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William Jackson

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Who Fights for Our Constitutional Rights?
by William Jackson   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Monday, July 05, 2010
Posted: Monday, July 05, 2010

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It is about our rights granted by the Constitution of the United States of
America we all are granted. When rights are denied the ACLU can be
contacted to see where those rights may have been overlooked, abused or
denied.

In honor of our past July 4th 2010 Celebration

Northeast Florida Chapter of ACLU
by William Jackson, M.Edu

It is about skin color, age, gender, race, cultural heritage, economic
circumstance, social poverty and political status. It is about social status, sexual orientation, educational attainment or lack of educational access, our good health or disabilities.

It is about our rights granted by the Constitution of the United States of
America we all are granted. When rights are denied the ACLU can be
contacted to see where those rights may have been overlooked, abused or
denied.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) despite erroneous perceptions
is a guardian and voice of our nation’s liberty. It’s presence can be seen and felt in our courts, legislatures and communities as individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantees everyone.

Rights denied, historically the ACLU is there to guard them for ALL of us. The rights include, but are not limited to:
Our First Amendment rights - freedom of speech, association and assembly;
freedom of the press, and freedom of religion.
Our right to equal protection under the law - protection against unlawful
discrimination.
Our right to due process - fair treatment by the government whenever the loss of liberty or property is at stake.
Our right to privacy - freedom from unwarranted government intrusion into
personal and private affairs.

Those denied rights are often minorities or special segments of our population who don't have the strength in numbers to protect those rights. Those that need these rights protected are usually individuals that have historically been denied rights such as people of color (not just Blacks); women, children,those of cultural differences, lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people,
disabled veterans and those with disabilities.

These are not unique individuals, but our children, brothers, sisters, cousins, parents and in some cases grandparents. The realization for the protection of our rights is not understood until they are violated. Viewing history at the denial of rights in other countries those who fled tyranny have tragic stories.

These accounts should hearten us to be thankful for the Constitutional Rights
we have at times taken for granted. Roger Baldwin, Crystal Eastman, Albert DeSilver and others formed the
ACLU in 1920 recognizing the rights for all and to guard them. These rights were established from the Founding Fathers of this great nation. There are those who try to deny rights from members of our society. The efforts can be seen when issues
are addressed such as racism, sexism, homophobia, religious intolerance, and censorship. Rights were denied to millions in the historical travesty of World War I and II when Germany and their allies and Japan sought world domination.

Many who survived the holocausts of these wars and their families reside in this country. These families have earned citizenship and understand the imperative nature to the power of liberty and justice. Even the current global conflicts of today, those of other countries are granted opportunities to start new lives here, pilgrims to a new world that embraces them, but in some cases deny rights granted by the Constitution. In form or fashion all cultures of this country have gained from the existence of the ACLU.

Attending an ACLU meeting I was enlighten that there is a isconception of the focus of this organization. Looking across this meeting room I see men and women who value our rights as free citizens. This is not a misconception, but a reality, they value our rights to the point of putting their lives at risk for those whose faces they do not see, but whose voices cry out from acts of discrimination, denial of religious freedom, violence against sexual orientation or threats of violence because of differences.

Those in attendance are on equal ideological footing and their passions to keep what others have died to establish as the guiding principles of this county. There is “In God We Trust” on our currency, other religious statements in and on our federal buildings, schools, and courtrooms, but make no doubt that this country is not based on religious values. This country is based on values and principles from a consensus and procedural efforts from an electoral process and a living Constitution. Dynamic and culturally diverse organization ACLU embraces ideologies from diverse backgrounds and respects each of the attending member’s unique abilities, cultures, professions and experiences. They are a representation of their cultural heritages.

The focus is of the Constitutional Rights of the United States and its citizens. The Constitutional rights that Blacks, Whites, Hispanics and other cultures have and still are seeking equality for. There should not be a misperception about our
freedoms. Our rights provide the opportunity for honest and open dialogue.
Encourage the equal participation and opportunities for all citizens in our country.
The ACLU is more than judicial procedures and lawsuits to the upholding of our Constitution. To continue to be a free country the ACLU fights for everyone’s civil liberties. The general public may not agree with the issues being presented by various groups, but the public must understand that all persons are entitled to their
constitutional rights as free speech, the separation of church and state and other issues that allow us to practice religious freedoms in a free society.

The Constitution is what binds us as a country and solidifies our nation. Separating us from other countries that do not embrace the freedoms that we have, but a guiding light to those cultures that are transcending beyond past traditional mental, spiritual and psychological enslavements that have been practiced for hundreds or thousands of years.

Membership is a cultural representation of the diversity that is evident throughout our country. There are other organizations that address the “rights” of citizens, but these are groups with varying scopes, values and visions. The NAACP, SCLU, Urban League, Rainbow Coalition, HRC and other groups only helps to emphasis that efforts are still needed to battle racism, denial of religious freedoms, denial of basic human rights and privileges. Growing diverse cultural society and budding population there is a continued need for the ACLU because of its specific focus on constitutional rights, civil liberties and rights as stated in the Bill of Rights for all U.S citizens.

The ACLU a non-profit and non-partisan organization and has more than 500,000 members in our nation. No governmental funding is received so the pressures and hullabaloo of governmental influences that are enforced or embedded in other groups even religious entities does not under lay in the ACLU.

Society is changing demographically and socially with the increase of foreigners obtaining U.S. citizenship. These new members of our society have earned the rights to be here so must be provided equal treatment under our Constitution. One of the stipulations to be a citizen is to learn the Constitution and the ability to intelligently understand those rights. The pushing forward of our Gay, Lesbian and Transgender citizens who have been denied equal rights. The restoration of rights for those who were incarcerated, issues with enforcement of ICE and the issue of racial profiling are current focuses. Incarcerated members of society have earned their freedoms from time served, but have to fight to have their

Constitutional rights such as voting to be restored. The ACLU is to support rights of citizens, not to judge the choices in lifestyle decisions or judge past mistakes or choices. One of the aspects of a successful and modern 21st century organization is to change and adapt to variation in citizens needs and the organizational structure of its group. Young people are encouraged to participate so they can understand their roles in
society as they grow in maturity and encourage out of the box or creative thinking.

To be an effective agent of change there needs to be the access to tools that support change. The ACLU provides resources that carry young people to the next step of being agents of positive and effective change for a better society. Young adults should understand that the work in our society can only be accomplished through education and empowerment. How can a society that embraces a living constitution not embrace an organization that looks beyond a person’s outward appearance, an organization that will continue to help those whose constitutional rights have been denied or violated? An organization that still stands by its principals, morals and values established years before. When rights are denied, violence, insurrection, war and terrorism are not options. Looking at other countries and the results of lawlessness,chaos and destruction of lives. Our constitution guides our country and protects our
civil liberties like no other nation.

The views and opinions in the writing are strictly the authors and not associated with this hosting service.
 



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