As the Constitution Is Tossed Aside, Racism Becomes a Greater Danger

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As the meaning of the Constitution gets tossed aside, racism has become a greater danger than ever. Since 2016, my hope for the future of the American people faded. Today I am very worried and very afraid. During President Obama’s administration, I found a new optimism, a new source of hope. However, there could never have been two more opposite presidents than Obama and the leader of white supremacy in America. I have watched millions of racists and hate-filled men and women crawl out from under their rocks and from below the slime in our swamps. They were encouraged: they had a leader defiling our White House.

Two days ago was our newest national holiday, “Juneteenth.” On June 19, 1865, about 2,000 Union Soldiers arrived in Galveston Bay, Texas. Although it was two years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, this would be the day slavery ended forever in America.

“The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor,” stated Union General Gordon Granger.

This proclamation guaranteed the freedom of approximately 250,000 men, women, and children who remained in servitude in the state of Texas. I find it interesting that a couple of days ago Republican politicians in the Lone Star State suggested secession from the Union once again.

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“The truth lives here,” and if you are a real American and love your country, the meaning of the Constitution is clear: “no one is free until all Americans are free.”

One undeniable fact came into the light of day between January 2017 and January 2021. It is impossible to be a Trump supporter unless you support placing all men and women of color in a new form of slavery because all whites are superior to Black Americans.

During President Obama’s administration, I hope that an end to the ignorance of racism would become a reality in my lifetime. Four very long years between 2017 and 2021 moved my beloved country back into the dark days of the 1950s and 1960s.

I remember the first time I saw Trump’s ridiculous, red, “MAGA” baseball caps. I thought to myself, “whoever had those made knows nothing about America’s 246-year history.” Our country is a little more than 400-year history of slavery and racism is the primary reason the United States of America has never been a great nation.

When I was a young man, many of my friends were insulted if anyone called them “Black,” or African American. These were difficult times when all whites dominated our society. They created a division between our nation’s people who celebrated white supremacy, and the fact that our country was by design a diverse nation.

I remember asking one of my friends, when we had a quiet moment alone, “What do you prefer?” The answer was simple: “My name is Jimmy.” I realized that this was the result of one of Dr. Martin Luther King’s most prolific statements. He dreamed of a time when there were no white Americans, Black Americans, Asian Americans, or any other definition other than “American.” I share this hope and after 75 years as a dreamer, I continue to wait for Dr. King’s dream to become a reality.

Racist Republicans in name only would like you to ignore facts. It is beyond reality to expect Black Americans to forgive and forget transgressions committed against their ancestors for centuries. I hope that over time and with the reformation of our government that their anger and even hatred will be replaced by legitimate expectations that our people will reunite and defeat the separation and unwarranted distrust created by our government and Fox News.

I may be a dreamer, but without dreams, humanity suffers a sad and depressive demise.

When the Constitution was ratified in 1789, it was perfect. Is it perfect today as written 233 years ago? Of course not. Change is inevitable and change requires difficult decisions and even greater change. Not a single amendment known as the Bill of Rights applies to 21st century America with complete accuracy.

At least two of the original 10 amendments have no application in 2022. The second and third amendments cannot be applied to 21st century America. If the first 10 amendments were perfectly written for perpetuity, there would have been no need for amendments 11 thru 27.

Anyone who denies that the Constitution is a living document chooses ignorance over reality. Once again, I remind you that change is inevitable and necessary.

Issues not foreseen by our founding fathers in 1789 were an end to slavery, the development of the largest army in the world, or the creation of weapons of mass destruction used by domestic terrorists today.

The basic concept of the United States of America created by our founding fathers has yet to be realized. Our government has failed us because we, the voting public, have made many poor and uninformed decisions allowing self-serving men and women to harm our government from the inside.

This situation has escalated to a level impossible to believe in in 2022. No one in Washington is trusted by even one of our nation’s people today. We expect lies and therefore believe nothing. Washington politicians have earned this evaluation. Hiding facts using the fallacious claim of “national security” destroyed all trust and respect for any politician.

The solutions are numerous, including term limits for the legislative and judicial branches, and the end of a system that allows states to choose our president, known as the Electoral College. The vote of the people should and must be respected by our government.

Waiting for change is not an option. Demanding change will save our nation’s future.

Finally, one word Republicans fear — VOTE!

Op-ed by James Turnage
Edited by Sheena Robertson


Daily Kos: Until all of us are free, none of us are free: Recommending ‘reading’ on Juneteenth and Pride
Daily Kos: Juneteenth, More Than a Barbecue

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