Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The origin of Southern justice

By which I mean the tradition of injustice and corruption being established as normal procedure in many places in the South, something that while declining is still present. My vote for the origin of it is the lack of enforcement of the 14th amendment, designed to give African-Americans equal rights. The 14th amendment guarantees that neither life, liberty, or property can be taken away without due process on the State level as well as on the federal level, meaning that it would be a federal crime for a state to do so. This was basically a dead letter until the Civil Rights era, which you can see by looking at the pictures of post-cards featuring lynchings on them; not only could people kill without consequences they could advertise the killing ahead of time then circulate evidence of it in the most public way possible without fear of reprisal. I would argue that if something like that is possible, a lot of more minor encroachment on civil liberties by the authorities are probably going on as well, and probably not just in relation to African Americans.

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