American’s rights seem to vanish daily from scrapping gang databases, expanding Right to Work laws and rescinding Planned Parenthood. The United States of America’s people may be singing happy birthday to its founding Constitution but that’s not their state of existence. Our legal provisions to a common defense, an establishment of justice and promotion of general welfare seem to be in jeopardy 230 years later.
The preamble of the Constitution states, “”We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, ensure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general
Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.“
Providing For Who’s Common Defense?
Last week Portland, Oregon scrapped its gang database. The list of have been and could be criminals
creates labels that deter progress for their lives. As we know labels can be downright career killers. But so can tardiness and absenteeism. Now that the database is gone, what happens for the taxpaying citizens? How do they find out if gang members live near them, their kid’s schools and parks? Well, they don’t. They will have to rely on gossip. If the Constitution ensures provisions for the common defence then labels are a part of our defender’s intelligence strategies. American citizens have the Constitutional right to transparency of crime and violent offenders from gang members to sex offenders. We are all a part of databases; our actions determine which one we land upon. Though the criminal justice system is arbitrary and capricious, citizens safety is best protected with an informed police force. Scrapping databases for criminal’s rights does not alleviate racism, social construction of poverty or the various ways it’s everyone else’s fault that crimes are committed. Respect our Constitution and you’ll stay off the “bad” database.
Establish Justice for Who?
Millions of Americans provide support for justice organizations from monetary donations to grassroots mobilization. These organizations that are part of the establishment of justice are being de-funded. Planned Parenthood’s descent from federal funding effects the productive and health rights of women. The American government must provide justice-that means protecting the rights of women and families through sub-contracting health professionals. Educational inequities are found in almost every minority school system in the nation. Chicago’s public-school system is majority minority yet it lost hundreds of millions of dollars in the past few years. This injustice is social control to increase racism. People commonly ask, “how does that establish racism?” In America, it’s the educational levels achieved that allow people to create long-term and prosperous careers. If minorities are denied proper and progressive education, they will flounder in the business world. The establishment of justice expands beyond a court system. Justice is socially constructed affecting the people’s interactions throughout life. If a racist and sexist justice system-including Congress-create the funding for schools and health, then injustice reigns.
Promoting Whose Welfare
The Middle-Class is still sinking after the Great Recession. If the Constitution promotes the Welfare of the people then wages and benefits must increase. An amendment to the Constitution enabled this in the Wagner Act. Unions are and will always be the means to promoting American welfare. Workers are guaranteed prevailing wages, healthcare, safe working conditions and more. The Fight for $15 is not a social movement but a Constitutionally based request that our laws be work for the people. Stop the Right to Work movement which disables progressive work laws enacted throughout the 20th Century to ensure prosperous welfare. The current service economy steals the ability for manufactured goods that employ people to be re-invested as products bought by other Americans. If work laws and new jobs are not stabilized than our Constitutional rights are denied.
Individualism Is Now an American Enemy
As more Americans live alone, struggle with multiple jobs and receive less education, the Constitution will continue to be weakened. Maybe the Constitution is getting to old for Americans to remember how important it is for all of us, not just one or two of us. Maybe we have forgotten how to rise against the political machines that rule our economy now. The protests in the streets will not assist strengthening our connection to the Constitution if we don’t keep learning about our history. We must know where we have been to know where we are going.
Happy Birthday America!