Do you know where you will be July 28, 2010? Of course that is the date that S. B. 1070 is due to take effect in Arizona.
This is a date of significance in history. On this date in 1868 the 14th amendment was ratified. The 14th amendment has three major clauses dealing with people inside of the United States. Each of these three clauses is under attack in Arizona as well as other parts of our Constitution.
The first clause of the 14th amendment called the Citizenship clause states, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” Not only did the 14th amendment confer citizenship on former slaves and their children, it also granted citizenship to all who are born in this country or naturalized.
The second clause called the Due Process clause states, “No state shall make or enforce any law that shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law;”
Finally, there is the equal protection clause which states, “…nor deny any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” In the case of Hernandez vs. Texas the U.S. Supreme Court decided that is clause did not pertain to just “Whites and Negros” it applied to Mexican Americans and all other racial groups in the United States and they had equal protection under the 14th amendment of U.S. Constitution. This clause grants all people, not just citizens, the right to equal protection under the law.
S.B.1070’s attack on the 14th Amendment and the Constitution is a multi-pronged attack on certain citizens, residents, or visitors of Arizona. Requiring all persons in the state to carry identification that proves their citizenship or that they are authorized to be within the state at all times goes against the American ideals of the right to privacy. According to the CATO Institute not even the U. S Congress has the authority under the Constitution to compel citizens to obtain a national ID card.
Although the bill’s proponents have said that the provisions within the law are race neutral, how many really believe that the same percentage of Whites or Blacks will be asked for their papers as Latinos? This directly goes against the concept of the Equal Protection clause.
The ratification of the 14th amendment is not the only event that took place on July, 28th.
On that date in 1917, the year of the St. Louis race riots, more than 10,000 Blacks marched down Fifth Avenue in New York City protesting lynchings and racial indignities. Also on that date in 1942 the Nazis began the slaughter of more than 30,000 Jews in the ghettos of Minsk.
In entertainment on that date in 1939 Judy Garland sang ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ with the Victor Young Orchestra. In, 1951 RKO released ‘Alice in Wonderland’
So again the question is do you know where you will be July 28 2010? Will you be standing and marching with those protesting unjust laws and racial indignities? So that we can experience as the song says ‘…dreams, That you’ve dreamed of, Dreams really do come true’. Or, will you be sitting on the sidelines as our nation goes down the rabbit hole to a place of oppression and terror.