The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

We The People (Black People And Progressive Americans) And Voting Rights

From friend of the The Progressive Influence: James Hall, Writer, Activist, Developer and Chapter Member of the 2K12 Consortium  
(Invitation only progressive Facebook gathering place)
  • James Hall
    When are we African-Americans in this country going to get our SHIT straight and come together?
     The time is now! It is time to cut the Booty shanking, "hoe" chasing, drug game and any other thing that has plagued our communities the hell out.  It's time for "us to be responsible for us."   You have been duped into believing our people have the same rights as others and that when the constitution was written it included us. Get it in your heads. Hell No!!!  We must stop being dependent on the govt to safe guard our rights and trusting those who merely want our vote, but do nothing but dangle carrots and give nothing in return but speeches.  How can you even begin to think you are nothing but a second class citizen when the few rights we have are Acts that can be taken away at any given moment?  If you do not learn from the lessons of the past you are destined to repeat it.  Just so we are straight here's a little history lesson for you. 
    Wake the hell up:
    Joseph P. Bradley Associate Justice of the
    United States Supreme Court
    On 15 October 1883 Justice Joseph Bradley wrote the majority opinion of the Supreme Court, which held that the Civil Rights Act of 1875 was unconstitutional. The Thirteenth Amendment, according to eight of the nine justices, did not give Congress the broad authority claimed by the U.S. government. Private discrimination was neither slavery nor involuntary servitude. “It would be running the slavery argument into the ground to make it apply to every act of discrimination. When a man has emerged from slavery, there must be some stage in the progress of his elevation when he takes the rank of a mere citizen, and ceases to be the special favorite of the laws.” Bradley clearly thought that this stage had been reached. In addition the Fourteenth Amendment prohibited state actions of a certain character — for example, depriving citizens of the right to vote or serve on juries or hold property. The kinds of discrimination banned by the Civil Rights Act, Bradley said, could not be touched by congressional action because they dealt with individual businesses.

    Robert G. Ingersoll
    Frederick Douglass
      Reaction. At a protest meeting in Lincoln Hall in Washington, African American leader Frederick Douglass said the Court had left his people “naked and defenseless against . . . malignant, vulgar, and pitiless prejudice.” Douglass recalled that before the Civil War the Supreme Court had ruled that states and individuals could not interfere with the Fugitive Slave Act. “When slavery was the base-line of the Republic,” Douglass charged, Congress’s power was unlimited. Now that freedom was the issue, the Court restricted Congress’s power and said individuals could deprive one another of liberty. Orator Robert Ingersoll said that “From the moment of the adoption of the thirteenth amendment the law became color-blind.” John Finnel of Kentucky wrote to his friend Justice John M. Harlan: “Now the patriotic vagabonds of the South will feel called upon to vindicate the Supreme Court by ‘jumping on’ the poor darkey. . . .

    John Marshall Harlan,
    Supreme Court collection,
    Photograph by Handy Studios
    Harlan’s Dissent. Harlan was the only former slave-owner on the Supreme Court; he was also the only dissenter in these cases. The Thirteenth Amendment, Harlan wrote, was intended to abolish slavery. The institution of slavery rested on an assumption of racial inferiority, and in order to do away with slavery this notion of inferiority had to go as well. The second clause of the amendment, Harlan wrote, gave Congress the power to enforce the act through “appropriate legislation.” He observed that his colleagues on the Court had declined to decide in 1877 whether it was appropriate for states to regulate grain elevators, but now the Court would decide what kind of laws were “appropriate” to remove racial barriers. In addition, Harlan noted that aside from granting all Americans’ citizenship, the Fourteenth Amendment gave Congress further power to remove racial distinctions. As for Bradley’s contention that the Civil Rights Act made blacks “the special favorite of the laws,” Harlan said the Act merely extended to blacks the same rights as other citizens enjoyed. “The one underlying principle of congressional legislation has been to enable the black race to take the rank of mere citizen. The difficulty has been to compel a recognition of their legal right to take that rank. . . ." Today, it is the colored race which is denied, by corporations and individuals wielding public authority, rights fundamental in their freedom and citizenship. At some future time, it may be that some other race will fall under the ban of race discrimination. If the constitutional amendments be enforced, according to the intent with which, as I conceive, they were adopted, there cannot be in this republic, any class of human beings in practical subjection to another class, with power . . . to dole out. . . just such privileges as they may choose to grant.” Harlan’s forceful dissent was widely published and is one of the classic statements in the Supreme Court’s history. One hundred years later his position would be accepted as the legitimate one. However, at the time, the majority of the Court allowed certain persons to be treated as second-class citizens.

    Isn't Bradley's statement what Roberts and Scalia damn near repeated verbatim yesterday (this week)??  Here is Bradley one again, It would be running the slavery argument into the ground to make it apply to every act of discrimination. When a man has emerged from slavery, there must be some stage in the progress of his elevation when he takes the rank of a mere citizen, and ceases to be the special favorite of the laws.” 

    As we know, what followed was Jim Crow Laws. Here's something to think about. Since the current law has been in place Alabama alone has been slapped 240 times for violations (of the law).
    As I have framed perspective on the issue, what next?

    People it's time to wake up and take it to the streets of Washington. President Obama, God bless him, is a good man, effective leader and we love him. He does not make law, he cannot do it for us or even stop whats coming down on us. We have to do it ourselves each and everyone of us. The president has convinced congress to look out for everyone: gays, women and Hispanics with the immigration reform act. It is time for us to demand our needs. We have stood by him with 97% of our vote. More than any other community. It is time for us to demand he use his bully pulpit to stop the BS and make our equal rights the law. Not an act open to interpolation to be snatched away at anytime by a political majority who decides it's in their best interest to supreme us. Who's next the poor? Rich corporate elites would love nothing more than to supreme the middle and lower classes next. If you don't think it can happen, then you are walking around with blinders on and need to wake the hell up before it's to late. Sad Part is there are a bunch of dumb asses who don't have a clue what I am talking about or have clue that their rights are about to be taken away. Shame on you!!!

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