Wee The People

No, that’s not a typo. The personal plural pronoun used in the title was intentional and as such, serves to illustrate the extent to which the flesh of our liberties has been denuded our Government. If you think me melodramatic, there is precedent.

Case in point.

In 1854 a slave named Dred Scott was taken by his owner to another state – one that held to liberty for all, even negroes – whereupon Mr. Scott took the opportunity, since he was residing there at the time, to sue for his freedom. His case finally wound up at the majestic and honored Supreme Court of the United States of America. SCOTUS decided that Mr. Scott should not be granted his freedom. Lest we be too harsh on that sagacious body, it was very careful to point out,

“It will be observed that the plea applies to that class of persons only whose ancestors were negroes of the African race, and imported into this country and sold and held as slaves.”

Oh . . . okay. Hey thanks guys.

Regarding the citizenry of “negroes” whose ancestry were brought to this country for purposes of slave commerce, that illustrious gang handed down such wisdom as,

“The question before us is whether the class of persons described in the (Dred Scott) plea in abatement compose a portion of this (American) people, and are constituent members of this (United States) sovereignty? We think they are not, and that they are not included, and were not intended to be included, under the word “citizens” in the Constitution, and can therefore claim none of the rights and privileges which that instrument provides for and secures to citizens of the United States.”

This is the first official instance of ‘Weeing’ of the people that I know of.

It has been said that if one man is not free, then all men are not free.

Is it not the same whether plural or singular?

In the case of Mr. Scott, our wonderful and wise black-robed hoary-headed heroes stated,

“On the contrary, they (blacks) were at that time considered as a subordinate [p405] and inferior class of beings who had been subjugated by the dominant race (whites), and, whether emancipated or not, yet remained subject to their authority, and had no rights or privileges but such as those who held the power and the Government might choose to grant them.”

“. . . and the Government might choose to grant them.”

Now it is wildly ironic, and I would say nefarious, that these justices cited materials to declare some “inferior” and others “dominant” when the very Documents they reference specify an antipathy to such a notion. Read these lines from our Founding Documents,

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I fail to see a melanin exemption there. Am I missing something, or is skin color not mentioned? Nor within the wording do I find an ‘ancestry clause’. To be sure, certain sticklers for wording will point out that the above lines from our Founding Documents were taken from The Declaration of Independence and not from The Constitution.

I maintain that each of the three, The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution and The Bill of Rights are substantively inseparable. All three are intrinsically pertinent to the founding of this nation and are the same blood merely flowing through different veins. They are all of the same conception, incubated in the same womb of oppression and injustice and birthed from the same mother standing at Ellis Island holding that flaming torch high into the sky, that of Freedom and Liberty for all.

So when The 19th century Supreme Court of the United States tried to hammer that round peg of slavery into the square hole of Freedom for “all men” who are, in the framers’ own words, “created equal” then one has to assume one of two things: Either those members of that august body that ruled against poor Mr. Scott are absolute morons, or that they allowed influences other than adherence to law to guide them.

They were not morons!

Could it be that millions and millions of dollars in FREE LABOR played a part?

Such a tragic and painful black mark on our nation’s history serves to dramatically illustrate the proverbial silver lining edging an unconscionably dark cloud. These were the very dangers of governmental powers our Founders were wary of. As the Dred Scott decision has clearly shown, give government the opportunity of tyranny and it will surly take it.

“. . . and the Government might choose to grant them.”

There’s wherein lies the problem. That small and seemingly insignificant line above which chief justice Marshall wrote in the landmark decision that was the precursor to the Civil War, in retrospect, is a misnomer. The concept of “government” granting any rights is faulty logic. Liberty is not “granted” by government. IT’S GRANTED BY GOD!

Recalling The Declaration of Independence,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

Where is ‘government granting’ found in that passage?

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

It’s vey simple. If, as chief justice Marshall held, the government may “choose to grant” certain people their rights, then that same government can choose to take them away.

Our rights derive from either of two spheres, earthly or heavenly. Man or God. If man, then slavery and despotism lies at the whim of men and is always an eventuality. If God, then men are bound by His wisdom, His rule, and His cannon.

You choose.

Are we to live under the auspices of nine black-robed men, one Oval-officed resident, 535 Capitol Hill seat-polishers? Men who give us rhetoric and platitudes every four or six years, who campaign for their positions and tell us how good to us they promise to be?

Or are we better off with someone who told us 2,000 years ago,

“Love one another. Do good to those who abuse you. Love your neighbor as yourself. Be kind to your enemies. If someone slaps your cheek, turn to him the other, if he takes your coat, give him your cloak also.”

Back in 1857, if we would have practiced those standards that many claim are now archaic and outmoded, then Mr. Scott would have never had to bend his back to slavery because of his skin color or ancestry, and this country would have never had to sacrifice more than a half a million of its people to eradicate it.

“. . . and the Government might choose to grant them.”

About the Author

Joe Keck is a writer of horror, thriller, suspense, and other fiction, some poetry and music, with the occasional op-ed piece on current events, politics, and theology. Although born in Oklahoma, he was taken to Los Angeles when he was an infant, or as his mother described, "the ugliest little thing I've ever seen", and raised there on the West Coast. He considers himself to be far superior to most on the artistic merits of film and literature, seeing the vast majority of such to be well below adequate. He has four novels and many short stories to his credit, and hopes to one day have them published, promising to hold critics like himself in harsh derision. He's currently restoring a Jason 35 sailboat and plans to sail the world, writing horror stories, and marveling at the illustrative works of the Creator and His Divine story-telling imagery. You may Find Joe's Website at http://www.joekeck.com/

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