Pursuit of Rights

OpEdThe world has lost its way; this nation in particular has lost its intent though we should always be wary of setting our sights too high on a moral standard that never truly existed. I was originally going to write in one pithy piece to show, historically the truth vs. myth of this nation. I found though, there is simply too much information to write one piece, too many pivot points where we might have done the right thing and choose differently. Because of social media we can now see daily what has been before us all along. We are witness to the casual violence entwined through our cultural foundation and accepted as normal, even sometimes encouraged as necessary. We, this nation in particular, we have lost our way at every level that is important.

While the Founding Fathers and those who supported their intent certainly had a desire for ‘freedom’ it did not extend beyond themselves or their narrow worldview at the time. Despite the high-flaunting words of the documents that continue to define us today, (e.g. Declaration of Independence, Constitution of the United States of America, Federalist Papers), there was never any though that ‘all men’ had the ‘right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’. What they meant was, White Men, men of European ancestry, men of property and means. Certainly, there was never a thought regarding the idea that ‘men’ might be a more inclusive term, might embrace ‘all men’ and even women.

The nation, that is the US of A, these divided states, this unfortunate collection of frightened and poorly led humans distributed across masses of land with lines in earth and names drawn from the language of the indigenous people the European invader cheated, robbed, hunted, tortured, murdered and kidnapped. This unfortunate nation, led down paths of patriotism through fear to a misguided belief we are or should be the moral police of the world; that we have an obligation, an edict from God to direct others to do what we ourselves have failed so miserably at within our own land.

What do we think we are directed to do, what is our Manifest Destiny?

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To lead other nations to Democracy and even hallelujah Christianity, Amen and pass rocket launcher.

What have we failed at, do you truly ask this or are you simply curious what I believe our failure as a nation is? I will try to be succinct, I promise you. We lie to ourselves, the most obvious and is when anyone, whether politician or man on the street says stupid things such as:

“America is the Greatest Nation in the World.”

No, no we are not the Greatest Nation in the World. In fact, we are far from the Greatest.

In fact, we did not make the Top 10 on any ‘Best’ list.

We did not make the top of any lists, except these:

This isn’t anything to be proud of, is it? We aren’t doing a great job of building on the foundation laid by our forefathers, those visionaries of the American Dream, or are we? Shall we take just a moment to consider some of their more important contributions to infamy and how we are living up to it even now, nearly two hundred and fifty years later.

  • Slavery — yes this is a good one, the nation was built on the backs of stolen lives, stolen from the continent of Africa, stolen from the arms of mothers and fathers, stolen from their culture and homes; simply stolen. The first slaves were sold into a lifetime of servitude and misery in Jamestown, Virginia in 1619. These ’20 odd’ human beings were the beginning of the end for the nations soul. Here is a bit of history for you, want more go here:
    • 1705, Virginia codifies Slave laws some of which you might recognize today: All non-Christian servants entering the colony are slaves, all slaves are real estate, masters who kill slaves during punishment are acquitted, slaves and free colored persons are forbidden from assaulting a white person, slaves are forbidden the right bear arms or move freely without written permission.
    • 1740, South Carolina passes a comprehensive “Negro Act,” making it illegal for slaves to move abroad, assemble in groups, raise food, earn money and learn to read English. Owners may kill rebellious slaves.
    • 1788, the new nation adopts the Constitution including Article I, which reads in part as follows:
      • ……adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons….
    • 1819, Virginia outlaws, whether free or slave all blacks and mulattos, from meeting for the purposes of education and forbids teaching blacks to read and write.
    • 1837, free Blacks in Pennsylvania and Mississippi lose the right to vote. In New York, they petition for continued voting rights.
    • 1857, SCOTUS renders the Dred Scott decision denying citizenship to all slaves, ex-slaves and descendants of slaves, further denies Congress the right to prohibit slavery in the territories.
    • 1865, Thirteenth Amendment is signed abolishing Slavery throughout the nation.
    • 1866, the Klu Klux Klan is founded in Tennessee
    • 1881, Tennessee passes the first of the Jim Crow segregation laws other states follow and the era of Reconstruction is ended less than a decade after Slavery officially ends in these United States.

A few things to consider in the much-shortened timeline above, Article 1 of the Constitution has never been repealed or changed by Amendment. Though many like to think the Thirteenth Amendment emasculated Article 1 and the Three Fifths counting rule of Blacks held in slavery and ‘others’, the fact is Article 1 remains intact.

Something else to consider as we approach mid-term elections, The Dred Scott decision which in part read as follows;dred_scott

” . . . We think they [people of African ancestry] are . . . not included, and were not intended to be included, under the word “citizens” in the Constitution, and can therefore claim none of the rights and privileges which that instrument provides for and secures to citizens of the United States. . . .” Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, speaking for the majority

The Founding Fathers failed fundamentally in their vision, they failed to understand ‘all men are created equal’ should have meant just that, should have been an inclusive statement if they wanted to achieve their goals. Instead, they built a nation whose cornerstone was bathed in the misery and blood of slaves, not equality, not freedom and certainly not the pursuit of happiness for all men. This touches only on the issues of Blacks in America, I have not dived into the theft of land, destruction of culture and murder of an entire indigenous people, tell me again how you discover a land already populated by millions.

Want to be part of change? Vote. Get up and Vote. Don’t believe what they tell you, Vote. Don’t let your voice be silenced, Vote. We can no longer afford to have more than half our citizens treated as if they do not count, be part of the change, Vote. Save a life, save a child and save a future; Vote.

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  1. Val this is Excellent.. you captured it all within a few words… and these words are still true .. you said ” the nation was built on the backs of stolen lives,”…
    You touched on so many truths here.. So Many.

  2. Voting puts the power back in the peoples’ hands… only what if the people are so busy on Facebook that they don’t think it’s important any more to vote?? I hope that’s not the case but fear it is! I am glad you offer balanced advice here. As for the USA losing its way, it’s sad but seems to be so true from the what I know about the country.

  3. Val, I concur with Kim. You need to run for office. You make a difference through your blog. Imagine the possibilities of you in office!

  4. Please read the last pages of “The Great Gatsby” for a summary of what we could have been.We had choices all along the way.

    • I have read it several times. Yes, indeed we did have choices all along the way. We continue to have choices all along the way, look what we choose. We choose to send horror stories like Louie G and Ted C to the Senate, just an example.

  5. I voted today. Was disappointed that Little Totsy pre-registered prior to turning 18 and she was nowhere to be found. I do hope to get this governor ousted that we have.

    Some exchange you have with Ian there. I just got off work and too tired to be controversial. 🙂 Great post.

    • Thank you. Early voting for me starts on Monday, I will be there. Might wear bells.

      I think sometimes, it is hard for those outside of the US to understand what it is like inside. They see through Rose colored glasses.

      • Well, I have been to the Middle East and it’s a tough place for women. I will have to agree that I’d rather be here than there. I also found some underlying racial issues there. The issues in Syria are complex but I think, only because we make it so. Some of it, anyway. I don’t know all of the issues going on there, however. It’s a sad situation and we shouldn’t get too comfy. Geographically, we have been fortunate to be situated as we are but we’re not necessarily safe and shouldn’t think we’re untouchable because we are here and not there.

        • I take nothing for granted, however we create much of our problems by interfering where we have no business. It is not our duty to spread Democracy, Christianity or Capitalism. We haven’t done it so well for ourselves, so lets sort out our own nation first.

  6. Jan Hobbs says:

    Reblogged this on Blissfully Single and commented:
    Valentine always writes a blog posts that are honest, sometimes brutally so, and thought-provoking. This is one such post. I am so in awe of Valentine’s fantastic writing, and her beautiful mind.

  7. Jan Hobbs says:

    As usual, an honest, thought-provoking post. Re-blogging!

  8. Val,
    would you run for something, dear. I’d vote for you, honey! you will change the world. xx

    • As I have said, far to many skeletons dance in stilettos in and out of my closet. I am afraid they would put mini skirts and thigh highs on and embarrass the hell out of my children. I just couldn’t do that to them.

  9. Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says:

    Great post, Val. 🙂

  10. Vote. One very powerful word.

  11. We’re still a slight improvement from the Founders’ time – no more slavery, no Jim Crow laws (or not nearly to that extent), black people and women can vote if they have proper ID, abortion is somewhat legal, some gay people can marry – and all this took barely two or three hundred years! Two hundred years more, and police might even stop killing unarmed people by then.

  12. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    “We, this nation in particular, we have lost our way at every level that is important.” …. sad to say and admit that this is so true!!

  13. Jueseppi B. says:

    Reblogged this on MrMilitantNegro™.

  14. Jueseppi B. says:

    I forgot the civility. But you know me.

  15. However the fact you can write this in freedom and without fear of reprisals as we have seen on the news lately in other countries is a plus for the USA. Not perfect, yes! But a far better option than being in Iraq or Syria at the moment where people are being beheaded for no other reason than they think different to the men with the guns. Those same people have all the West in their sites too. It was the guns and military of the US that saved Australia and Europe in WWII. While we see clearly the faults, as we do in our own country, we will ever be grateful we are not slaves to another nation because of the sacrifice of American troops fighting along with us for our freedom. God bless the USA with all its shortcomings.

    • Nope Ian, we have children lying dead in the streets for 4 hours while their parents are kept away from them. We have young fathers being gunned down in WalMart for picking up a toy gun. We have Grandfathers being choked out in the middle of the streets of New York and the list goes on and on.

      We have far to many states of the Union trying to prevent citizens from voting, in very large part because of the color of their skin or their gender.

      We have women losing their access to healthcare and birth control.

      We have children being sentenced to life in prison before they turn 15.

      I don’t give a damn about Iraq or Syria. Their country and their problem. We do not belong there and should have never been there. I also don’t give a damn about Israel, I want my government to stop sucking up money my money and sending it over there, money that could go to repairing roads and building schools in this country.

      No this nation doesn’t deserve a single blessing for their actions here or abroad, certainly not for something no one alive today did.

      No not God Bless the USA, as Reverend Wright said, God Damn America.

    • Jueseppi B. says:

      I absofuckinlutely love when idiots such as this muthafuckin moron Ian, write garbage praising a nation built on massacre, slavery and death. Fuck AmeriKKKa and fuck Ian. Punk ass.

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