Sunday, June 26, 2022

If You Put It In Context

Blacks came back from WWII to the country they’d just fought for and found the same segregated country they’d left. And they weren’t having it.

Their example inspired the anti-war movement, the feminist revolution, gay rights, equality for everyone; and a small, determined group was not having it.

The example of freedom we once set for the world? Too much. Not acceptable. Done.

That’s the story today, at least. It’s really the same story, the same old story: cui bono? Thomas wants to overturn Griswold and Lawrence and Obergefell, because they don’t affect him. Loving should fall, too, if Obergefell does, but Thomas would be affected if mixed race marriages were criminalized again.

Cui bono?

Freedom is a zero sum game. The more you have, the less I do. Or rather, if you’re free, I’m not in control; and then I’m less free. So your freedom diminishes mine.

Cui bono?

Your freedom makes me free. The more freedom there is for you, the more there is for me. But I am bound to you, so the less freedom you have, the less I have. The more I restrict your freedom, the more I restrict mine, because I’m bound to restricting yours. This is the true state of affairs, because my freedom is diminished if I’m bound to controlling yours; especially if controlling yours is how I preserve mine.

The people of Ireland can vote for abortion rights; we are not so free. We vote for representatives who either don’t vote for the laws polls say most of us want, or won’t present a constitutional amendment to our legislatures, who probably wouldn’t approve it anyway. Remember the ERA? I do. It’s more than clear that would simply happen again.

Land of the free; for me, not for Thee. Home of the brave; who are afraid of what might happen when everyone is equally free.

Cui bono?

We become unrecognizable to the world, but remain recognizable to ourselves. After all, many of the “Founding Fathers” owned slaves. There’s a reason the same Court which considers racism a pernicious factor which renders any law unconstitutional, never handed down a ruling declaring slavery unconstitutional. Slavery involved property rights. The Court doesn’t mess with property rights. It took the 13th Amendment before the Courts began to be concerned with racism. But it took the Civil Rights movement to get their attention. Plessy came after the 13th Amendment.  That ruling ignored that amendment the way Shelby ignored the 15th.  The judicial doctrine that racism is a pernicious category didn’t begin before Brown overruled Plessy. But with the decline of the movement, the power of the doctrine declined, too. The Court protects property, and ideas; but not people. It’s a return to status quo.

Brown overruled Plessy 58 years late. Now Brown, 68 years old, is more honored in the breach than in the keeping. Plessy restricted freedom; Brown expanded it. But even today some think it expanded freedom for the wrong people. Brown established that racism is unconstitutional. But now we debate what “racism” is. Surely we’ve allowed enough people enough freedom under that banner. Giving them freedom gives up too much of our own.


Y'all remember the fights over "affirmative action"?  'Cause I do.

The other irony? (yes, we will note this a lot) “Racism” doesn’t appear in the Constitution, either. Which could mean we don’t have to rely on it to enact justice and overthrow unjust laws. Then again, especially under the Roberts court, we pretty much have stopped relying on it.  

Do we protect people? Or property and ideas? Except for ideas that affect them, and not us.

Pretty much where the fight is.  Pretty much where it's always been.

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