Civil Discourse Now

Where the far left and far right overlap for fun and enlightenment

Originalism is at odds with disregard of slavery

There is significant overlap of people who say: (1) We need to get past slavery as part of our history; and (2) We have to apply The Constitution as the men who wrote it meant (also called “original intent”). Slavery formally ended in 1865. The Constitution was signed in 1787. 1/7

Slaves learned few skills; often, by law, could not be taught reading/writing/simple math. Only 4 years of warfare & more American lives lost than any war in our history ended slavery. In 1865 Southern States began to rebuild and blamed former slaves/their descendants & the GOP. 2/7

Black people were killed, blocked from voting, denied education & equal protection of law. In 1954, Brown v Bd of Ed’n ended “separate but equal.” The Voting Act, the Civil Rights Act & affirmative action came only after decades of discrimination & lives lost. We can’t “get past it.” 3/7

“Original intent” is bunk. My friend Paul Ogden replied to my recent blog on separation of church and State the importance of the word “establishment” of a religion. That phrase is from the First Amendment, not the Constitution signed in 1787. Also: the Framers saw a future.4/7

James Madison wrote: “In framing a system which we wish to last for the ages, we should not lose sight of the changes which ages will produce.” Article VII provides for amendments. The Civil War Amendments changed the concept of federalism. I’ll return to the topic of 5/7

separation of church & State, but I had to address these core aspects of how we construe The Constitution. The real “intent” of the Framers, at least 20 of whom “owned” slaves is unclear. The effects of the slavery they protected still is with us. 6/7

I encourage people to read about the history of The Constitution. I’ll write more as time allows. And: I’m a candidate in the GOP primary for City-Council District 2. I approve of this message. Hell, I wrote it. 7/7

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