Another Rant by BettyJean Kling
Today I sat and watched the Congress read the Constitution for the very first time! Wow! Can you imagine that?
I have a copy in my purse – I carry it around with me- I love the Constitution with all its original faults such as the Three-Fifths clause, which states slaves are “three fifths of all other persons,” None of these original passages were in the amended version, which avoided the awkward question of who reads what.
Rep. Jesse Jackson, D-Ill., expressed concern about eliminating the reading of the controversial passages, reminding lawmakers of their seriousness and sensitivity to African-Americans.
“Many of us don’t want that to be lost upon reading of our sacred document,”
I agree. We can’t learn from our mistakes unless we look at them. We have been guilty of mistreating both blacks and women and we understand the amendments are there to fix those problems. I eagerly await the one that will fix the one for all of humanity, The Equal Rights Amendment. In my newsletter, I clearly and have always ended it with these words among others: “Achieve Equality, Opportunity and Justice for All – this is a Human Right”
Anyway the good old boys won out once again leaving out the controversial language and then adding insult to injury in the reading of the 15th and 19th amendments as shown below.
Abolishing slavery was not enough for the blacks – men still needed the right to vote hense the 15th amendment, after the 19th. blacks needed the Civil Rights movement and the ongoing fight for enforcement of enacted legal protections to ensure the right to equality under the law.
Women, however, were not freed of their oppression, not treated or paid equally, not given the vote for another 80 years and still do not have eqaulity under the law or the US Constitution.
When I heard they would be reading the US Constitution this morning – I was sure to tune in to C-Span. Only in DC could such a simple thing as reading our Constitution be so complicated. First they were late getting started, then they had to argue about how they would read it, then what version? Gimme a break.
Members of the House of Representatives today read the Constitution on the floor of the House chamber, marking a first for Congress. While lawmakers read the amended version to skirt the original’s controversial passages, the reading wasn’t without its own share of controversy. http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/house-representatives-read-constitution-floor/story?id=12555114
Then it appeared to me that after many of the congresspersons read their lines they promptly left the room—Did I misread this or did they leave?
Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., was designated to read the 13th Amendment, which ended slavery in the United States and received a standing ovation from the house – I joined in at home rejoicing with him a tear in my eye looking forward to the reading of the 15th which gave black men full citizenship voter rights and looked forward to the 19th which gave all women full citizenship voting rights.
The 13th Amendment to the Constitution declared that “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude…shall exist within the United States.”
May I tell you that many have told me we do not need the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) because the 14th Amendment provides all the protection women need under the law! Firstly the ERA is not just for women is provides for equality for everyone. That means men can’t be discriminated on because of sex as well! As for the 14th , indeed section 1 says that ALL have protection under the law BUT in section 2, blacks and women are clearly referred to as non-voting , non-whole persons and that is why Amendment 15 was needed to give black men the right to vote regardless of their previous state of servitude, and that is also why Amendment 19 was needed to give women the right to have a vote and why I need the ERA:
Amendment 14 – Citizenship Rights
1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice-President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.
Now to our deepest and most embarrassing humiliation.
When we got to Amendment 15- NO standing ovation – I figured that was because the majority of our citizens still had no vote
The Fifteenth Amendment (Amendment XV) to the United States Constitution prohibits each government in the United States from denying a citizen the right to vote on that citizen’s “race, color, or previous condition of servitude” (i.e., slavery).
I eagerly awaited the reading of the 19th and happily they had a women read that and she after she did – —— Nothing! Less than 100 years ago – women did not have the right to vote- we were the majority and yet we did not have the right to vote. When we finally won that right Alice Paul also asked for the Equal rights amendment- and we are still fighting for equality- a human right!
The Nineteenth Amendment (Amendment XIX) to the United States Constitution prohibits each state and the federal government from denying any citizen the right to vote based on that citizen’s sex. It was ratified on August 18, 1920.
Now more than ever – I demand that we stand and fight for the ERA which states the following:
The Twenty-eighth Amendment (Amendment XXVIII) to the US Constitution should read: Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.
Human Rights should be our first priority!
Filed under: ERA, Feminism, Indifference toward Women, Misogyny/Sexism, Racism, Right to vote, Voter rights, Women's Rights | Tagged: 13th Amendment, 14th Amendment, 15th Amendment, 19th Amendment, Ammended Constitution, ERA, U.S. Constitution |