That part of the American Constitution that says that Blacks are not 3/5ths human beings and that granted Black Slaves citizenship is under attack by Donald Trump. And if he decides to go ahead with his threats, nobody can stop him. Here is what you need to know.
Why The 14th Amendment Was Ratified
After the American Civil War, African slaves were ‘liberated’ and slavery as an institution was abolished for everyone except prisoners.
But this created a new problem for the white ruling class…”What do we do with these Africans?”
On one side, there were whites who advocated sending American Blacks back to Africa. Through organizations like the American Colonization Society they relocated ex-Slaves to Liberia, Sierra Leone, and surrounding areas. This was not a benevolent act – the American Colonization Society believed Blacks were incompatible with white society, and should be deported as quickly as possible.
On the other side, white Americans believed they could gain more from their ex-Slaves by enforcing a “separate but equal” society. This was a win-win for white supremacy: their society would remain in tact, and through systems of indentured servitude the Black labor force would remain in tact as well. These whites won out, and on July 28, 1868, the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified.
Needless to say, the racist Southern United States were not happy about this outcome.
What Is The 14th Amendment
This is the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution as it stands today:
Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
Section 2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.
Section 3. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may, by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.
Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.
Section 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
What The 14th Amendment Means
Because many states continued to pass laws that restricted the rights of former slaves, on June 13, 1866, Congress passed and sent to the states for ratification, Amendment XIV. Ratified on July 9, 1868, the amendment granted U.S. citizenship to former slaves and specifically changed the rule in Article 1, Section 2 that slaves be counted only as three-fifths of a person for purposes of representation in Congress. It also contained three new limits on state power: a state shall not violate a citizen’s privileges or immunities; shall not deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; and must guarantee all persons equal protection of the laws.
These limitations on state power dramatically expanded the protections of the Constitution. Prior to the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment, the protections in the Bill of Rights limited only the actions of the federal government, unless the provision specifically stated otherwise. The Supreme Court, in what is called “the doctrine of incorporation” has since interpreted the Fourteenth Amendment to apply most provisions in the Bill of Rights against state and local governments as well. This has meant that the Fourteenth Amendment has been used more frequently in modern court cases than any other constitutional provision. (Source)
In other words, the 14th Amendment is one of the strongest barriers to an all out dictatorship in United States Law. Removing the 14th Amendment – or even testing it – brings into question the citizenship of all American descendants of African slaves, and sets the stage for a possible dictatorship.
Enter Donald Trump. From News One:
President Trump said he will use an executive order to suspend the 14th Amendment.
In an interview with Axios , Trump said the following:
“We’re the only country in the world where a person comes in, has a baby, and the baby is essentially a citizen of the United States for 85 years with all of those benefits. It’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous. And it has to end.”
Actually, this is not true. There are several countries that have birthright citizenship : Brazil, Jamaica, Argentina, Canada, among others. Trump continued:
“It was always told to me that you needed a constitutional amendment. Guess what? You don’t. You can definitely do it with an Act of Congress. But now they’re saying I can do it just with an executive order.”
[Trump] added, “It’s in the process. It’ll happen with an executive order.”
The article continues:
Some people were claiming Trump could not suspend the 14th Amendment and he is just trying to stir up his base for the midterm elections. But we should not doubt the hate of this man. What’s even scarier is that even if he decides to sign an “executive order,” there is no branch of government to stop him. Every branch of government is owned by the Republicans who faithfully and blindly defend him.
This is not a game. This is not a drill. And this is not outside of the realm of possibility. If there is one thing that human history has shown us it is this:
There is always a group of people who stand idly by and say “that will never happen” right before a holocaust.