Could anything be as bad as ISIS? Yeah...it could.
The Constitution actually has very little to say about states' rights. It says that no state can be deprived of its two senators, and no state can be forced to give up territory without its consent.
But, when people talk about states' rights, they tend to point not to those provisions, but to the Tenth Amendment. That says that the powers not delegated to the federal government or prohibited to the states, are reserved to the states or the people.
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.”
The 10th as anybody that can read clearly refers to “Powers”. NOT Rights. Powers and Rights are two different things.
The Supreme Court has at times relied on this as a source of states' rights. The federal government can't control the wages that states pay their employees at one set, or the hours that they work. Some essential state functions, it said, are immune from federal regulation. But it only said this for about ten years, from 1974 to 1985.
In 1985, it gave up on the idea of states' rights in the form of these immunities. Why? Because it couldn't figure out which states' rights were important enough to protect.
So, there's an interesting comparison to make here between individual rights, which sometimes get protected, even though they aren't in the words of the Constitution, and states' rights, which generally don't. It's interesting to think about whether the court is wrong in treating them differently in this way.
And one thing to think about there, is whether states' right and individual rights are different in important ways.
Now, some people say individual rights are more important, they're valuable in and of themselves.
States' rights are valuable only to the extent that they make individuals better off.
The Constitution is there for the benefit of “We the People”, not “we the states”.
And other people say no, the states are sovereigns within our constitutional system. Their dignity is important, their rights matter in and of themselves.
The Tenth Amendment doesn't actually say anything about rights. The Ninth Amendment does, it is about individual rights.
“The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
But the Tenth Amendment is about state powers, not states' rights.
This bears repeating: The 10th Amendment refers to State Powers, NOT States Rights.
So…what is the basis for the argument for States Rights? Where does it appear in the Constitution? How can the Conservative make an argument against Civil Rights, by citing a fictitious claim of a non-existent Constitutional principle? How can they point to the 10th Amendment as their authority, when there is nothing in the Amendment to support the claim? Good question. I'm sure a strict constructionist who sticks to the wording of the text would have to concede this point. Where do the words States Rights appear in the Constitution?
In Martin Luther King’s autobiography, he wrote of the 1964 election and specifically the Republican Convention in San Francisco.
From Dr. King’s Autobiography:
The Republican Party geared its appeal and program to racism, reaction, and extremism. All people of goodwill viewed with alarm and concern the frenzied wedding at the Cow Palace of the KKK with the radical right.
While not himself a racist, Mr. Goldwater articulated a philosophy which gave aid and comfort to the racist. His candidacy and philosophy would serve as an umbrella under which extremists of all stripes would stand. In the light of these facts and because of my love for America, I had no alternative but to urge every Negro and white person of goodwill to vote against Mr. Goldwater and to withdraw support from any Republican candidate that did not publicly disassociate himself from Senator Goldwater and his philosophy. [King, Jr., Martin Luther; Carson, Clayborne (1998). The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr.]
African/Americans have overwhelmingly rejected the Republican Party ever since. Racism is deeply embedded into conservative ideology. Racists and extremists found an ally in Goldwater, and the Republican Party, and later with Reagan and his own appeal to the Southern Strategy. The Southern DixieCrats voted for him. All those that opposed Civil Rights voted for him. All those that supported segregation voted for him. What is it about conservatism that has such appeal to racists and segregationists? No doubt somebody will leap up and tell me that it was Democrats that formed the Klan and pushed for segregation. Yes Conservative Democrats. But the party isn't the issue. It's the ideology that is in question. Whether a conservative calls himself a Democrat or a Republican doesn't matter. He's still a conservative and takes a conservative position on everything. The Reagan Democrats became a voting block. Conservative Democrats that hadn't turned Republican yet. These were the Reagan Democrats of Nashoba County Mississippi where three civil rights workers were killed by the Klan and where Reagan launched his presidential campaign announcing his commitment to "States Rights"; a Dog-whistle term for letting the states make the decision on civil rights rather than the Federal government and the US Constitution.
When a Democratic president (Johnson) signed the CRA and the VRA in opposition to the southern members of his own party, those members over time, left the party and became Republicans. Today, what was once solidly Democratic is now solidly Republican. They changed parties, but they never changed their conservative ideology, and the racism that permeated it at that time, still exists today, although not as overtly as it did then. Today it must be hidden in coded dog whistles and legislation that targets minorities with the intentions of minimizing their participation in the US economy or even the electoral process itself.
Are we “post-racial” today? Does the election of Barack Obama demonstrate racism as a thing of the past? No. Emphatically no. If anything it has brought what was thought of as latent, bubbling to the surface. Will we ever see racism as over in America? Probably not. Not as long as it’s promoted in the home and in the churches. Those attitudes are handed down and reinforced very often in the church which can find Biblical justification how to treat your slaves in Bible verse.
Although Racism and bigotry is aimed at many minorities including religious bigotry, probably the biggest problem with the issue of racism rests with the fact of slavery. In American history, one minority was enslaved and viewed in our founding documents as 3/5’s of a person. It literally took a Civil War ( these people were serious about preserving the beloved institution of slavery ), a series of Amendments (13,14, and 15) to the Constitution, to change all of that, and then 100 years later another Act of Congress to insure civil rights and voting rights to African/Americans being denied those very things by Jim Crow laws. That has proved to be an enormous hurdle in race relations, because even though the practice of slavery ended 150 years ago, the Jim Crow laws that followed reconstruction demonstrate that the attitudes directed at the former “slave race” had not gone away. A way of life was ended in the South with the end of the Civil War. A huge cultural shift would now take place (in a very forceful manner) in a region that was willing to go to war, to maintain its culture of White Supremacy, and also hates being forced to do something it doesn’t want to do by the Federal Government. A true conservative always supports traditional values and those values have been challenged. But those values haven’t changed. They’re conservative values and conservatives hold their values as uncompromising. And they don’t like them being challenged. And they can be as self-righteous in their cruelty as ISIS toward any challenge of those values.
That tension between black and white, will most likely continue. No other minority has had to deal with that fact of life in America. Has that created a gigantic “chip” on the shoulder of the African/American? Probably. Is it justified? Yeah, considering that he can still hear the dog whistles, and experience the profiling, among other things, including racial slurs. A white person would probably say no. After all, he had nothing to do with slavery. But the Black person would argue differently. Until the attitudes that promoted slavery, bigotry, hate and discriminatory legislation, are purged from the political policies coming out of conservatism , racism will be here to stay. You can’t legislate attitudes from people. Despite the laws, people will continue to hold views that promote their bigotry, so convinced that their views are correct and true, and must be infallibly correct although they can never demonstrate why. Especially when those people see the Federal Government as their enemy, forcing something upon them that they don’t want. Seeing a person as Black, or white, or Latino, or Arab, isn’t racist, any more than seeing that a person is blond, blue eyed, brown eyed, or black haired. What makes it racist is thinking that it matters.
Amazingly, just recently the entire world was horrified at the execution of a Jordanian pilot at the hands of the terrorist group called ISIS, in what virtually all humans with a pulse condemned as an act of sadistic savagery that doesn't even qualify as human. It was the burning alive of the pilot while being held captive in a cage. Lest we think that we are above such savagery, examine the actions of the people of Texas that could teach ISIS what real cruelty looks like.
A lynching in Texas
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