Tuesday, August 26, 2014

In Response to Women's Equality Day: Women are Equal 365 Days a Year--Please See the 14th Amendment

The United States of America recognizes August 26th as Women’s Equality Day. This is utterly offensive. Women are equal 365 days a year. Here’s a little back story:

In Minor v. Happersett (1875), the U.S. Supreme Court essentially held that the Fourteenth Amendment did not give women the right to vote (because the right to vote was not considered a privilege of citizenship). On August 26, 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment effectively overruled Minor to prohibit any U.S. citizen from being denied the right to vote on the basis of sex.

But, why do we need the Nineteenth Amendment? It’s redundant. The right to vote is protected under the Fourteenth Amendment. It provides that no state shall deny to any person within its jurisdiction “the equal protection of the laws.” Just because this nation ignored the Constitution and upheld unconstitutional laws prohibiting and restricting the right to vote, does not mean that we should be excited that the nation acquiesced and is now following the Constitution.  

The Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment already provides equal voting rights for men and women irrespective of gender, race, ability, etc. (We’ll save the argument regarding the Fifteenth Amendment and its redundant purpose of extending the right to vote based on “race, color, or previous condition of servitude”).

Women’s Equality Day is no special achievement for the United States particularly since the glass ceiling has yet to be shattered. (Although some would argue there are cracks.) Here, we use a line of reasoning from The West Wing. We don’t need the Nineteenth Amendment or Women’s Equality Day because:

"it's humiliating. A new amendment we vote on declaring that I am equal under the law to a man, I am mortified to discover there's reason to believe I wasn't before. I am a citizen of this country, I am not a special subset in need of your protection. I do not have to have my rights handed down to me by a bunch of old, white men. The same Article 14 that protects you, protects me, and I went to law school just to make sure."

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Dartmouth University Fraternity and Sorority Throw "Bloods and Crips" Party

A fraternity and sorority at Dartmouth University threw a "Bloods and Crips" party.  Dartmouth's Alpha Delta fraternity and Delta Delta Delta (Tri-Delta) sorority decided to forgo the typical Greek toga party and encourage attendees to don the wardrobe of two notorious LA based gangs.

Members of the campus chapter of Alpha Delta claim there was no intent to promote racism, rather, they merely intended to throw a creative costume party.

This seems all to similar to Duke University's Racist Rager.

Read more here.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Bananas Thrown at Italian Minister

Cecile Kyenge, who became Italy's first Black minister in April, has faced more than a few racist remarks since taking office. Last Friday, a heckler in the audience threw bananas at her as she spoke. 

Italie: Cécile Kyenge, une congolaise nommée ministre de l’Intégration en Italie
On other occasions, one senator linked Minister Kyenge to an orangutan and another councilor said she "should be raped so she understands how victims of crimes committed by immigrants feel." The senator later apologized and the councilor received suspended jail time. Minister Kyenge has been threatened and attacked with racial slurs on almost a daily basis so these antics are, unfortunately, nothing new for her. 

Kyenge said the bananas tossed at her were a waste of food. Sadly, these racist acts are still a part of the lives of women of color politicians who are trying to make a difference in the world.

Read more here.