The Basis for Equality

Recently I was reading a story about John Adams whom I think is the real hero of the American Revolution. He was the one who brought the idea of independence to the congress. He lent many ideas to Thomas Jefferson on the Declaration of Independence even if Jefferson is credited for writing it. In other words, he was the mainstay of the entire revolution. George Washington was appointed by Adams as commander of the continental army. He followed Washington as the second president of the republic with Jefferson as his vice-president. He fought to keep the slave question in the declaration but was voted down.
One of the main problems in the declaration was about freedom for the slaves not only for the south but for the north also. The main argument was about equality. How could blacks be on the same level with white men? They were uneducated, owned by white men who declared them as property and necessary for economic reasons. No white men in the south would do the work blacks would do.
In 1848, the women started a revolution about women’s rights. The law made it impossible for women to own property, have a say so on politics and were owned by their husbands. If the man of the house died, the estate would go to the eldest son, not to the wife. They petition their states to give them the right to vote but was denied them. It was not until 1920 when they were able to vote.
During the civil war, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation freeing the slave throughout the south and the north. It was a ploy that worked in his favor but rejected in the south. A lot of slaves escaped to the north getting employment and even joining the union army. Even being free did not allow them to get the respect they expected.
It was difficult living in a white man’s society. They were humiliated and ostracize because of their race. The color of their skin, their smell, their attitude made them fair targets. The only way they could survive was by living with other blacks and creating their own way of life.
Up until the civil rights movement, everybody lived in a pretentious world, believing that everything was all right. The white man in the south would go along with the blacks as long as they behaved in a civil way. They lived in their own community and their children went to a blacks only school. They were not allowed in white communities, but were able to go to the white man’s stores.
The basic human rights that are guaranteed by the constitution was denied them. Not only the blacks but the Hispanics, Asians and others who by their skin color, language and culture made it uneasy for the white man to understand and found it hard for them to consider them equal in their eyes.
The human rights were the basics of equality but what was need was for white man in general to allow them the dignity of working with everybody in peace and harmony. To be allowed to attend church services with other races if they wanted to. To be treated with respect equally in schools, in hospitals, in the court system among others. This is the essence of equality and not their skin color.
We have seen many improvements in the rights of man however, there are many who have forgotten what we as an older generation learned about coming together in peace. There are now so called hate crimes against different ethnic groups and the recent debacle of immigrant children being taken away from their parents present us with a problem that has to be solved.

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