What is a Citizen? 1. Participates intelligently in elections 2. Pays taxes 3. Serves on juries and can sue 4. Knows and obeys the laws of the land and Constitution 5. Writes your Representative and Senators at least once a year When the constitution was first formed they said “We the people“. People and Citizens went hand and hand so said Supreme Court Justice Taney who said Blacks and slaves free or not weren’t citizens of the United States. Taney wrote in the Dred Scott decision: It then proceeds to say: 'We hold these truths to be selfevident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among them is life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights, Governments are instituted, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.' The general words above quoted would seem to embrace the whole human family, and if they were used in a similar instrument at this day would be so understood. But it is too clear for dispute, that the enslaved African race were not intended to be included, and formed no part of the people who framed and adopted this declaration; for if the language, as understood in that day, would embrace them, the conduct of the distinguished men who framed the Declaration of Independence would have been utterly and flagrantly inconsistent with the principles they asserted; and instead of the sympathy of mankind, to which they so confidently appealed, they would have deserved and received universal rebuke and reprobation” . Abraham Lincoln disagreed with Taney only to elevate Blacks to second class citizens because Lincoln believed us to be inferior to be equal for social and political rights. He believed Blacks should be equal to fend for himself in labor to feed himself but never be allowed to be the equal to whites. Because we weren’t citizens when the Constitution was originally adopted in 1776 we had to pass the IV Amendment to include blacks in “We the people”. Amendment XIV - Citizenship Rights. Ratified 7/9/1868. 1. 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. No State shall make or enforce any law which 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; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. (unenforced with the Separate but equal clause of 1896) Immediately after passing this law the KKK was born in 1866 to help white citizens come up with black codes to place us back into servitude. If you wanted to vote you paid a poll tax, literacy test or was lynched. Without the vote local sheriffs could treat us any way the wanted to without fear of being voted out of office. If you were homeless you were put in jail and put on a chain gang, work camp to be a slave in another name. We were equal but separated socially and politically. Everything that made a citizen we were denied access and opportunity. We were tax without representation. We are tax higher for car and home insurance. We are allowed to vote but our vote doesn’t translate into any special legislation for Black people. Sometimes are votes aren’t counted so that some special interest group or party will have an advantage over us. All white juries is a common justice against a black defendant. In slavery times blacks couldn’t sue a white person. Now you can at risk of future employment opportunities Then in 1954 Brown v School board overturned the 1896 law of separate but equal. But our school systems are as separate and unequal as in 1954. Black males are retrograding with respect to college graduation and progressing in high percentage in prison population. If blacks refuse to unite politically, socially and economically we will continue to be second class citizens without the power to say either yes or no or both. Lincoln opposed the Dred Scott decision. Lincoln’s opponent Stephen Douglass said: “They (Republicans/Lincoln) assert the Dred Scott decision to be monstrous because it denies that the Negro is or can be a citizen under the Constitution. Lincoln was no friend to Blacks. Why?: “Free them all and keep them among us as underlings” Lincoln wanted to have blacks be apprentice to whites. Lincoln intended to replace slavery with a caste system that would keep blacks perpetually subordinate not partners to whites. Blacks were to remain dependent laboring class; they were to be governed by a separate code of laws; they were to play no active part in political life and to be segregated socially.