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College Student Discovers Racism in Constitution, Vows Meaningless Action

April 17th, 2008 · 11 Comments

The day isn’t over, but I’m willing to go out on a limb and predict that this is the stupidest thing I will read today. I’m not actually sure what it would mean to “strike” text that has already been nullified by subsequent amendments—pull out the original sheepskin and take a sharpie to it? Bonus points for the common but historically obtuse invocation of the 3/5 compromise. Recall, if you think the offensive aspect of this is that slaves were “only” worth 3/5 of a person, that it was southern slave owners who wanted them to be counted equally and northern abolitionists who objected to their being counted at all.

Tags: Stupid Shit



11 responses so far ↓

  • 1 jonn // Apr 17, 2008 at 5:16 pm

    We all come from Africa:


  • 2 Franklin Harris // Apr 17, 2008 at 6:35 pm

    Actually, I’m always happy to see idiots who are just itching to be activists about something waste their time on utterly meaningless crusades.

  • 3 Fin Fang Foom // Apr 17, 2008 at 6:37 pm

    This is Mike Stark of the infamous 2006 Virginia Senate race incidents.

    First, he isn’t a college student, he’s a UVA law student.

    Second, he’s also probably in his early thirties. Age does not bring wisdom.

    Please note that he does not represent the general type of my law school.

  • 4 Erstwhile // Apr 17, 2008 at 7:50 pm

    Mike Stark is, well, he’s not a smart man:

    Does activism like Stark’s actually affect anything? Well, consider this: If the Dems take the Senate this year, Jim Webb will have to beat George Allen in Virginia. And if Webb beats Allen, it’ll be partly because people exposed Allen’s racism by asking him–directly–if he’d ever used the word “nigger.” Who was the first person to go on record (and tape) doing that? Stark. In August, Stark, now a 38-year-old law student at the University of Virginia, took the day off from classes to go see Allen give a speech to a local chamber of commerce. He paid the $20 fee, and after the speech, “was able to walk up to him, shake his hand and ask if he ever used the ‘n-word.’ He’d used the word `macaca’–a racial slur–so I wondered what other racial slurs he’d used. I got him on the record saying that he’d never used the word in his life. After that, the larger media got hold of the issue. I have no proof, but I really feel I had a hand in shaping this race. And if what I do has any kind of impact, it’s all worth it.”

    Stark’s activism does have a price, though. He’s the father of a 14-month-old girl, and “Every time I make a decision on whether to go to Washington, or attend any political event, I’m taking time away from being with my daughter.” So why does he do it? “I’ve had this discussion with my wife a lot,” he explains. “These are pretty momentous times, and I think the people who are in charge of things right now are pretty close to just plain evil. We have a responsibility to our country and each other to get involved. I like to think that if I was in Germany in 1939, I’d be hiding Ann Frank in my attic instead of cowering along with everyone else.

  • 5 Jacob T. Levy // Apr 17, 2008 at 7:54 pm

    Well, that’s all pretty dumb, but there are other legal and constitutional contexts in which amendments are written so as to amend the text to just the currently-operative portions. State constitutions are typically printed like this. It’s only because the US Constitution has been so rarely amended that it seems to make sense to include its whole textual history at once.

  • 6 publius // Apr 18, 2008 at 11:16 pm

    I agree with your broader point, but as I recall, the slaveowners were even more self-serving. They wanted slaves to count for purposes of the electoral college, but not to count at all for purposes of taxation.

  • 7 von Laue // Apr 19, 2008 at 7:53 am

    Er, did it have to be abolitionists who wanted slaves not to count, or just those from states without significant numbers of slaves?

  • 8 Kevin // Jul 28, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    Jonn, you said,We all come from Africa:, sorry, but you are wrong! I myself came from America( unlike our socalled president), and the human race came to being in the Garden of Eden(present day Iraq!

  • 9 Kevin // Jul 28, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    sanchez, pronanly an illegal mexican reaping the benefits given to him by idiot liberals, and would (like obama) only wish to see the destruction of the US.

  • 10 Matt // Oct 28, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    The southern slave owners only wanted slaves to be counted as people because that would mean their state would be over-represented in Congress, despite their not being able to actually vote themselves.

  • 11 Andrew Wild // Jan 15, 2015 at 3:13 pm

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