The we often fail to acknowledge its

The Constitution of the United States of America has been prevalent for so long we often fail to acknowledge its significance in the daily lives of Americans. The constitution itself was adopted in 1787, however the Reconstruction Amendments were adopted between 1865-1870. When these amendments experienced their ratification, social times were tremendously different from what they are today. The Reconstruction Amendments, which are the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments of the constitution, sought ways to ensure equality for African Americans after the Civil War. These amendments changed the lives of many African Americans giving them the illusion of equality yet economically, socially, and politically there have been very little positive impact to those lives to date. After the civil war, America began a period of reconstruction in effort to bring the Union and Confederacy back together and reunite its citizens. However, the political period from 1857 to 1860 was delicate due to the division of state demeanors towards the issue of slavery. While some felt as though the constitution represented all people, including black Americans, other’s felt as though the black man had no rights that “the white man was bound to respect.” On one hand, pro-slave states tried to reinforce slaves as property, gathering that the Federal government had no Constitutional right to hinder one’s property. On the contrary, anti-slave states argued that slaves were never mentioned as property within the Constitution and therefore the pro slavery premise is invalid. Over the course of these debates, we are able to see an anti-slavery movement grow to become something much more broadly devoted to the protection of natural rights, ranging from free speech to the right to control one’s own labor. The first of the Reconstruction Amendments is one of the most popular. Lincoln and his cabinet pushed for the total abolishment of slavery through the drafting of the 13th amendment. The debate of whether African Americans were considered free or not ended in 1865 when the 13th amendment was ratified. This amendment “abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime.” The amendment was first placed upon the judiciary committee by Senator Charles Sumner in April of 1864 and later signed by Abraham Lincoln within his second term of presidency. However, modern day slavery is still in existence to this day, even with the protection of the 13th amendment as seen within segments of populations such as migrant Latino workers. The 14th amendment, ratified in 1868, protects 3 direct and important features which is due process, equal protection, and privileges or immunities (rights of U.S. citizens). Of those three, privileges or immunities is by far the most important. Therefore, rather than Black Americans being seen as “property” they are seen as citizens. The 14th amendment declares that “all persons born or naturalized in the U.S are citizens” therefore “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” The last of the Reconstruction Amendments is the 15th amendment which contrary to popular belief, does not grant the right to vote to anyone. The amendment simply outlaws discrimination in voting “based on race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” Consequently, African Americans were still denied the right to vote by a variety of tactics within the Southern States. These “tactics” included things such as the poll tax and literacy test. It wasn’t until the voting rights act of 1965 that the majority of African Americans in the South were allowed to register to vote. However, the 15th amendment at the time applied only to males. Black women did not gain the legal right to vote until 1920 due to the passing of the 19th amendment. It is evident how these Reconstruction Amendments pushed to positively affect lives at the time of their ratification. However, how do these amendments affect the lives of African Americans within the present day? We still have modern day slavery through sex-trafficking and forced labor within prison systems. Most U.S. prisons are privately owned, meaning these jails are companies  that make a profit off the backs of imprisoned men and women who are mostly African American. Basically, the more people that go to jail, the more money the company makes by forcing inmates to do labor for little to no pay. Nevertheless, we have sex-trafficking in the U.S. which is very common as people fail to recognize prostitution of young girls and women as a form of slavery. At a point in time, African Americans were seen as “property” and always less than the white man. Now, we live in an almost never-ending era of white-supremacy and racism within our justice system. Yes, blacks are citizens according the the 14th amendment, but no they are not all treated equally within their citizenship. Yes, blacks are granted the right to vote, but a large percentage of them feel as though their votes don’t matter because of a biased political system of favor, economic hierarchy, and sexism. America lives in a state of the aforementioned “illusion”. In which we have an appearance of justice but no reality of justice itself. We have a political system, judicial system, and economic system all against African Americans. Treyvon Martin, a black teenager, was shot and killed for defending himself and his white murderer was found not guilty, yet this is the America’s Judicial system. Obama became the first black president and enacted “Obama Care”, providing healthcare for the impoverished through tax dollars yet Republicans try to see to it that Obama Care is abolished and this is America’s political system. It has been statistically proven that for every dollar the white man earns the black man only earns 6% of that same dollar, yet this is America’s economic system. Economically, politically, and judicially African Americans are set up to fail. Then we have an education system which puts the best resources into the most financially private institutions that are left unaffordable to most blacks due to the economic system. The educational system as an institution is designed to suppress and even annihilate the mental elevation of the black child due to the threat an educated black man poses to the global system of white supremacy.