Minorities will get the short end of the stick, as long as politicians exist

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by StickyFingaz, Jul 11, 2002.

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  1. Darth_SnowDog Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 4
    "In God We Trust"... is a billboard for monotheism. It advertises the idea that we all believe in God... which is false. It is printed on our currency... so in what way is it not advertising monotheism at the expense of the public?
  2. StarFire Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2001
    star 4
    There are two ways to view it:

    1. As you've said, an advancement of monotheism. However, this does not violate the First Amendment (at least not the interpretation widely held when it was created).
    2. Or as a reminder, if you will, of American heritage. "In God We Trust" is certainly a poignant reflection if the Revolutionary War times.
  3. AJA Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 1998
    star 4
    Like the pledge, it is a simple statement of the views of the overwhelming majority of the American people. That's not exactly the same thing as an "advertisement".
  4. Darth_SnowDog Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 4
    Because a court is trying to use the interpretation you're endorsing to strike down a law that the American people passed through their elected representatives, and which 90% of the people currently support?

    The question I was asking was somewhat of a fundamental, not incidental, one... why should we limit religious freedom? Is there a benefit to limiting religious freedom? Who benefits? Who does not? Do you see where this is leading?

    Essentially what you're saying to me is "I don't give a damn about your beliefs, rights and freedoms... all I care about is me and my beliefs, rights and freedoms. Since I think everyone agrees with me, I must be right. Since not everyone agrees with you, you're wrong... and why should I care?"

    Ever hear of a phenomenon called "groupthink"?

    A recent poll was done by CNN asking Americans their opinion on the pledge, the majority said they like it the way it is.

    However, in the same poll, when asked if they believe religion and government should be kept separate, the majority agreed it should be.

    As exemplified in Miranda v. State of Arizona, people are entitled to their rights... even when they do not understand them.

    The fact is, I've grown so accustomed to religious banter in America, that "God" means nothing to me.
  5. AJA Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 1998
    star 4
    I thought we were arguing establishment, not free exercise. The Bill of Rights are limits on what the government can and cannot do. You believe the Pledge of Allegience is a violation of religious freedom. Most people do not.

    As for the rest of your post, I'm only saying what I already expressed with regard to majority rule vs. minority rule.

    I could not have opposed the Clinton Administration any more than I did. Nevertheless, I understood that aside from going to the polls and voting, there was nothing I could do about it. If that's what the people wanted, that's what they got, and that's the way our system works.

    Luckily (in my view), we've come to our senses, and we're slowly beginning to reclaim some of what was lost during the 1990s.
  6. Darth_SnowDog Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 4
    You believe the Pledge of Allegience is a violation of religious freedom. Most people do not.

    No I do not believe that. I believe the Act that changed the Pledge was unconstitutional to begin with. That's it. If Eisenhower never enacted it, how many people in America would have inserted "under God" in there of their own imagination and will? That would be free exercise of religious freedom... yet they are only reciting it that way because of a law the state established... a law which is unconstitutional, based on the broadest applied definition possible of religious freedom (should freedoms not be broad, and restrictions narrow? Is a freedom that constricts not a contradiction in terms?). If the definition of the First Amendment were meant to be narrow, it would have been written so. The language of the entire Constitution is consistent with the founders' intentions to have broad and malleable definitions of freedom.

    The school voucher issue precisely does not narrow the definition of the First Amendment because, according to their own decision, the issue does not even come into contact with the First Amendment at all, regardless of the definition.

    My curiosity is now aroused even further... What does it say when believers in god, for the most part, have little or nothing to do with god unless they are told to do so by some other authority?

    Luckily (in my view), we've come to our senses, and we're slowly beginning to reclaim some of what was lost during the 1990s.

    You mean like our economy?
  7. AJA Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 1998
    star 4
    You mean like our economy?

    That's one part of it. What we're seeing now is the continued unraveling of the dishonesty and unreserved greed that drove the bubble. Like everything else in the 90s, the economy was a lie. Hopefully, once the garbage is cleaned out, it will return to strength on the basis of sound economics, not falsely inflated stock prices.
  8. Darth_SnowDog Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 4
    "sound economics"... you mean like Enron funding Dubya's election campaign, and then vanishing into thin air underneath the pile of this telecom industry investigation?

    Sound economics... like the deficit spending of the 1980s... or trading arms for hostages... or engaging in war to protect the wellspring of a family dynasty...

    Commercial greed, contrary to popular opinion, didn't just materialize suddenly in the 1990s during the Clinton Administration... it's been there since the beginning of the agricultural revolution 6000 years ago.

    Like the pledge, it is a simple statement of the views of the overwhelming majority of the American people. That's not exactly the same thing as an "advertisement".

    Then what is it doing, if not advertising God? Isn't it paid for with our tax dollars? Isn't it being shown to an audience, espousing the concept of God? What else would you call it? Is it a question? Is it a puzzle? Is it a riddle? Is it a monkey on a bicycle? What is it doing if not advertising the idea of trust in "God", which not all Americans have...

    There again, you make reference to the "overwhelming majority"... as if to only solidify my earlier view that you, quite frankly, do not appear to give a damn about anyone's rights but yours... and you seem to think that majority rule means only the majority benefits from the rights they establish into law. This is patently false... instead of reading letters from Jefferson, how about reading the US Constitution?

    I'm convinced now that the basic disengagement between us here is that I believe if there are rights afforded to the people, they belong to all the people, regardless of where they come from... but you believe that the only person whose rights matter is you, or at the very least, conveniently whatever demographic majority to which you belong.

    You do not understand, and can not understand, what it means to be a minority and have your rights violated... because neither are you a minority, nor have you ever in my presence demonstrated any interest in trying to understand our point of view.

    You still have not given me one good fundamental reason why we should further limit freedoms that have been established in the Constitution. You gave me an incidental example, but not a fundamental explanation of what the benefit of strangling the given definition of a deliberately ambiguously written charter of freedom is.

    You have not demonstrated to me that the rights afforded to the majority, which you feel should be denied to the minority, are also being equally denied to the majority. This would suggest that you endorse preferential distribution of rights.
  9. Gonzonaut Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 28, 2000
    star 3
    People will get the short end of the stick as long as politicians exist.
  10. AJA Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 1998
    star 4
    There again, you make reference to the "overwhelming majority"... as if to only solidify my earlier view that you, quite frankly, do not appear to give a damn about anyone's rights but yours... and you seem to think that majority rule means only the majority benefits from the rights they establish into law.

    You have not demonstrated to me that the rights afforded to the majority, which you feel should be denied to the minority, are also being equally denied to the majority. This would suggest that you endorse preferential distribution of rights.


    I think the problem is not a disagreement about whether rights should be equally applied to all people- the 14th Amendment is clear on that, and I don't by any means take issue with it. The problem would be better stated as a disagreement about which rights are actually found in the Constitution.

    To put a finer point on it, what we're disagreeing about (obviously) is whether or not there is an infringement of Constitutional rights in the non-mandatory Pledge of Allegience. You think there is, I think there isn't. If we agreed on what was Constitutional here, there would be no disagreement between us as to whether or not it applied to everyone.
  11. RiggsWolfe Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2002
    star 2
    Yes, minorities will get the short end of the stick as long as politicians exist.

    As long as you define minorities as white, Christian, males.

    After all, we don't get affirmitave action.
    Our beliefs are a threat, hence all reference to God must be removed from everything
    We don't get special scholarships
    or schools set aside just for us

    I could go on if anyone would like....

  12. DARTHPIGFEET Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2001
    star 4
    It's the way it's always been and there is no way around it. There will always be winners and losers. Some who have more and others who have less. It's human nature and unless you have some remedy for changing this part of human nature such as greed then leave it alone.
  13. FakeHandLuke Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2001
    star 1
    OK, As a rich white male I am here to say to all the other rich white men out there . . . come on, the jig is up, stop complaining. If you don't see the advantages you have had in America you are blind. Yeah, we did not get some stupid scholarship, never mind that we didn't need it. Oh and some kid with slightly lower board scores got accepted to the same school as we did, never mind that our parents spent 500 bucks on the Princeton Review, or sent us to schools where they taught us Latin so our vocab scores would shoot through the roof, or of course the fact that we know what a regatta is because we might have actually been to one. Never mind that we didn't get pulled over every other day by the cops. Never mind that people didn't just assume we were criminals wherever we went. Or when you went to a job interview you weren't insulted by being told you "spoke well."

    Come on people, if you think it is so easy being a minority I want to ask you a serious question. If you could choose that your children be any race what would it be?
  14. Darth_SnowDog Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 4
    FakeHand: Excellent question you pose. I don't know of anyone who dreams of one day having a brown-skinned kid with nearsightedness and mild spastic diplegia resulting from Cerebral Palsy...

    But hey, that's what my parents got.

    Don't get me wrong... I'm not complaining at all. It's not in my nature to dwell on that which I cannot change... but that doesn't change the fact that I have been discriminated against mostly by white Christians many times in my life.

    To put a finer point on it, what we're disagreeing about (obviously) is whether or not there is an infringement of Constitutional rights in the non-mandatory Pledge of Allegience. You think there is, I think there isn't. If we agreed on what was Constitutional here, there would be no disagreement between us as to whether or not it applied to everyone.

    No, once again... I'm not trying to get the Pledge of Allegiance banned. I'm talking strictly about the Constitutionality of the 1954 Act.

    The fundamental question I ask is a simple one, though: Why should we limit the definition of religious freedom? ...and particularly in such a convenient fashion as to allow for the inclusion of a reference to monotheism?

    The purpose of the question isn't strictly to draw out the rather obvious answer... it's to demonstrate that, particularly in this case, those who are suggesting we limit the definition of religious freedom are the majority... and the limit they are proposing we embrace is one that, rather deliberately, serves their interests more than it serves the interests of all people.

    I am questioning the motives of the majority to keep them in check, because I am a US Citizen, and that is my job.
  15. Darth Fierce Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 6, 2000
    star 4
    1. "Come on people, if you think it is so easy being a minority I want to ask you a serious question. If you could choose that your children be any race what would it be? "

    Allow me to take that a step further... would you rather they be born as a minority race into an affluent family, or born "white" into poverty?


    2. Let me also throw this into the mix: There are different types of minorities: There are minorities you are born into, such as your race, if you have a handicap, your sexual orientation (although I guess some would argue that). There are other minorities you choose to be in, such as religion (when you're old enough to choose your own), your political affiliation, and basically your entire lifestyle.

    Some people in the latter group need to understand that although they have every right to choose to be in the minority and should not be stigmatized, they also have to accept that they have chosen the less-taken road, and not take offense that the majority from which they decided to be excluded from sees things a different way.
  16. AJA Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 1998
    star 4
    If you could choose that your children be any race what would it be?

    Well, you would have to say that you choose the racial makeup of your child when you choose your mate. If I were to marry a black woman, which is something I don't personally rule out, then whatever children we had would be whatever tint they turned out to be.

    Why should we limit the definition of religious freedom? ...and particularly in such a convenient fashion as to allow for the inclusion of a reference to monotheism?

    Again, the problem is that you see it as a limit on the "definition of religious freedom" (which is a dubious phrase in itself), whereas I don't.

    If you're talking about the point I raised about the difference between what the First Amendment says and the concept of "separation of church and state" which does not appear in the Constitution, it's a flimsy argument. Some judge could also claim that there's a right to commit murder, or a "right to free potato chips" implicit in one of the Amendments.
  17. xian-me Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2002
    I speak as a tiny, tiny, minority. [bi-racial female; there aren't many of us around!]

    People need to stop looking at it as black and white. Not in racial terms, but in the sense that whatever the majority wants/votes, the majority wins/gets, and the opposite for the minority. There comes a point where you have to find the medium. Most of the time, there are good points AND bad points to every arguement. If you could bring in peacekeepers [in a diplomatic sense] who could remain objective and calm, then you could reach a solution that works for everyone. Both sides HAVE to give in to the other side. If they want to pout after that, fine, but in this situation, a greater amount of people overall; practically everyone, will be affected.
  18. DARTHPIGFEET Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2001
    star 4
    I wish that could happen as well Xian Me. However it's human nature to be greedy and want power, and mankind since we have been around have always enjoyed keeping certain groups of people down in the gutter for whatever reason. If we could change human behavior then you would have a chance at what you spoke of about different sides coming together and finding that medium range. The fact is you will have your radicals on both sides who will never accept anything except absolute and total victory of their agenda.

    "Some people in the latter group need to understand that although they have every right to choose to be in the minority and should not be stigmatized, they also have to accept that they have chosen the less-taken road, and not take offense that the majority from which they decided to be excluded from sees things a different way"

    Couldn't agree with you more on that Darth Fierce. It's like the catch 22 of wanting to take the road less traveled.
  19. AJA Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 1998
    star 4
    Just to clarify my comments- what I've been saying here is that the minority oppressing the majority is worse than the majority oppressing the minority. That doesn't mean that the majority oppressing the minority is a good thing. It only means that in general, the will of the majority has to be respected, because as Jefferson pointed out, the only way for the minority to impose its will is by force.

    This refers to minorities of opinion, not race or religion. The two may occasionally go hand in hand, but most of the time they don't.
  20. StickyFingaz Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jul 11, 2002
    All the white males complaining, just look at the Senate. Or the cabinet. Or the President. These are the people in power deciding the fate of our country. Unfortunately.
  21. TOUCHPUMP Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2002
    star 1
    So they are keeping you down Sticky? The way I read your posts is another case of the man keeping you down.
  22. xian-me Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2002
    I think it's less the way we're built and more the way we're raised. My mother is an extremely greedy person. She is attracted to power, and wealth. She, and my father [who works in the politcal field], were both largely absent in my pre-pubescent and adolescent formataive years. I basically had no adult to shape my enviornment, and thus have no desire for wealth or electoral power. I got through in life through compromise. If we could only think of a way to pound it through the politicians heads.. when I was little, I used to think that there was a group of people who helped mediate politcal discussions. I grew up and I wish there was. A group of the people, with people from different backgrounds. I can dream, can't I?
  23. cydonia Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 6, 2001
    star 5
    White males should be forbidden to run for office and get elected.
  24. AJA Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 1998
    star 4
    All the white males complaining, just look at the Senate. Or the cabinet. Or the President. These are the people in power deciding the fate of our country. Unfortunately.

    Yes, look at the cabinet...

    ?[face_plain]
    [face_plain]

    [image=http://www.politics1.com/pix/cab-powell.jpg][image=http://www.politics1.com/pix/cab-paige.jpg] [image=http://www.politics1.com/pix/cab-martinez.jpg] [image=http://www.politics1.com/pix/cab-abraham.jpg] [image=http://www.politics1.com/pix/cab-mineta.jpg] [image=http://www.politics1.com/pix/cab-gonzales.jpg]

    [image=http://www.politics1.com/pix/cab-chao.jpg] [image=http://www.politics1.com/pix/cab-rice.jpg] [image=http://www.politics1.com/pix/cab-whitman.jpg] [image=http://www.politics1.com/pix/cab-norton.jpg] [image=http://www.politics1.com/pix/cab-veneman.jpg]

    The President's cabinet is 65% caucasian; 10% less than the percentage of caucasians in the overall population, which is 75%. If you count only the official cabinet departments, without cabinet-level advisors, the percentage drops to 60%.

    White males should be forbidden to run for office and get elected.

    You realize that you just proved the point of the people who were complaining about discrimination against white males, right?

    Of course, you don't care about that, because you're the real bigot.
  25. EnforcerSG Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2001
    star 4
    Just so you know, the type of minority/majority I am referring to in the next paragraphs is the m/m of color or nationality, not of views or ability.

    You know, it just seems like to me that some people don?t want equality. They want to keep the races divided so if someone from their race will get to a place of power, they will get something from it. Weather it be a nice warm feeling, or some sort of pork barrel politics, it just seems that some people don?t want equality between the races. That goes for nearly every group out there, majority and minority alike.

    Arnt we all suppose to be equal? Then why the heck should we care what race, what sex, what color.... people are?

    Yes, we must make sure that one group is not being abused in any way, but again, equality of race.

    I just wish i could figure out for sure why some people want to keep making a big deal over race. Yes it is good to be proud of who you are, but putting too much empfises on it compleatly destroys any pretense of supporting equality.

    Then again, not everyone is equal, but except for the very odd ball physical difference from say whites to blacks (African Americans are less likely to get malaria than Caucasians, but more likely to get sickle-cell anemia for example) race is never a reason why people are not equal. Education is a way people are not equal, work ethic, wealth, ect...those are the things that should be the definitions of minority/majority.

    By the way, I am dead tired, so I hope some of what is above makes sense.
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