Ignorance of history is embarrassing – but forgivable for most of us, as we are busy. For a United Nations Ambassador, appointed at a critical time in the US and global history, it is a disgrace. The US Constitution – as understood today – is hardly racist. To say so is arrogant, ignorant, or both.
Biden’s UN Ambassador, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, believes the US Constitution – even as read today – is racist. She thinks America’s founders “weaved white supremacy” into “founding documents and principles,” thus “we are an imperfect union and have been since the beginning.”
In short, we should disparage if not disavow the Constitution. Where does one begin?
First, one should note that to obtain her office; this UN Ambassador swore an oath to the Constitution she disparages. Explicitly, she was required to “solemnly swear” to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic” and “bear true faith and allegiance to the same,” affirming that oath was taken “freely, without mental reservation or purpose of evasion” and that she would “well and faithfully discharge the duties” of office.
The oath ends, “so help me, God.”
Calling the US Constitution and natural law “principles” embodied in that document, including core articles and Amendments – “racist” and “weaved with White supremacy,” emblematic of America’s “imperfect union” now and historically is ignorant. Doing so when you have sworn before God and Country to defend it seems worse.
The UN Ambassador appears either to have spoken falsely or, upon acceding to office, broken her oath. One cannot both defend high principle and disparage it; one is either a defender of the Constitution or a detractor. One cannot be both.
But go to the heart of the matter. Every freedom that Americans of every skin color, ethnic pedigree, physical and geographic background, age, gender, and identifier enjoy today is rooted in that Constitution. No country in the world is freer, no group of citizens more fortunate, more assiduously, constitutionally, continuously protected against deprivation of individual freedoms – because of that Constitution.
No country in the world works harder to assure equal treatment and due process to all than this country. None tolerates more citizen demonstrations, assemblies, protests, and appeals. None works harder to make real “equal protection” found in the 5th and 14th Amendments, the former a founding document and latter dating to 1868. In other words, majority or minority, our Constitution protects your rights.
Working on perfecting our union, the 15th Amendment says: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” Accordingly, in 1870 – more than 150 years ago – the Constitution was amended to give American men of African descent the vote. This was before white women got the vote in 1920 – pushed by Republican President Theodore Roosevelt.
Before and after the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Supreme Court has consistently reinforced these provisions, helping lift the fallen nature of Mankind through the rule of law – based on the Constitution. No country in the world works harder for that outcome or has been more successful.
So, to disparage the most powerful source of human empowerment, greatest written and effectuated guarantor of human rights in history; to condemn the greatest example of a human social compact assuring freedom and equality ever to exist; to rip a process by which we reform, improve, and work toward Lincoln’s “more perfect union” – generation on generation – is indefensible. The US Constitution is objectively among the best documents ever conceived.
A third point “gives the lie” to those who call the Constitution “racist” or “white supremacy.” Perhaps misapplied personal anger animates this statement, but it is wrong. Beyond workably dividing federal power among three co-equal branches and accommodating state and local governance vertically, the document protects core human rights.
The Founders were brilliant. They articulated principles that limited government assured maximum liberty in the context of equal opportunity and allowed for Amendment. This Constitution – which Biden’s UN Ambassador calls racist and unworthy, despite taking an oath to defend it – has been adopted, in whole or part, by most of the world or nearly 200 countries.
Our Constitution is the global standard. It is the textual assurance of human rights. While many nations do not work as hard as Americans to effectuate those rights, limits on government, assurances of liberty, and equality, none has produced a better document.
While many nations fall short, the starting point is our Constitution. Dozens of countries in Africa, as well as in South America and the Far East, based their constitutions on ours.
Now, I ask you – if the US Constitution were innately racist, as unworthy as Biden’s UN Ambassador suggests – would it be the global standard, a prototype from Africa to India?
Bottom line: The US Constitution is, and always will be, the global standard for the greatest liberty with greatest equal opportunity, made real through amendments. No nation on Earth has come closer to balancing individual liberty with equal opportunity than Americans.
To condemn our Constitution – especially after taking an oath to defend it – is the height of arrogance, ignorance, or both.
No citizen on the planet has more liberties than an American. No document protects them more forcefully, faithfully, or fully than the US Constitution. Period.
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