"To secure these rights" / by kevin murray

In the aftermath of World War II, a war in which America fought on the side of liberty and freedom, the President's Committee on Civil Rights was established by Executive Order 9808 on December 5, 1946.  This committee published in 1947, the document entitled "To Secure These Rights."  This document was the basis that President Truman used to end the segregation of armed forces in America, as well as to end discrimination in the Civil service system, and thereby form the foundation for integration in America at large.  As part of the seminal document four essential rights for each American citizen were enumerated.  These essential rights were:  The Right to Safety and Security of the Person, the Right to Citizenship and its Privileges, the Right to Freedom of Conscience and Expression, and the Right to Equality of Opportunity.


Remember, these rights were enumerated in 1947, and further that these rights were based upon the United States Constitution which was ratified in 1789.  This means that these rights have been with all citizens of this great nation since its inception, and further that these rights were spelt out in more detail in 1947, so that this nation could honestly assess whether or not it was living up to the lofty principles and liberties that so many had sacrificed for with blood, sweat, and tears.  Now, nearly seventy five years later from this important document, an honest assessment of these essential rights that all are entitled to must be examined.


First, the right to safety and security of the person is clearly something that this country has manifestly failed at providing for all of its citizens, as the poorest and most vulnerable are not only the ones that suffer disproportionately in being murdered, robbed, and assaulted; but so too, these are the very same people that are more often incarcerated, and are thereby stuck in an endless cycle of poverty, crime, and imprisonment.  Second, the privileges of all citizens are not equally provided, for those that are of a certain color are often discriminated against solely on the basis of that color, and further the access to the voting booth as well as the deliberate gerrymandering of boundaries within States effectively makes the votes of the un-favored class, negated, whereas those with power and influence, have their votes inflated.  Third, the right to speak one's mind is assaulted from so many different sides, in which those that speak most of tolerance are often the most intolerant of those that are "politically incorrect;" in addition to the demands of certain forces that those of faith are not entitled to have that faith expressed except within the confines of their church or their own private space.  Fourth, while great strides have been made in opportunity for those of all different faiths and colors, the power structure of this country is primarily built around the same power structure that it has been for eons, which is the privileged class of those that have immense wealth and considerable power, that therefore invariably favors those elite few at the expense of the people.


In summary, the rights of all Americans have not been secured.  They weren't secured in 1789, they weren't secured in 1947, and they still aren't secure in 2019.  If, America, was to truly live up to its liberating Constitution and what that Constitution espouses to be than it would not be a country of the superrich as well as the military-industrial-technology elite ruling the roost, but instead it would be the egalitarian society that it was always supposed to be, for all peoples, black or white, rich or poor, protestant or Jewish, all living well in a country of justice, liberty, and freedom.