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Another Supreme Court Ruling: Dred Scott

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Oct. 3rd, 2008 | 11:11 pm
location: Berkeley, CA, USA - 98% liberal, lucky me
mood: infuriated
music: sweet sweet rain, first of the season

I'm not sure where this meme came from, but it's been all over my flist and I love it. The best kind of protest, what we would have called, in my childhood, a Teach-In. I'm not going to repeat the rules, but here I go.

I give you one of the worst rulings ever: Dred Scott (1857), which held that:
Africans residing in America, whether free or slave, could not become United States citizens.
That means that not just those born in Africa, but also their descendants who were born in the United States, were denied the same human rights as all other "races".

It also held that the United States Congress had no authority to prohibit slavery in federal territories, or free states to grant freedom to slaves who entered the states. So, state's rights were great, but not for Free States.

Why? In an appeal to the strict constructionism much like that beloved of our right-wing-looney Supreme Court Justices (Scalia and his shadow, Thomas), the majority decided the drafters of the Constitution had viewed all African-Americans as:
...beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations, and so far inferior that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.
That's disgusting.

The ruling, IMNSHO, made the Civil War inevitable. The Slave States were were willing to revolt for the right of states to choose slavery over humanity. Dred Scott encouraged this, going so far pro-slavery as to make compromise impossible.

That was back when the Republican Party had the moral high ground, they were the party of enfranchisement and liberty. Now, not so much. They want to dismantle the public school system so we can give vouchers for suburban private schools, they prosecute mostly African Americans for civil rights violations, they refused to raise the minimum wage for years... I can give details, if anyone is undecided, and is willing to listen to my version of the issues. But I have no interest in debating Republican True Believers, or libertarians, for that matter. Obama's a little conservative for me, but his take on ISSUES is pretty good. And that's honestly the only thing I care about.

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