Recently, a man from Alaska with the name of Gordon Warren Epperly filed a lawsuit to remove Obama’s name from the November election ballot because of his race. The full article is from the Huffington Post and can be read here. I actually managed to find a copy of the actual lawsuit filed, click here to see it. The following text if from the filed lawsuit:
“Barack Hussein Obama II, a.k.a. Barack Hussein Obama, a.ka. Barack H. Obama has the race status of being a “mulatto.” Barack Obama’s father (Barack Hussein Obama I) was a full blood Negro being born Nyang’oma Kogelo, Nyanza Province, Kenya and raised in the Colony of Kenya. Barack Obama’s mother (Stanley Ann Dunham) was a white Caucasian woman being born in Wichita, Kansas on November 29, 1942 and raised in the state of Washington and in the state of Hawaii.”
Later in the lawsuit, Epperly mentions:
“As stated above, for an Individual to be a candidate for the office of president of the United States, the candidate must meet the qualifications set forth in the United States Constitution and one of those qualifications is that the Candidate shall be a “natural born citizen” of the United States. As Barack Hussein Obama II is of the “mulatto” race, his status of citizenship is founded upon the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Before the [purported] ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment, the race of “Negro” or “mulatto” had no standing to be citizens of the United States under the United States Constitution.”
He also explains:
“As the fourteenth amendment is only a grant of “civil rights” and not a grant of “political rights” Barack Hussein Obama II does not have and “political rights” under any provision of the United States Constitution to hold any Public Office of the United States government.”
To be completely honest, I laughed when I saw the article. Not because I believe Epperly is right, but because I thought the controversy over Obama’s citizenship was over. Epperly is not arguing that Obama wasn’t born in the United States, he is arguing that African-Americans do not have “political rights”, he says that African American only have “civil rights”. After banging my head on my desk by the amount of ignorance I was reading from the filed lawsuit, I took some time and thought about segregation.
I thought about the African-American Civil Rights movement, and I realized it actually wasn’t that long ago. People tend to think that events happened such a time ago because we don’t experience them. Segregation was legal up to the African-American Civil Rights Movement, which started about 1954 with the decision of court case Brown vs. Board of Education banning school segregation. This was roughly 58 years ago! Perhaps, if you are in your early 20’s your grandparents experience segregation! I tried to put myself in the shoes of African-Americans when segregation was legal, and I definitely admire people who stood up against the legal discrimination system such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks. It made me realized how long it took for discrimination to be illegal, how people thought it was completely normal, and made me think what kinds of discrimination do we currently think it’s normal? or what social inequalities we think are normal? Arizona’s immigration laws could be an example of racial profiling. Another example would be when African-Americans, or even people of another race apply for a job and get denied because of their race, when people(usually Caucasians) with less qualifications are granted the job. Perhaps it is time for another Martin Luther King Jr. or Rosa Parks to arise?
Even though discrimination and segregation is illegal, it doesn’t means that people are going to follow the regulations. A great example is the lawsuit by Epperly, who thinks African-Americans do not have “political rights”. It would be extremely depressing and outrageous if the lawsuit makes it to a court, or worst, have a court rule in favor of the lawsuit. However, I think it is extremely unlikely to happen.