The Constitution Is for White People: Why White Bullets Are Worth More Than Black Lives

By Michael Harriet, The Root

“It is difficult at this day to realize the state of public opinion in relation to that unfortunate race which prevailed in the civilized and enlightened portions of the world at the time of the Declaration of Independence and when the Constitution of the United States was framed and adopted. But the public history of every European nation displays it in a manner too plain to be mistaken. They had for more than a century before been regarded as beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race either in social or political relations, and so far inferior that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect …” — Roger Taney, 1857

While it is true that the U.S. Constitution does not mention race, in 1857, United States Supreme Court Justice Roger Taney wrote the above statement for the court’s majority opinion in Dred Scott v. Sandford, the case of a black man who sued for his freedom based on the fact that he was enslaved in a state that prohibited slavery.

Instead of deciding the merits of the case, the highest court in the land ruled against an act of Congress for only the second time in history. The court basically decided that white people were so far superior to black people; the Constitution never intended to recognize them as citizens, or even humans and, as a consequence, black people had no legal standing to sue in court.

The Dred Scott decision essentially codified white supremacy and even though the court has officially changed its opinion since 1857, America has not.

In the wake of another mass shooting, this time at a video game tournament in Jacksonville, Fla., conservatives are once again circling the wagons around to protect their Constitutionally-guaranteed gun rights. They have offered their thoughts and prayers and warned Americans not to politicize the deaths of the innocent victims who died because of this country’s love affair with guns.

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