The absolute best statement that I’ve heard made by one of our political representatives in Washington, D.C., astounded me. It was so accurate, that I don’t believe that the person who made that statement realized it at the time.
Resounding and resonating with me was the characterization of this current societal, racial, political, interpersonal climate in the U.S. The times in which we are living indicates that we are in the midst of a constitutional crisis.
As Americans, one of our most sacred documents that guides every aspect of our lives, the quality of our lives, hinges on our U.S. Constitution, and the degree to which we abide by and follow its guidance. At this point in the 21st Century, we are deeply at odds with this document’s tenets.
We have issues with the right to bear arms, the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, the idea that says we are all innocent until proven guilty, and the rights to quality equitable public education.
In relation to the folks in Washington, D.C., we are deeply at odds with the ideas of checks and balances within our governmental structure. Accountability seems to be selective rather than ensured. We are holding the wrong people accountable for their actions. Instead of holding those in positions of power and influence accountable for their decisions and actions, we hold the ‘little’ people accountable for that which they have limited control.
Data and information, evidence-based, should dictate the directions we move, partivcularly as it impacts the lives of others. We continue to speak, and act for people as opposed to with people whose lives are impacted by policies, programs and procedures.
Instead of acting and making decisions and determinations based on evidence, we turn the evidence on its head and misdirect it. We tell people and expect them to accept that the evidence before them is in fact an illusion, misinterpreted.
A woman shoots and kills a dog, and the punishment in this case is that her husband is sent to jail. Innocent dog is killed-an animal. A person shoots and kills an unarmed black man and that punishment is that this person is given a job with the NRA. What idiocy! We value a dog, and I am not alone in that I love dogs of all breeds. The value of an animal, nonhuman being is greater than a human being-a black person. This constitutes a crisis.
We guarantee the rights to, not separate and unequal, but equitable education opportunities for all children, but the most poor children and families are left with underresourced, underqualified staff lacking cultural competency. From floor to ceiling, the poorer or more brown the community, the lower the quality of educational experiences in that community.
Moreover, separate but equal has been decided unconstitutional, but more than 50 years after that landmark decision, separate and unequal still exists. Segregation still persists and describes this reality. And, no one is arguing that reality. That’s a crisis.
Every citizen when facing any criminal charges or suspicions of criminality, is to be determined and presumed innocent BEFORE and UNTIL proven guilty. Unfortunately, many suspects fail to make it before a jury of their peers to argue his or her innocence.
Some groups of individuals are unable to turn around, reach for identification, or respond to questioning, before they are shot and killed. The punishment is a paid vacation. Administrative leave-bullshit.
We see with our own eyes a scenario, played out online in real time. Someone is approached and within 5 seconds reaction time, they are shot multiple times. People are apprehended, get taken down, as termed by law enforcement, unable to fight back and not attempting to fight back. Not resisting arrest, being disrespectful, using profane language with police, while on the ground, gets kicked, punched, choked, and assaulted not once. Numerous times, so much that you or I can feel the blows.
The case gets placed under review, with film footage illustrating the event, and no one is found in violation of civil rights. Worse yet is when this happens to a child. That’s a constitutionl crisis.
We outlawed segregation in schools, and yet directly related to the separation of the races is housing segregation. Just as we mandate implement quotas in education, employment, and areas underrepresented by diversity, why can’t we do the same with housing, neighborhoods, communities?.
The people empowered will at first glance be those traditionslly left out of certain communities, regardless of income. Upon deeper examination, the people made better will be those same people and everyone else. Being blunt, the notion of segregation and disenfranchisement was economic in nature. There is no science data based on real not pseudo scientific evidence that supports the realities imposed upon an already greatly harmed group of human beings.
The good news is that our intelligence informs us that the same persons are incredibly resilient, significant and the true leaders in society. Stereotypes upheld and believed by the mindless, and fears, deeply ingrained fears, are what has gotten this country to the point where seemingly ordinary white children enter their own greatly segregated white schools and kill numbers of innocent children their own race. That constitutes a crisis.
In order to bring this country into the future as a cohesive peoples, we must revisit this constitution and rethink its tenets. Either we adhere to them or change them. If we are all endowed with rights, inalienable, to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, then no longer can we selectively apply this to ourselves only. A true democracy is to be equitable, fair and just, wherein logic rules our rules and policies and practices and perspectives.
Personal gain is only to be appropriate in the realm of career pursuits-business. When personal gain interferes and contradicts the edicts in the Constitution, and infringes upon rights of others, then it is clearly undemocratic and anti-American.
As a nation, we are supposed to be brave, self-reliant and self-assured. We are cautioned to not step on the toes of anyone else. A supposed meritocracy, it is in alignment with MLK’s ‘content of character’ vision and fueled by skill, hard work and determination. Equal access and opportunity for achievement and access to services, programs, education, employment and to express sexual preferences and identity.
One person, one voice means unimpeded access to exercise that vote and raise that voice. Freedom of speech applies across the board, except where that speech approaches hate and attempts to rob anyone their inalienable rights. In the public forum, speech must resemble constructive expression. No one is denied their right to worship, choose housing location, or ambulate or drive in their community or anyone else’s. Any of these, all recent and too frequent occurrences, constitutes a constitutional crisis.
Unfortunately, there are vicious acts of violence committed against Jews, Muslims, and Blacks. All horrific crises situations, but when issues rely upon race alone as a reason to harm, this is a constitutional and moral crisis.Worse yet, is when horrific acts are committed by those sworn to protect and serve, uphold the law, and act on the presumption of innocence first and foremost–in ALL instances.
A constitutional crisisis is evidenced across the country in school settings, regarding instruction. Shame on us, knowing what we do about the origin of public education’s framework, by continuing to omit African-American history. African-American history IS American history. The rules of logic determine that what we teach is significantly untruthful. Yet, we continue to teach outside of the evidence-based and deductive reasoning process. That framwork existed only to limit mention of African-American’s roles and contributions to this country. The underlying and explicit purpose was to maintain a fallacy of the inferiority of the race.
For personal and political justification of maintaining or returning these people into subservience. Blacks made this country rich, but we keep this hidden. This reality is counterintuitive to what we say is promoted in education. That is supposed to be higher order thinking, critical thinking skills. Children today are not too far away from making incredible revelations that contradicts what we tell and teach them. Our children, yours and mine, will be extremely disappointed and distrustful of us when, through the resouce of internet connectivity, informs them of our hypocracy.
Maintaining the original lies today, about this country, will completely alienate youngsters from adults. They will disengage, disrupt, tune out, drop out and actively rebel against our country. We create this constitutional crisis.Children may not appear to listen to us, pay attention to what we do and say, but with absolute certainty, they will never fail to imitate or mock us. Implicit bias and fear is holding us back from being the true leaders of the ‘free’ world!
This country is indeed in the midst of a constitutional crisis and we are at a crossroads. We can choose to ignore reality, shape our perceptions to fit our perspectives, turn a blind eye to the plight of the less fortunate souls out there. But, our choices today will resonate tomorrow, and the tomorrows do not belong to us. They belong to our children.
In a positive light, we honestly address the crisis situations we face today and rethink our interpretation of our most central document. It is time to lay politics aside and use our privilege to put people first!