The paragraph that was edited out of the Declaration of Independence

When Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence, he included this paragraph in the Colonies’ grievance against King George III of England:

He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation hither … And he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty of which he had deprived them, by murdering the people upon whom he also obtruded them: thus paying off former crimes committed against the liberties of one people, with crimes which he urges them to commit against the lives of another.

This didn’t make it into the final draft. Possibly because it’s contradictory (condemning slavery then condemning slaves for not wanting to be in slavery). And not to mention bit of hypocrisy (the king doesn’t want us to have liberty, and we don’t want the slaves to be free).

So, let’s do away with the idea that the founding fathers held opinions that were sacred and should always be the foundation for avoiding change in the 21st century (Justice Scalia), and let’s remember that despite their flaws, the founding fathers did come up with a document that we nevertheless honor and celebrate 239 years after it was proclaimed to the public.

Oh, and, let’s remember what Jefferson said about the future:

img_0044

 

(More on the deleted paragraph at Talking Points Memo.)

 

 

Meanwhile, in the Democratic presidential race

Bernie Sanders, the Vermont Independent, seeking the presidential nomination of the Democratic Party. Is drawing large crowds, and we haven’t been hearing about it because everyone thinks Hillary Clinton has her party’s nomination locked up, and folks like Donald Trump have given the GOP process the appeal of a car wreck on a highway (You can’t help but watch).

But Sanders drew about 10,000 at a rally in Madison, Wis.

That’s probably the largest crowd at any rally so far this campaign season:

There’s definitely a clear message coming from the Sanders campaign, and it fired up the cheeseheads. Let’s see how it resonates across the country.

Do you feel the Jeb-mentum?

TMW2015-07-01color

Being serious for a moment. I watched Jeb’s Florida announcement that he was running for president, and by far it was the most impressive of all the GOP candidates’. It was racially diverse, Jeb spoke Spanish and the atmosphere wasn’t one of a jump into a campaign, but more like an acceptance of the nomination at a national convention.

Just contrast this…

… with what can only be described as a train smashing head on into a diving airplane in the middle of an earthquake during a hurricane …

And that’s not the kicker. The unnatural disaster is currently in second place in polls in Iowa and New Hampshire. Jeb trails him in Iowa.

 

The last time the sanctity of marriage was debated

So same-sex marriage is now the law of the land. And though most of the reaction is favorable, there’s still this:

All the GOP hopefuls noted their personal objection to same-sex marriage and their belief that marriage should be left to the states. But while some firebrands — led by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker — issued strong statements urging conservatives to fight, others, such as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, issued more muted statements.

The different reactions underscore the tough challenge facing Republican candidates in a deep field; namely, how to appeal to a conservative base that strongly opposes same-sex marriage without alienating a general-election audience that largely supports it.

Legality doesn’t immediately translate to acceptance. And acceptance is going to take a while. Don’t forget, we’ve done this before:

500px-US_miscegenation.svg

U.S States, by the date of repeal of anti-miscegenation laws:
Gray: No laws passed
Green: Repealed before 1887
Yellow: Repealed from 1948 to 1967
Red: Overturned on 12 June 1967

Anti-miscegenation laws: If you’re one race, you can’t marry someone of another race.

Mixed-race marriages used to be against the law. On June 12, 1967, the Supreme Court changed that in its Loving v. Virginia, ruling, which came after a white man and black woman who married in Washington, D.C., were arrested after they returned home to Virginia.

That Supreme Court decision was unanimous, but unanimity didn’t equate with approval:

bb8ic2qate-wa_cbgc2ifg

In 1967, when the Supreme Court issued its ruling, fewer than 20 percent of Americans approved of interracial marriage.

The majority of Americans not only disapproved, they also were spiteful in their rejection of the concept:

Anti-Miscegenation

Now we come to 2015. This past April, a poll was taken on same-sex marriage, and this was the result:

A record-high 6 in 10 Americans support same-sex marriage and a similar share say individual states should not be allowed to define marriage as only between a man and a woman, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

So look at it this way: Although the Supreme Court ruled this past week in favor of same sex marriage in a narrow 5-4 vote, Americans approval of such unions is above 60 percent. When the Supreme Court ruled unanimously for mixed race marriages in 1967, the approval rating for such unions didn’t reach 60 percent until 1997, 30 years later.

Same sex marriage today is in a much stronger position despite its weaker court majority.

Hope and change 2015

Remember back in 2008, when Barack Obama won the presidency because he ran on a platform of hope and change? And remember how pissed of his supporters were after a few years because change didn’t happen immediately.

But today:

The Supreme Court on Friday delivered a historic victory for gay rights, ruling 5 to 4 that the Constitution requires that same-sex couples be allowed to marry no matter where they live and that states may no longer reserve the right only for heterosexual couples.

And yesterday:

The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a key part of the Affordable Care Act that provides health insurance subsidies to all qualifying Americans, awarding a major victory to President Obama and validating his most prized domestic achievement.

And this week:

After decades of bitter debate over whether the Confederate battle flag is a proud symbol of regional heritage or a shameful emblem of this nation’s most grievous sins, the argument may finally be moving toward an end.

South Carolina is leading the way for other states, as it considers removing the flag from its capitol grounds in the wake of a horrific racial hate crime.

Since Obama has taken office, we’ve extricated ourselves from two wars promoted by the previous president. The legalization of marijuana is taking place throughout the country and people are really getting pissed off that law enforcement tends to be more severe with certain races and ethnic groups than others.

This is fundamental change, and for some people, this is the most significant change they’ve seen in their lifetimes. But we see that change isn’t immediate. It takes a lot of hard work, and it faces virulent opposition. But it does happen. And once it does, it’s our responsibility as citizens to realize that just because we win one round, we then don’t just pack up our posters and say, “Well, I’m done. I got mine.”

We are making advances every day. This week, the liberals win. Don’t think the conservatives won’t counter with even more rabid condemnations of the Black-Marxist-Nazi-Kenyan usurper.

We are approaching a presidential election year. The battle lines are drawn. How far to the right will the Republicans go? Because the Democrats don’t have to move an inch.

Since we’re all confused about race …

dolezalNow, there’s a white woman in Spokane who says she’s black and up until a couple of days ago ran the local NAACP. She was outed by her parents in Montana, who said their heritage was German, Czech and … I don’t remember … something Nordic?

Which makes her, as Larry Wilmore put it on “The Nightly Show,” Laura Linney white.

And just as I wrapped my head around it, I saw this trailer:

How anyone kept it a secret that she was half black boggles my mind, Georgetown figured it out pretty easily.

So black people are convinced a white woman is black, and white people are convinced a black woman is white. And the women involved … I can’t figure out what they think. And what’s even more confusing, I don’t know what category to put this under. I want to check “Liars” but that just doesn’t feel right.