A Red Circle

_________________________ Independence Day

In my governance class, we studied several historical documents that predate the ratifying of the U.S. Constitution, along with the Constitution itself.  We were then asked to discuss a democratic principle or concept in either the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution.  I chose to discuss the principle of equality for the reasons that not only was it not included in the Declaration of Independence, it had to be written into the Constitution after it was drafted in what are known as amendments.  These amendments, namely the 14th, 15th, and 19th include blacks[1] and women. 

Equality in America seems to be a constant fight, despite the words in the Preamble to the Constitution.  The phrase ‘all men are created equal,’ which men drafted, is diametrically opposed to how some of these men treated other human beings.  To write something so beautiful and eloquent while enslaving the black race is beyond ironic.  That women had to fight and die for equality – in their homes, communities, and at the ballot box – dispels the notion in the preamble.  Moreover, women still are not treated as equals.  Statistic show that women and men do not earn the same pay dollar for dollar.  In addition, women are still not in control of their healthcare decisions.  Despite the passage of Roe v. Wade, men still seek to control what women can and cannot do with their bodies by passing laws limiting a woman’s access to providers or by threatening to withhold federal dollars from facilities that perform procedures of which they do not approve. 

To treat anyone in the United States as unequal with regard to his or her human rights is unconstitutional and the Supreme Court should continue to base its decisions on that standard, and not on political ideology or personal viewpoints.  A few pending Supreme Court cases include a baker who would not bake a wedding cake for a gay couple, the travel ban lawsuits, or any inevitable case that might be filed in the State of Missouri for the passage of its recent ‘pro-life’ bill. 

Although the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and federalists papers did not initially include blacks and women, we are included now and the safeguards put in place for ‘all men’ must include all. 

[1] Prior to the amendments relating to enslaved people, the Constitution provided that enslaved individuals would only be counted as three-fifths of persons to for governmental representative calculations.

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