Where is Our Personal Freedom Going. – Robert Tronge
I think it is time to take a look at where our political leaders are leading us. America has always been based on the concept that all men are free and there should be no barriers put up barring a person's liberty or freedoms regardless of any defining characteristics that a person has. The most obvious examples are race, color, creed, and religion but there are also others.
There are many historical examples of what has happened when caste systems are put into place but the most obvious was with Nazi Germany where millions of people were sorted out of the population and any group that was disliked had added restrictions and requirements placed on the them. This eventually lead to the murders, not only of Jews, but Romani (more commonly known in English by the exonym "Gypsies"), Sinti's, Soviet prisoners of war, Polish and Soviet civilians, people with disabilities, Jehovah's Witnesses and other political and religious opponents. These murders occurred regardless of whether the disenfranchised people were of German or non-German ethnic origin. The total number of civilians murdered by the Nazis is nearly 11 million with around 5.7 million Jews and a roughly equal number of non-Jews.
We all think about the pictures of people being loaded onto trains like cattle and taken to the concentration camps, but stop and think about what the people's lives must have been like before it got that far. The people in these disenfranchised groups, including their children had to always carry their papers with them continuously to show who they were. They had to get permission from authorities for movement even within their own country and any official could stop them and ask them for their papers. If they didn't have their papers or their papers were out of date, they were imprisioned or worse.
Names were published in local papers if they were on the disfavored group list and if one member of a family was defined as a member of the disfavored group the entire family suffered from that stigma. They were denied jobs and places to live. They were forced to live in ghetto type surroundings, and if they owned a business it was vandalized and eventually forced to shut down for lack of customers. If they worked for someone else and their employer found out that they were on the list, they lost their jobs. People on the disfavored list could then be barred from certain types of employment. They were prohibited from using state hospitals, public parks, libraries and the beaches were closed to them. There were communities that had signs outside their borders that literally said no Jews (or other disfavored groups) allowed. It took a world war to straighten out that mass and millions of good people died because of the bigotry that produced these laws.
People that believe in these types of law or even that these types of laws are necessary would have fit right in to the upper echelons of Nazi Germany. Now American legislators have started to re-create these Nuremberg Laws from prewar Germany. We pride ourselves as Americans on the freedom that everyone in our country have, but today we too have created lists of people that we dislike forcing them to register and constantly update their Information. Some communities have forced them out of their homes and made zones where they cannot live they. They have forced them to put signs up in their yards or have license plates that shame them for a crime they have already served the punishment for. Now our politicians are trying to force other more diverse groups of people to be on to similar registries. If we saw this happening in another country, Americans would be outraged. We like to say that the least of our people have the same freedoms as everyone else in this country, but that is no longer true. We as a country have always had bigots that we have allowed ourselves to follow and then later have been ashamed of our actions. Three of the most obvious examples are the way we have treated blacks, then what we did to the Japanese Americans during World War II, and of course what happened to the people that were black listed during the McCarthy Era. Early in the 20th century the the United States Supreme Court started overturning the Jim Crow laws and it took nearly fifty years to get these bigoted laws that denied America's their rights off the books.
I say that if you believe in these types of laws, then you are not truly an American. You ought to leave this country and go live somewhere else for a while. I would suggest possibly North Korea, Pakistan, or Iran. Maybe then you would understand the value of personal freedoms and how fragile and sacred they are. Any time legislators pass a law that takes away somebody else's personal freedoms they are shooting us all in the foot and eventually we will bleed to death.
The Supreme Court began to overturn Jim Crow laws on constitutional grounds. In Buchanan v. Warley 245 US 60 (1917), the court held that a Kentucky law could not require residential segregation. The Supreme Court in 1946, in Irene Morgan v. Virginia ruled segregation in interstate transportation to be unconstitutional, in an application of the commerce clause of the Constitution. It was not until 1954 in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka that the court held that separate facilities were inherently unequal in the area of public schools, effectively overturning Plessy v. Ferguson, and outlawing Jim Crow in other areas of society as well. This landmark case consisted of complaints filed in the states of Delaware (Gebhart v. Belton); South Carolina (Briggs v. Elliott); Virginia (Davis v. County School Board of Prince Edward County); and Washington, D.C. (Spottswode Bolling v. C. Melvin Sharpe). These decisions, along with other cases such as McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Board of Regents 339 US 637 (1950), NAACP v. Alabama 357 US 449 (1958), and Boynton v. Virginia 364 US 454 (1960), slowly dismantled the state-sponsored segregation imposed by Jim Crow laws.
Along with Jim Crow laws, by which the state compelled segregation of the races, private parties such as businesses, political parties and unions created their own Jim Crow arrangements, barring blacks from buying homes in certain neighborhoods, from shopping or working in certain stores, from working at certain trades, etc. The Supreme Court outlawed some forms of private discrimination in Shelley v. Kraemer 334 US 1 (1948), in which they held that restrictive covenants that barred the sale of homes to blacks or Jews or Asians were unconstitutional, because they represented state-sponsored discrimination, in that they were only effective if the courts enforced them.
Second-class citizen is an informal term used to describe a person who is systematically discriminated against within a state or other political jurisdiction, despite their nominal status as a citizen or legal resident there. While not necessarily slaves, second-class citizens have limited legal rights, civil rights and economic opportunities, and are often subject to mistreatment or neglect at the hands of their putative superiors. Instead of being protected by the law, the law disregards a second-class citizen, or it may actually be used to harass them. Second-class citizenry is generally regarded as a violation of human rights. Typical impediments facing second-class citizens include but are not limited to; disenfranchisement, limitations on civil services, as well as restrictions on language, religion, education, freedom of movement and association, housing and property ownership. by our constitutional standards. There should not be a single second-class citizen in the United States.
Allowing for the continuation or expansion of the existing sex registration and notification laws is the type of thinking that led to the Nuremberg laws and eventually the Holocaust. If you think you absolutely have to have registration and notification then it is the Legislator's duty to all the citizens of this country to craft those laws in such a way that only the 00.1% who have the highest possibility of reoffending are placed on that list and not the way it is today as a general catch all for anybody who falls underneath the definition of a conviction for a crime. This is because Legislator's responsibilities are required to protect the 99.9% that will not reoffend. But recognized as the list gets smaller the damage to a person's life gets greater and if you put one person on that list who would have never reoffended and then that person is murdered by some psychopath in the community because of his placement on the list or even worse if that person goes out and commits another crime because he feels so hopeless and lost and so cut off from the community that he can only see himself as a terrible person with no other options. When these actions are a direct result of them being placed on the list, then we know where the blame is to be placed for the loss of that person or their new victim, on the community, on the legislators, on the persons designing the risk assessments. Before anyone is placed on a list the legislative body had best layout the rules very very carefully using every scientifically proven tool at their disposal and find a very accurate way to determine if the person is highly likely to reoffend because as the Supreme Court has said time and time again "It is better to release a guilty person into the public than it is to convict an innocent one." The Supreme Court has even gone so far as to say it is better to release a mentally ill person into the community then to place a Non-mentally ill person into a mental institution and that is what this country is all about individual personal freedom that should not easily be taken away or denied to its' citizens
Robert George Tronge, Robert G Tronge, Robert Tronge
contribute to this article
add comment to discussion