In what could be seen as a controversial stance I take, I actually consider today, July 9th, the real Independence Day. That’s because, for me, the day the 14th Amendment was passed, which brought equal rights and protections to all citizens of the country, was the real Emancipation Day, which many misinformed people think was January 1st, when Abraham Lincoln gave his decree known as the Emancipation Proclamation.
What’s the truth? The reality is that when Lincoln freed slaves, he only freed slaves in the southern states during the Civil War. And let’s face the fact that it didn’t free a single slave, and probably 99% of them never even heard of it at the time. Not that he didn’t have encouragement to do so, as it was believed that putting it out there would encourage free black people to join the army and fight for the cause, which did happen although Union military leaders really didn’t want them… that is, until the losses started to pile up.
What many others don’t know is that many of the states that voted for it did it under threat of not being established as a state again, which pertains to those southern states that had to bite the bullet after losing the Civil War. And in truth passing it did little to equalize things or make them fair in any way… at least at the time. Actually even now, even so many years, a bill has to come before Congress known as the Civil Rights Bill; that’s just a shame…
I don’t get political on this blog all that often and I don’t necessarily want to go there now, but I feel like I have to. I go that way because of the topic of immigration and how there are so many who are fighting this, even though it’s a protection that was granted, to a degree, by the 14th Amendment.
There are many who believe that just because someone was born in this country that it shouldn’t automatically give them citizenship. Not only would this violate the Constitution because of this amendment (which was supported by United States v. Wong Kim Ark in 1898, but it throws out history in general as that’s how this country not only came to be in the first place but how it grew.
The attack is also against those who came to this country in an unorthodox manner (I’m preferring that to “illegal) and have not only lived here a long time but many have served in the military and done great deeds for this country. Many people say they should be deported and not be allowed to remain, that they’re a drain on the financial resources of this country (like they care since they don’t want to take care of people who have been citizens of this country for centuries) and that they bring heavy crime (uhhh, who’s in jail more than anyone else by the numbers?).
You know what? Yeah, there’s some criminal elements, and there are some folks who live off governmental benefits. That’s going to happen. But the overwhelming majority work hard, travel hard, make little but are honest, proud people who have tried to be great examples of the opportunities this country has to offer.
I’m not saying that the borders shouldn’t be tightened so that people would be forced to go the correct route to get into this country; goodness knows that if uneducated people can get in from one country terrorists with a bit more education can also get in, and do. I’m saying that if someone has been here a long time and proven their worth, which is the majority, that they not only should be allowed to stay but should be given the opportunities for citizenship that, in my opinion, they’ve earned.
There; that’s my political post for the year… I hope!