I was part of a “Student Speakers Contest” on “Liberty and Justice All”. I wrote the speech the night before I was going to compete, so I wrote something that was as blunt and “in your face” as I could with hard facts. I had no chance of winning anyways. Note that the Lions Club is full of old people who generally have conservative views. My speech after the break.
I interpret “Liberty and Justice For All” as the unwritten code of the United States of America that says this country has inalienable rights for all the people living in the United States of America. We repeat it to ourselves and try to talk to ourselves in the mirror that in this time and age that all people are equal. Some say “Slavery has been abolished so there is no more racism” “Everyone can have his or her fair day in trial” and “This is America, we have rights”. Those statement is not true to all. The privileged, the financially powerful, and our tax funded people of power have manipulated our federal and state law by biasing laws on minorities, people born without the Y chromosome, and the less financially fortunate. Injustice is brought in more hurtful and subtle ways, and not as obvious as a local lynching. This very reality rattles the delicate cage of “Liberty and Justice For All”.
Crack cocaine, as many would know, is the poor man’s cocaine. Meanwhile, there is powdered cocaine, which is mostly used by the wealthy. But curiously, drug laws favor lower sentences for powdered cocaine than with crack cocaine. If one was to be sentenced with possession of a gram of powdered cocaine, they would have a sentence that would be 18 times shorter if they were possessing a gram of crack cocaine. Before the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, the sentence with possession of a gram of crack cocaine would be 100 times longer than one would with a gram of powered cocaine. The law in this case clearly favors the parties who are wealthier. These biases have caused a disproportionate amount of minorities imprisoned for crack charges as 87 percent of those imprisoned for crack charges are black and do not support the notion that Liberty and Justice is for all. It is not just cocaine possession laws that bias on the minorities and the poor but also with the successful efforts to cut welfare to people whose salaries cannot compete with inflation, the inadequate legal support given to the doomed people who can’t afford an attorney, and much, much more.
Since the dawn of modern civilization, women have been systematically suppressed by men. Even though there have been advancements to advance women’s rights to the same levels as men, women are still actively oppressed in law. For instance, Abortions are legal under the Roe V Wade Supreme court decision, but some politicians decided to add legal clauses to make it unreasonably difficult for a woman to get an abortion. What a woman does with her body should not be decided by old white men who choose to have a work of fiction as their backing or how they want to remain dominant with the law. According to a 2014 study by the American Association of University Women, women only made 79% of what men made in their annual earnings even if both the men and women share equal responsibility, roles, and job descriptions. At the lowest point, universities and colleges often turn a blind eye on female students that are raped on campus with the loopholes within campus sexual assault policies that favor the rapist. There is no justice or liberty behind the notion that not all sexes is treated equally under law and how often the law biases toward the “fairer” sex.
Finally, this brings us to the people of privilege that enforce our laws: the police. The police have been notably been in the news after mainstream news agencies had decided that news regarding black people are now fit to be reported. Crime statistics confirm the reality of the biases with the people we call the protectors of our land. According to a Guardian investigation, an unarmed black person is statistically more twice as more likely to be killed as a white unarmed person. These injustices have been in rooted with the police in general since the very start of the United States with anti Native American militias. In the south, the police helped out with lynching after the civil war and the list goes on. There have been laws written to restrict people of color from buying houses in specific districts, the legal ban on intermarriage between whites and people of color, legal discrimination in schools (not like that happens today) and much more. According to a 2011 study by Stanford, Notre Dame, and University of Wisconsin professors, people of colour who engage in a protest will have statistically higher amounts of police presence around them. And what have the police been doing to change? They refuse to accept the reality of bias, bring violence upon peaceful protests, continue to militarize their policing equipment, and thwart attempts to bring accountability to their actions. To apply “Liberty and Justice For All” on these protectors of the land, there is a need for our elected officials to issue a policy on police reform and the police to be on the same page as the protesters. The truth of the reality needs to be communicated and the concerns need to be understood as fact, not as blather.
To be honest, the very idea of “Liberty and Justice for all” needs understood by people with privilege to be a phrase of action, and not to be a phrase of what I believe, false affirmation. Action has to be taken to ensure the ideals “Liberty and Justice for all” are enforced with law, because in this time of age, it is not.
Mind you, I based all of this on fact.
Well, I lost. I was against a slightly more developed speech that did take a similar viewpoint as I did and some homeschooled person who decided to go “I love america so much, nothing occurs in the united states except of my love for america, america is perfect”. Well homeschooled person actually knew the Lions Club people won, and this person fucking said the “Pledge of Allegiance” to start off her speech. Well, I got a 25 dollar check out of it. More for my mtb dropper post/DOT helmet fund then.