“I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

It is no secret that our great nation of the United States has had a dark history in the enslavement of individuals and inequality of in terms of deeming liberties. From the Jim Crow Laws era to the ruling of Plessy v. Ferguson (otherwise known in the Separate but “Equal” doctrine), the attack on civil and individual liberties of African Americans was disturbing and very blood-boiling from the perspectives of those who believe in our God-given, Constitutional liberties.

I do, however, want to point out another venue of inequality that we have seen in the recent decades: those that we have seen from minority “advancement programs.” Programs such as Affirmative Action, which had the intention to advance minorities in society whose previous generations were viewed as underpriviledged, has not produced any viable results of advancement (as you can see from the so-called disparity in wealth and education). In fact, while I am talking on education, collegiate institutions that are considered racially selective have capitalized on this idea and promote a message that preference trumps legitimate skill any day. According to Marie Gryphon, a contributing author and scholar from the Cato Institute, “Minority under-representation in college is the direct result of the public schools’ failure to prepare minority students. It is a failure that affirmative action does not remedy — college-ready minorities already attend college just as often as their white counterparts.”

Let’s be clear, Affirmative Action has not led to any major regression in our society, but what I am arguing is that the preferential treatment mechanism that is put forth does not remedy the advancement of minorities either. I could argue how the failure of our education system has poorly prepared minorities for Academia, but I will open that can of worms for another discussion.

To make the Constitutional argument, I would like to cite an excerpt from 14th Amendment, in Clause 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.”

The Equal Protection clause of this excerpt of the 14th amendment deflects any extension of our immunities and liberties as citizens. Our government has the sole, moral function to protect the civil liberties of ALL of its individuals. No exceptions or unconstitutional expansions.

One more issue that I want to cover before I close is hate crime laws. These laws are an overstatement of human protection and effectively undermine the equal protections of individual civil liberties that are mandated by our Constitution. These laws take the focus away from the core action and re-write motivations of the crime based on pure “thought” of crime. The protections against crimes change with preference of race and sexual orientation while the labelled majority (whites and straights, for instance) is held under heavier scrutiny and denied that same level of crime protection. Is this fair? Or does it further create racial friction that previous government action inadvertently created?

As I close, I want to express my relief at how far our society has come at respecting individuals on the basis of character. On the other hand, government-mandated “advancement programs” for minorities have regressed the notion of equal protections of rights to all individuals and has undermined the individual initiative and respect of those minorities. I believe personally that anyone with the power of individual initiative can achieve so much in this life. Martin Luther King Jr. was living proof of the power of individual initiative; the odds were just as stacked against him in a time period where racial tension still ran hot. I want to see a day where we can live in a peaceful, free society where equal protections come to EVERYONE without stipulations. That society ensures government’s moral duty to uphold and protect our God-given civil liberties against the historical evils of slavery. A society that rewards individuals on initiative and skill, not preference.

-Nathan

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