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Racism lives on

February 16, 2012

ROLLAND

I DON’T GIVE A ‘CENSORED’

Amie Rolland
News Editor

 

Surprisingly, American constitutional law has turned out to be my favorite class this quarter. Not only have I brushed up on my knowledge of the Constitution and taken an in-depth look at decisions that changed America, but I have also come to realize that the government has been making foolish decisions since the courts were established.

 

The case of Scott v. Sandford (1857) has been the most eye- opening case brief I have had to read. In a nutshell, this case came to court to decide whether or not Dred Scott, a slave, should be freed and become part of the political and economic community.

 

The Supreme Court quickly decided Scott had no standing to be heard in court because he was a slave and the Constitution never intended slaves to be included as citizens of the United States. Basically, Scott could never be in consideration to be a citizen because he was born into slavery, and the Constitution did not, nor did it ever intend to recognize slaves as anything more than property.

 

Here is where my pride as an American sank.

 

Justices determined Scott did not have standing for a case, but they still went on to decide the second issue of this case, whether or not the Missouri Compromise, an act that prohibited citizens from owning slaves in specific territories, was constitutional.

 

And this is when my embarrassment as an American set in.

 

The Fifth Amendment states, “no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property.” The Court found the Missouri Compromise unconstitutional because it stripped slave owners of property [slaves]. Yes, slaves were defined as property.

 

Well, there is your history lesson. Now I’ll get to the point.

 

Racism will never die. Ever.

 

I know I’m stating the obvious, but there are hundreds of races and thousands of ethnicities and hundreds of countries. The possibility of prejudices will always exist. If it is not one race or ethnicity, there will always be another receiving some specified, unnecessary hatred from another. Racism is an ongoing process. The hate builds off one religion onto one ethnicity and from one ethnicity to another, etc. It is a domino effect.

 

I realize America has made great advancements to unity since the United States Constitution was signed in 1787. Six years after the Dred Scott case, the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing all persons held as slaves, was signed. However, it was not until 100 years later, in 1964 that African Americans truly found freedom with the Civil Rights Act.

 

What kind of nation makes their “citizens” struggle for equality for more than 100 years?  A nation whose Constitution was framed to never include them as citizens.

 

Being raised in the South, I believe racism is something that resonates with everyone. History shows that the South is the least susceptive to unity, integration and togetherness.

 

The thing I find most unfathomable about racism is no one chooses to be African-American, or Asian or Caucasian. How can you hate others so passionately for the way they were born?

 

What if you were black instead of white? Female instead of male?

 

If you hate people so passionately based on their race, gender or ethnicity, maybe at the end of the day when you are counting your blessings you should just be thankful you are not them. Realize how lucky you are to be so arrogant that you never have to deal with the inflictions of hatred like the ones you cast upon them.

 

Amie Rolland is a senior journalism major from Shreveport who serves as editor for The Tech Talk. Email comments to asr017@latech.edu.

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3 Responses to Racism lives on

  1. Pattabhiraju Reply

    March 12, 2012 at 11:30 am

    Going through this article reminds of United States v. Bhagat Singh Thind (1923). Bhagat Singh Thind is an Indo-American Army veteran and a writer whose appeal for the USA citizenship has been declined three (or four times) on the grounds that he is not a white person. I thought this may be interesting to you (if you are doing any research).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_v._Bhagat_Singh_Thind

  2. Jose Saez Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 12:01 am

    Great article!

  3. Linza Reply

    March 30, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    “How can you hate others so passionately for the way they were born?”

    One could apply the same argument to alternate sexualities, physical and mental disabilities, and in some cases where it is passed down through maternity or paternity, religion and nationality.

    Some countries have made hate speech illegal. The legal definition of hate speech is what’s important to this concept, not the fact they’ve passed that law– in Finland, running one’s mouth about Mexicans the way some people do in Ruston can get you arrested and fined thousands of euro. However, there is an uprising of people here who elect racists into office (PerusSuomalaiset) and then crowd-fund the payments of hate speech prosecution. Until they make hate speech an offense which prevents one from running for elected office, they’ll continue to have this problem.

    For more on Finnish law, http://www.finlex.fi/en/ (I think.) Mostly in Finnish, but that’s what Google Translate is for. 🙂

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