Category Archives: Civil Rights
Peaceful protests like the Bus Boycott of 1955-1956
[E. D. Nixon escorting Rosa Parks to the courthouse in Montgomery, Alabama, where she was tried for her role in the bus boycott, 1956] [graphic]. Credit: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/ppmsca.47367/
Prayer Rallies like The Prayer Pilgrimage to Washington for Freedom which took place on May 17, 1957
Using your rights as citizens to the American legal system, as with Brown versus Board of Education, 1954
The people involved in the Civil Rights movement accomplished many goals and brought about a lot of good changes by intelligent tactics, lawful procedures, prayer, and peaceful protest. AND IT WORKED!! What has violence ever accomplished except to breed more violence and harm the cause? Nothing.
Yes, at times war is necessary, but as a last resort, not as a first response. If there has ever been a time in human history where people accomplished so much through peaceful protest and prayer, I am not aware of it. Prayer was the major part of the Civil Rights movement that caused it’s success–human effort cannot be credited for that as much as God’s action and intervention. So I am calling on the faith community, whatever your skin color, to pray as God shows you, for peace, equality and change.
It is not weakness to seek to peacefully bring about change, it is not traitorous to work within the system–it is wisdom. Prayerfully seeking God’s will is the way to ensure success.
I want to share and celebrate one of the times when love really did conquer all.
Richard and Mildred Loving were highschool sweethearts. When they grew up and wanted to get married, they hit a seemingly insurmountable obstacle–interracial marriages were illegal in Virginia, where they lived. They went to a northern state to get married, and then returned home. Five weeks later, they were both arrested–after spending a few days in jail, they were exiled from the town they lived in. They took their case all the way to the Supreme court.
Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967),[X 1][X 2] is a landmark civil rights decision of the United States Supreme Court, which invalidated laws prohibiting interracial marriage.
The case was brought by Mildred Loving, a black woman, and Richard Loving, a white man, who had been sentenced to a year in prison in Virginia for marrying each other. Their marriage violated the state’s anti-miscegenation statute, the Racial Integrity Act of 1924, which prohibited marriage between people classified as “white” and people classified as “colored”. The Supreme Court’s unanimous decision determined that this prohibition was unconstitutional, overruling Pace v. Alabama (1883) and ending all race-based legal restrictions on marriage in the United States.
The decision was followed by an increase in interracial marriages in the U.S., and is remembered annually on Loving Day, June 12. It has been the subject of three movies and several songs.
Speaking of songs, here is one I feel fits the mood of this post:
“God Bless The USA” by Lee Greenwood
One of the things that bothers me about our modern society is that if we ever had the ability to effectively debate, we have lost it. Ideally, debate should be both sides presenting their side in a rational way—rationally, not emotionally, I want to make that clear. There is a time to be emotional, of course, but when you are in the grip of strong emotions is not the best time to make important decisions. Think of the biggest mistakes you have made—wasn’t it when you were in the grip of some powerful emotion, or when you were “in your feelings”? So passionate emotionalism renders debate ineffective. Debate should be both parties calmly putting forth their viewpoints, not interrupting the other when they are putting forth their viewpoints, and then finding common ground to come to a third point of view. Here is a good example of how strong emotions come in to cloud effective debate and cut off the possibility of a solution acceptable to both sides.
The Debate over the Right to Bear Arms
This debate started with a Supreme Court ruling in the case of United States v. Cruikshank 1876
The Second Amendment (Amendment II) to the United States Constitution protects the right of the people to keep and bear arms and was adopted on December 15, 1791, as part of the first ten amendments contained in the Bill of Rights. The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that the right belongs to individuals, while also ruling that the right is not unlimited and does not prohibit all regulation of either firearms or similar devices. State and local governments are limited to the same extent as the federal government from infringing this right per the incorporation of the Bill of Rights.
The Second Amendment was based partially on the right to keep and bear arms in English common law and was influenced by the English Bill of Rights of 1689. Sir William Blackstone described this right as an auxiliary right, supporting the natural rights of self-defense, resistance to oppression, and the civic duty to act in concert in defense of the state.
In United States v. Cruikshank (1876), the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that, “The right to bear arms is not granted by the Constitution; neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence” and limited the applicability of the Second Amendment to the federal government. In United States v. Miller (1939), the Supreme Court ruled that the federal government and the states could limit any weapon types not having a “reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia.” Wikipedia: read the entry here:
So what was it about United States v. Cruikshank that caused the Supreme Court of that era to rule as though the 2nd amendment didn’t exist, making the claim that the right to bear arms was not granted by the Constitution? Let’s look at what was behind that case, please read the following carefully, notice that this was not just whites attacking blacks, this was white Democrats attacking and killing black Republicans.
United States v. Cruikshank
United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U.S. 542 (1875) was an important United States Supreme Court decision in United States constitutional law, one of the earliest to deal with the application of the Bill of Rights to state governments following the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment.
The case arose during the Reconstruction Era from the 1872 Louisiana gubernatorial election which was hotly disputed, and led to both major political parties certifying their slates of local officers. At Colfax, Louisiana, tensions climaxed in the Colfax massacre, in which an estimated 105 black people and 3 white people were killed. A federal judge ruled that the Republican-majority legislature be seated, but the Democrats did not accept this. Growing social tensions erupted on April 13, 1873, when an armed militia of white Democrats attacked black Republican freedmen, who had gathered at the Grant Parish Courthouse in Colfax, Louisiana, to resist an attempt of Democratic takeover of the offices.
You can read more about this controversial ruling here:
The Supreme Court then, as they do now, was attempting to reinterpret the Constitution in light of the era, and their own biases. That hasn’t changed, neither has the Democrat party, they are the main ones trying to take away the right to bear arms. If that hasn’t changes, than neither has their attitude towards minorities.
“Don’t Tread on Me” Metallica
Next post: To Carry or Not to Carry Pt.2