Race Cards

The following is a collection of four views on race relations today.

Kayli Bauer

Washington Week

June 26, 2015

After a shooting in Charleston, people are upset and angry. Many people though are tired of hearing that “Black Lives Matter.” Many people are asking “Don’t all lives matter?” They are depicting Southerners and people who support the Confederate flag as racist.

This shouldn’t be about how one person feels, it should be what the whole community thinks. This is a free country and people can be racist if they so please but the offended does not need to take matters into their own hands. Not only do black lives matter but so do every other race. Don’t take offense to everything and make a big deal about it. Every race has a racist faction and everyone should accept that and move one.

If you had been offered the opportunity to come to America as an indentured servant, do you think you would have done so? Why or why not?

If I was offered the opportunity to come to America as an indentured servant, I would have done so because after working off the payment I would be free. I would get to start my life in the colonies. I would be able to own my own property and make money to will help me secure more property and keep going until we have complete freedom.

Some people would say that coming to America and working the payment off would be stupid because you would be alone and have nothing until you got a job and if the colonies never became their own and broke free, it would have been a waste. “Land was cheap… and undeveloped land profoundly affected economic, social, and political life.” I would be able to find cheap land and live on it and be able to work for my new life.

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Ta’Bria Snowden

Is the Blood on Their Hands?

Many have been discussing the news, trying to see if there will be any more information on the Neo-Nazi, White Supremacists who marched on Charlottesville. Before I go into the new information let me give you a little back story. This all started on August 13, 2017, when white supremacists grouped together to protest the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue. Many statues were removed (or being removed) around the world being that is was seen to some as a “symbol of America’s dark legacy of slavery.”

Carrying torches and chanting, many racists comment these people instilled fear in many. During a City Council Meeting, many people expressed the fear they felt. This meeting turned pretty messy. One lady says with tears in her eyes, “We expected you to stand up, we expected you to protect your community; that’s a part of what your elected to do.” People began talking out of turn and one couple even stood on the podium holding a sign that said, “Blood on Your Hands.” This ended with many being removed from the building.

This is personally important to me because I feel the community had the right to voice their opinions and that is very important to do that so the government knows how the people are feeling. But this also affects me in many other ways. One being the fact that this meeting turned sour when the people started talking out of turn and “rioting.” This may cause the suspension of the council meeting or something in that sense. In the end, I wondered if both of these protests were effective; yes, they got some media attention but will their cries actually be heard?

What conflicts, if any, do you see between social contract theory and the status of women, indentured servants, and slaves in eighteenth-century America? What might explain those conflicts?

Social contract theory was the presumption of an imaginary or actual agreement among people to set up a government and obey the laws. Theory was developed by the English natural rights philosopher John Locke, among others, to explain the origin of legitimate government. This contract was very great, but had very many conflicts.  During this time women, indentured servants, and slaves had no rights at all.

Brent Runnels

“Four demonstrators turn themselves in for toppling a Confederate statue in Durham, North Carolina”

The New York Times

Four demonstrators have turned themselves in after learning of warrants in their names for toppling the statue of the Confederate general Robert E. Lee at the Duke Chapel in Durham, North Carolina. Toppling the statue was the demonstrators’ way of taking matters into their own hands, had they not tore the statue down themselves the process of removing the statue would be a long process because of a state law passed in 2015. The law forbids both cities and counties in North Carolina from removing public monuments without the approval from the state; the time the city of Durham, North Carolina would take to decide on removing the statue, plus the time it would take to get state permission to remove the monument could have been long enough to outlast the movement behind the removal of the confederate monuments.

The four demonstrators’ methods were criticized by Governor Roy Cooper because it impacts the pursuit of happiness of the people who think the statue should be there. The demonstrators’ methods were unfair, instead of legally having the statue removed they tore it down. For the demonstrators, tearing down the Robert E. Lee statue gave them a sense of personal fulfillment. One demonstrator involved, Takiya Thompson was so proud that she was a part of the tearing down of the statue that she admitted her involvement in a news conference. However, the demonstrators infringed the rights of those who believed the statue should not have been removed.

The toppling of a Confederate statue is important to me because it is evidence that the country I live in is becoming increasingly unstable and my way of life may be changed because of it. Protesters have been turning to violence since the death of Michael Brown, basically rioting every time they don’t get what they want with no respect for the rule of law. If protesters continue to resort to violence the government will be forced to create new laws that would enable them to catch and prosecute these protesters much more easily; for example, the government could pass laws that would allow them to monitor phones or other electronic devices without the permission of a judge. If a law like that were to be passed I would have to stop using my phone to protect my privacy.

What ideas about civic life informed the founding generation?

The founding generation of the United States were informed of civic life based on ideas of the natural rights philosophy. In the Declaration of Independence, it is stated in the second paragraph: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” This statement from the Declaration falls in line with natural rights philosophy because it stresses that each individual is equal and inherits certain god given rights from birth.

Many historians argue otherwise, that classic republicanism informed the founding generation of civic life. The founding generation was influenced by ideals of classical republicanism, which is why American citizens have so many political rights such as the right to vote and the right to express our opinions about the government. The founding generation gave us these rights so that the citizens of the United States can keep the government of the United States from turning into the same tyrannical government the British monarchy was. So, the ideas of classical republicanism, such as taking care of your country, clearly influenced the founding generation’s perspective on what civic life should be like.

Still, the founding generation’s view on civic life was clearly influenced more by natural rights philosophy than classic republicanism ideas. The founding generation believed that American citizens should use their political rights as if they were responsible to use them; however, the founding generation believed that political rights were necessary for citizens to protect their freedom as an individual. While political rights are to be treated as duties American citizens only vote on things such as who will represent them in Congress or who will be the next President. If citizens were expected to vote on decisions such as what our foreign policy should be, or what decision the Supreme Court should make, then that would be evidence that the founding generation was influenced more by ideas of classical republicanism; but, citizens are not expected to vote on those decisions, only to use their political rights to protect their individual rights, which is why it is obvious that natural rights philosophy influenced the founding generations more than classical republicanism.

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Leah Whaley  

“The Right to (black) Life”

BBC News

Many people know about the tragic incident, but let me inform you just in case you forgot or never knew about it. So, three years ago Michael Brown was killed in Ferguson, by a police officer.  Michael’s mother and many others have become emblems of the movement against racial-ized police violence, and stated “not only do black woman have to worry about police brutalizing their children, but we also have to fear this violence ourselves.”

The right to black life relates to We the People because it is a protest for black lives that have been taken for no reason and justice not being served. Last time I checked, the fourteenth amendment addresses many aspects of citizenship and the rights of citizens.  The most commonly used and frequently litigated phrase in the amendment is “equal protection of the laws,” but where was justice when these innocent lives were taken.

The right to black life is important to me because no one on earth: black, white, Hispanic, no one should have to worry about the police endangering their children or themselves. In my opinion, if you are African American that shouldn’t matter, you’re still human and you bleed the same blood as a white person etc.  Another reason “the right to black life” is important to me is because even though innocent lives were taken, there still was no justice. A suspension does not replace a murder.

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