The 4th of July is commonly known as Independence Day.
When our nation’s forefathers contextualized “Independence”, see they could have never imagined the complexity of that word in practice and how difficult it would become to protect and defend it in these contemporary times. When they, the framers of the Declaration & Constitution, wrote down its pronouncements and platitudes, they were completely unaware of their unique identity as all white men of privilege who never intended independence to be a concept of absolute inclusivity. The U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence are the backbone of the civil rights and liberties of the U.S. political system. It cites as natural rights “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” and claims that “all men are created equal”. This is our legal basis for equality. It’s supposed to be an American ideal… Independence.
A lofty and philosophical document, the Declaration of Independence did little for the legal situation in the United States? This became the work of the Constitution and its subsequent amendments. These articulated in explicit detail the ideas present in the Declaration in a legal sense. It is a little known fact, however, that the men who “created” our nation’s Declaration and Constitution were inspired by The People who inhabited this land long before white men landed. The Iroquois Nation and The Iroquois Book of the Great Law are the rightful framers of the United States’ most sacred documents. Within the pages of The Iroquois Book, you will find close parallels to our Executive, Legislative and Judiciary branches of government as originally described in our U. S. Constitution. And yet, the Iroquois laws were written centuries before white men landed in the Americas. The Native People were never acknowledged as the inspiration for these great documents in any history of the U.S. that I was taught in school. I believe it is this deception that is one of the reasons we now have a dysfunctional Legislative branch, a disrespected Executive and an excessively over reaching Judiciary full of hubris and arrogant disregard for the historic struggle for equality under the law and their role (as Justices) in illuminating and upholding it; rather than re-writing or ignoring it.
It is Supremely misguided to base judicial decision on false comparisons like the overt violence and brutality of 1965 with the much more subversive tactics of organized voter suppression employed nationwide in the 2012 Presidential campaign. Just because we “should be better” does not mean we are. Things look different today than they did in 1965, but as a child of the 60’s, I can honestly say we have a mighty long way to go in this country before equality and justice for All is something that is shared equitably by ALL of America’s citizens regardless of race, ethnicity, color, gender, sexual orientation, level of education or economic status. I am hurt, disappointed, disgusted and embarrassed by the Supreme Court of the United States right now, and I see a people’s movement coming that will be unlike anything we have seen before. Because we will NOT go Back! Undoubtedly, if the SCOTUS continues to cross over the boundaries clearly drawn by the limitation of the constitutional office they hold…The People must Do something! The struggle continues. We, the PEOPLE, have the Constitution as our backbone and the Declaration of Independence as our platform!