Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Today In History - Something Happened That Possibly Was More Important Than Anyhting Accomplished By MLK...

...but little if any recognition is given to the historical importance of this day for African Americans. It being Black History Month - you would think you would hear about something of such great importance to African Americans - especially as important as this event even if it was something done by other than African Americans. Why? If only because it had such a great effect for them but even more so because it allowed them to create great effect afterwards. Yet, I have not heard anything from our president about today being a day of significant importance for African Americans. Now it is possible I missed it because I have not listened to or watched every news program today although I did look online and I did watch the news this morning for an hour or more and I did listen to the news several times today on the radio. In what news reports I watched this morning, and from what I heard today on the radio, and from what I have seen online, I have not heard or seen any mention of today's great significance for the black community.

I also just checked the White House web site and guess what - no mention of it there either, nor on the White House blog. Imagine that! I have to wonder just how many people realize just how important a day this was, and is, historically for African Americans (and others).
Do you know the historical significance? Today, February 3rd, in 1870, the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America was ratified. It was a big step forward in American history. Sure there was still an awful lot to overcome, but nonetheless it was one of the most important pieces of legislation in our history. Its effects changed this country forever even if it took until recent decades for the changes to kick into overdrive and until recently for them to reach their highest potential. I am assuming, by now, you know exactly what this is about but if not let me spell it out for you word for word:

Section 1. 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.

Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Of course, there was also another major piece of legislation that was ratified on this date, but this time in 1913. It also brought about major change in the lives of Americans and it is one for which we are still paying and suffering to endure. It is something that our children and their childrens' children will have to suffer and pay for as well. Maybe you have guessed it. Yes, on this date in 1913, the Sixteenth Amendment was ratified. That is the one that gave Congress the power to levy the Income Tax:

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

One had a grand result in equality for all. The other, I think, was a disaster of inequality and injustice because I believe it steals the fruits of peoples' labors and doles them out to they who refuse to work. What a faulty system and what a shame because it has over the long run led to the type of economy under which we now find ourselves burdened - tax and spend and tax again and spend again - ad infinitum. There is a great irony in that both of these amendments were ratified today - one leading to burdening the people with income tax and leading up to our current tax and spend economy - the other leading to equality in voting, regardless of prior servitude, that ultimately led to the election of our current president - a president who would apparently tax us and our children into servitude.

All the best,
Glenn B


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