When I was a child I thought as a child, I acted as a child, I played like a child but when I became a man, I put away those childish things and began acting like a man and a citizen of America. That means doing things for the betterment of all citizens as we go about our life, seeking liberty and happiness. My thoughts and opinion is targeted at the people who want to repeal the 14th amendment under the argument that they want to just go after so-called anchor babies born to illegal immigrants. This 14th amendment came about in July of 1868 after the civil war and the famous Dred Scott Decision of 1857 where the highest court said Blacks were not citizens and had no rights a White man had to honor or recognize. Section 1 of the amendment states “All persons born or naturalized in the United States” are protected by federal law which no individual state can take away.
When I was growing up as a boy in the forties and fifties under Jim Crow, there were a lot of western movies that Iwatched across the street from my home at the elementary school on Friday nights. We did not call them westerns, to us kids it was “cowboys and Indians”. That led us as kids to play the role of cowboys or Indians with us picking which one we wanted to play on any given day. Sometimes, I would pick the role of a cowboy like Jimmy Stewart in the movie Winchester 73 or other stars like Buster Crabbe, Tom Mix, Lash LaRue and the list would go on and on. Then there were other times I would be Sitting Bull, Geronimo, Crazy Horse, Cochise and the list can go on and on of my Indian heroes on the movie screen. We would ride around the yard with wooden sticks between our legs serving as ponies, paper cap guns strapped to our sides and our homemade bows and arrows on our backs. To me it was a game I played when I was a kid but now that I am a man I have put away that childish notion and look at the impact these movies had on me as an unsuspecting youth.
There were other movies that had negative stereotypes of Blacks, Mexicans and Asians which all had one overall arching theme of culture domination in their presentations. Again, now that I am a man I have put aside those images and tried to deal with the reality of how things were and are so we can move forward to improve relationships with all people.
However, we have some people like radio commentator Rush Limbaugh, Senator Mitch McDonnell, Congressman John Boehner, Newt Gingrich and others in the Republican Party that are still playing those old stereotypical racist games of old. They are old enough to remember the Jim Crow laws of the south, the game of calling all Black men boy regardless of his age so as to demean him or someone you don’t have to respect.
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I am glad I remembered those stories and that way of life because I can see they are trying to take us back to those days of yesteryear. I am not going to say any of them are racist but they are playing the racist game. They have not grown out of the role they played when they were children when the law was legal segregation and Blacks and other minority groups had no constitutional rights. I also want to tell the Indians now can live on or off the reservation. They have found a new industry -- gaming -- that assists some to live a better life here in their native land. The Jim Crow laws of segregation have been ruled unconstitutional even though the residue still has its effects on us as citizens. I want to point out to them that women have the right to vote with three serving on the U.S. Supreme Court and many serving in congress alongside many Blacks, Hispanics, Asians and Indians.
Now we have Limbaugh still referring to President Barack Obama as a “boy child” and someone you don’t have to accept as president. He never referred to George Bush as a boy, even though Bush acted like one sometimes. We now have some Republicans calling for a repeal of the Fourteenth Amendment to the constitution under the disguise of saying children born in the USA to illegal immigrants (Mexicans) should not be given citizenship rights. It sounds good to many Americans and some Blacks, who think something like this must be done to address this problem. However, let me tell you, once they get the 14th amendment open they might as well take away every other persons right to fix their fancy. It will become like the game of ‘Operation’ that kids get for Christmas with the patient lying before you, remove the leg bone and kidney, no the arm and so it goes. To these non-racist Republicans playing a racist game with the 14th amendment, it is a political game to get votes and stay in their elected positions but to me it is a matter of life and death. I have lived under Jim Crow Sr. and I don’t care what Jim Crow Jr. calls it, it ain’t gonna to happen.
So none of you are racist nor segregationist but you are acting out the parts of those racist from the past. Grow up and put together a program that will bring us together in business, education and community. If you want to repeal the fourteenth amendment then add to it the forty acres and a mule, now a tractor, which was never given to our ancestors. Put in reparations for the years we worked for no pay. Pay the Black farmers for the government discriminating against them. Show us the real Republican Party of Lincoln and the writers of the Fourteenth Amendment, now that is a role you should be playing and not that of racist politics.
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