On the 200th anniversary of the U.S. Constitution, Thurgood Marshall, the first African American to sit on the Supreme Court, said that the Constitution was "defective from the start." He pointed out that the framers had left out a majority of Americans when they wrote the phrase, "We the People." While some members of the Constitutional Convention voiced "eloquent objections" to slavery, Marshall said they "consented to a document which laid a foundation for the tragic events which were to follow."
I enjoyed this bit of information very much because I often disparage mention of the "framers," referring to them as "slave owners."
As it turns out, only about half of them were. The reason some of the others went along with the scheme was pure politics.
They were convinced that if the Constitution restricted the slave trade, South Carolina and Georgia would refuse to join the Union. But by sidestepping the slavery issue, the framers left the seeds for future conflict.And of course you've got plenty of double talk and hypocrisy.
A Virginia delegate, George Mason, who owned hundreds of slaves, spoke out against slavery in ringing terms. "Slavery," he said, "discourages arts and manufactures. The poor despise labor when performed by slaves." Slavery also corrupted slaveholders and threatened the country with divine punishment: "Every master of slaves is born a petty tyrant. They bring the judgment of Heaven on a country."
Why in the world would anybody quote these guys or anything they wrote? Why would people take their names as their own, as Mike V. has?
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