Letter: Why should history matter? | SteamboatToday.com

Letter: Why should history matter?

Our past history defines what we do in the present and what the future will look like. Hopefully, we learn from our past actions and decisions and don’t repeat the same mistakes.

Unfortunately, today there is a group of citizens who want to rewrite our history to match a set of false alternative beliefs that agree with their views and opinions. This has led to a major division in our country between reality and these false narratives.

The Constitution stated, “All men are created equal,” but that did not include the landless, poor, Blacks, women, indentured servants, Native Americans and Hispanics.

Our Constitution also suffers from the original mistake of compromising democracy to form the 13 independent colonies into the United States. The framers of our Constitution had admirable intentions, but to attain a “more perfect union,” they had to appease the Southern states: allowing slavery, counting each slave as 3/5 of a person to be represented in the population (but they had no vote), not providing social, educational or health services to their slaves, and two senators per state, which was not equal representation.

After the Civil War ended, federal troops were sent to protect all the constitutional rights of ex-slaves, but when they left, white Southern mobs killed blacks, ransacked and destroyed all vestiges of ex-slaves’ participation in a democratic government. These actions were repeated all over the South and are known as Jim Crow law.

The prosperity that ex-slaves began to develop would have allowed them to pass that wealth onto each generation in the form of housing, education, jobs and health, but that was ripped from their grasp.

As a result, presently, the average Black family may pass $16,000 to the next generation, while the average white family passes on $150,000.

Today, conservative states are npassing voter suppression bills, new election laws and anti-riot protest bills that enhance police power, gerrymander voting districts and place more barriers to prevent African Americans from participating in our democracy. Some call this Jim Crow 2.0.

We live in a pretty homogeneous and liberal state in Colorado, so why should we care?

Two reasons to care: These conservative state legislatures are passing laws that decide congressional representation at the federal level and change Electoral College votes in a presidential election. “For The People Act” needs to be passed in the Senate. Contact Sens. Michael Bennet at 202-224-5852 and John Hickenlooper at 202-224-5941, and ask for their support.

John Spezia

Steamboat Springs

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