The United States of America is home to all sorts of unique individuals. Individuals who come from as close as South America or as far as across the world. These people come to the United States in hopes of starting a new life. This kind of thinking has been the motive for people to uproot their lives, and come to the America in anticipation of having a better life. But does America treat all their citizens that equally? What about immigrants? Do they get treated equally as citizens? Does every person get to act out their personal preferences, whether it be because of religion or sexual preference, as equally as Americans?
Throughout America’s history, Americans have had several equality issues. There is one type of inequality that has gone through multiple generations. Racial inequality. When the Founding Fathers fought for racial inequality, many of the founders owned slaves. However many of them also wanted to free slaves as well. Stephen Brooks, who wrote Understanding American Politics (2013,109), said, “Some of the founders were downright racist, and it is fair to say that even among the most enlightened of them, not a single one would have found interracial marriage or even racially mixed schools to be acceptable.” As Brooks said some were racist and would not like to consider African Americans as their equal. While some were willing to free slaves, others would not even consider it. Our first president, George Washington, owned slaves but having the discussion about whether we should have slaves or not. He decided to set his slaves free. On the other hand, Thomas Jefferson, who also owned slaves, refused to set his slaves free as he could not live without them. Although he did think that a future generation could abolish slavery. The other Founders had issues with slavery as well. When it came down to writing the constitution, some founders were in favor of freeing slaves while others were not. But when discussing about voting rights, the Founders compromised by agreeing that non-free persons would count as three-fifth of a free person. At that time, Congress did not have the ability to prohibit the importations of slaves before 1808 but allowed the taxed to be as high as ten-dollars each. Brooks(2013,108) said, “The Constitution that they agreed to, did not abolish slavery nor did it grant rights of any sort to black Americans.”
Luckily, when the Constitution was amended, into what we know it is today, it had an important part that protects the everyday citizen from the government. We know it as the Bill of Rights. Although the Bill of Rights protects its citizens from the government, but it does not always seem that way. It wasn’t until the thirteenth amendment, which abolished slavery, was passed in 1865. That allowed blacks and whites to be considered free. Despite this fact, they were not treated that way for a long time, and for some people, even to this day.
David Lyons wrote about the Legacy of Slavery and Jim Crow. In which...