It is heartbreaking to me that since the inception of America, this country has been reaching and climbing to attain the goal of “Justice for All.” Today, young men are being killed and treated as worthless members of American society. It so happens that these young men are African-American.
When the founding fathers drafted the Constitution of the United States in 1789, the document excluded about 6 million people living in America who were considered chattel (such as a slave, piece of furniture, or something a person owns other than land or buildings), even though it was a document to guide and legally support justice and freedom. It was the first document of its kind.
The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America, yet it still cannot negate crimes of hatred and ignorance. Originally, it comprised seven articles delineating the government’s national frame. Since the Constitution came into force in 1789, it has been amended 27 times. In general, the first ten amendments, known collectively as the Bill of Rights, offer specific protections of individual liberty and justice and place restrictions on powers of the government.
The Emancipation Proclamation was signed on January 1, 1863 as the nation reached its third bloody year of civil war between the states over injustice and free labor (slavery). Despite its expansive wording, the Emancipation Proclamation was limited in many ways. It applied only to states that had seceded from the Union, leaving slavery untouched in other states. It did not end slavery.
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 is a landmark piece of federal legislation in the United States that prohibits racial discrimination in voting. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed it into law during the height of the American Civil Rights Movement on August 6, 1965, and Congress later amended the Act five times to expand its protections. Designed to enforce voting rights guaranteed by the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, the Act allowed for mass enfranchisement of racial minorities throughout the country, especially in the South. Today, the United States Department of Justice considers the Act the most effective piece of civil rights legislation ever enacted in this country.
With that said, there is a history of fighting for justice and equality in America since its inception and inculcation of slavery on its soil. Documents have been created, revised and amended, but injustices still run deep in a country that was built on injustice. We can compose documents, implement education about equality, even post on Facebook, but we cannot change the hearts of men and root out hatred and fear. Only God can make that change.
What we can do is take a stand and put our concerns and heartbreaks into action by getting politically involved, writing letters to our legislators, writing articles, holding our municipalities responsible for what they do and don’t do—by attending community meetings of city councils, voting and becoming a voice in your community on a consistent basis. We don’t give up and allow justice and equality to get buried in the world chaos. We should stand firmly and put into action what we want to see, not just talk about it.
None of us are free and equal until all of us are free and equal; and in the end, justice is rooted in the very nature of God. He delivers justice in His own time. Human judges do well to remember God in their courts. God does not receive bribes or pervert justice.
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