Monday, July 13, 2015

Beauty and the Bridge

In our final week of class, we kicked off the week with some of the moronic decisions made by the Supreme Court. The cases Dred Scott v. Sanford, Plessy v. Ferguson, Brown v. Board of Education I, and Brown v. Board of Education II. The late 1800's was a time of complication for the United States and the Supreme Court only made matters worse in Dred Scott v. Sanford and Plessy v. Ferguson. In the Dred Scott case, the Supreme Court ruled that Dred Scott was not entitled to freedom although he had resided in free territory for a period of time. What disgusted me more were some of the excerpts from Chief Justice Taney's majority opinion. He states that African Americans are not included under the word "citizen" (as in citizen of the United States) as they are not included and nor were they intended to be included as citizens of the US. Taney goes on calling African Americans "inferior human beings", dismissing the "All men are created equal clause" on the basis that African Americans were intentionally excluded from the rights of citizens, and even uses clauses from the Constitution to support his basis. Now the Plessy case is what really grinds my gears. The Supreme Court ruled that segregation was constitutional as long as both races enjoyed equal freedoms. Although it is understandable that segregation was new at the time, it's obvious that this is exactly what the 14th Amendment sought to prevent, as stated by the only dissenter, Justice Harlan. Finally, the Supreme Court redeemed itself in the two Brown cases, ruling that segregation was unconstitutional since the facilities provided to colored individuals were not of equal quality when compared to the white facilities. Historically, my man, Earl Warren, and his Justice League turned the tide of segregation once and for all, putting back meaning in the clause ''Freedom and Justice for all".

I spent most of my time after class working on structuring my essay and catching up on sleep. A few hours passed and I soon made my way down to Times Square, where I met up with Ms. Thrift and my cohort for one more adventure on the Brooklyn Bridge. Now instead of me going into in-depth detail about the beauty of the bridge's view, I believe that in this case, pictures speak louder than words.

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