even possible without one being the defendant and the other, the plaintiff? Could they inadvertently represent a solution? I feel this is a good foundation in understanding some of the barriers that some families face with having “mixed” children. The Constitution has 27 amendments and counting…..Please reference below for anyone interested! It’s literally a timeline of history unfolding.
The Amendments to the US Constitution are:
- Amendment 1 – Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression
- Amendment 2 – Right to Bear Arms
- Amendment 3 – Quartering of Soldiers
- Amendment 4 – Search and Seizure
- Amendment 5 – Trial and Punishment, Compensation for Takings
- Amendment 6 – Right to Speedy Trial, Confrontation of Witnesses
- Amendment 7 – Trial by Jury in Civil Cases
- Amendment 8 – Cruel and Unusual Punishment
- Amendment 9 – Construction of Constitution
- Amendment 10 – Powers of the States and People
- Amendment 11 – Judicial Limits
- Amendment 12 – Choosing the President, Vice President
- Amendment 13 – Slavery Abolished
- Amendment 14 – Citizenship Rights
- Amendment 15 – Race No Bar to Vote
- Amendment 16 – Status of Income Tax Clarified
- Amendment 17 – Senators Elected by Popular Vote
- Amendment 18 – Liquor Abolished
- Amendment 19 – Women’s Suffrage
- Amendment 20 – Presidential, Congressional Terms
- Amendment 21 – Amendment 18 Repealed
- Amendment 22 – Presidential Term Limits
- Amendment 23 – Presidential Vote for District of Columbia
- Amendment 24 – Poll Taxes Barred
- Amendment 25 – Presidential Disability and Succession
- Amendment 26 – Voting Age Set to 18 Years
- Amendment 27 – Limiting Changes to Congressional Pay
What do you think? I urge positive participation. If you’re from outside of the U.S. and your experience is similar or even different I would love to hear from you as well. Thank you for visiting! Until the Next!