The bell rang and I dashed out the classroom and downstairs to the locker room to don my running gear as I told the track coach I was not going to make it to practice that day. (I can imagine his confusion given the fact I was dressing to run when I was telling him I couldn’t.) I emptied my back pack a kept a pad of paper and a few pens and darted out the back door. Our in school library was awful, I had to go to high school library; it stayed open until 6:30 on most days, later if the chess club was in there.
The run was up hill and against the flow of the larger, lazier students descending not only from the high school, but for many of them, in life as well. By the time I arrived the last of the high schoolers were trickling out of the main door and down the stairs of the building that more reminiscent of a castle than the public institution of lower learning that it actually was. The library however, was nothing less than spectacular to an eighth grader looking to prove an obnoxious teacher wrong.
I was after the Tillman Act itself. In particular the why behind the Tillman Act. The campaign finance reform that brought the Tillman Act to life was a dark and sorted tale of hate. The Tillman Act sought to financially silence a corporation’s political intentions because they favored Blacks at the time. Politicians were threatened by the fact that a company could dig into their pockets and aid the campaign of a candidate that was supporting a pro Black agenda. The Democrats of course despised this and enacted the Tillman Act in order to maintain their agenda that excluded as many Blacks as possible… to make a long story short.
I was shocked. I was further shocked to learn of the anti Black agenda Democrats were so notorious for. And completely dismayed that my father was a Democrat. That night I wrote the PJ version of a position paper (not knowing the correct format at the time) and handed it to Ms. Davis as soon as I walked into class the next day. She started the class by reading it aloud. Midway through she began to falter. Like many Americans, she simply did not know the origins of the Tillman Act of 1907 and supported it only because it currently existed. She like far too many teachers today, was there to teach was existed, not why it existed, nor whether if what currently existed was right or wrong. A classic example of how schools fail our youth and how our youth fail themselves by not self educating beyond the realm of these oppressive curriculums.
It has been amazing these past weeks. Almost incredible when this same argument is back on the table and shocking that the Supreme Court has actually done the right thing for the right reasons; despite the Liberal and even Conservative lack of popularity. Obama was pleading for an amendment to the Constitution citing this Act has been in place for “over 100 years.” Not whether it was right or wrong; but due solely to the fact it is a huge hindrance to the Democrat agenda – as it has always been. Disgraceful on a personal level, but that’s a completely different discussion.
In my youth, the consequences of such an action could not be seen as far as over turning this act. Clear as day is the concern of special interests. Just as Ms. Davis demonstrated her inept abilities and I sat in an empty library that should have been full due to the youth of America refusing to take that extra step, much could be lost to such a decision. There are things that exist now that did exist when I was such a spirited eighth grader that can be of great benefit to this ruling. Campaign finance disclosure is one of them. A simple click of a mouse these days will tell you everyone who has contributed to a campaign. Special interests will be seen from a mile away and the candidate can be directly challenged on this. Of course this requires effort and that is where the problem lies. Americans are lazy and tend to blindly follow in the worst of ways and can easily fall victim to a highly advertised campaign.
We have reached a point in our destiny that as Americans the free ride is over. Being American now means that one must be responsible, that one must self educate and that one must understand what they want before they ask for anything. Gone forever are the days of birth rite protections of freedom and liberty, clearly they are being robbed before our very eyes each passing day. It is equally clear that if we unitedly do not control our understanding of the candidates and the interests backing them through this decision we all stand to lose not just freedom and liberty, but can easily become enslaved to corporate machine propelling an agenda of equity over constitutionality. Two foes were born of this, the new Liberal agenda and now the political empowerment of special interests. Both have to be kept in check through thorough self education.
Just as I stated as a virile youth, the decision is a constitutionally sound one; it just may not be in our best interests. Accepting or rejecting it is done through understanding what lies beneath the campaigns. I would argue that had there been an Obama 101 course that educated Americans on his writes, his voting history and his previously stated comments on his long term goals; he would have lost 75% of his support. Ignorance is now the enemy more than ever before. Conquering it is now our collective responsibility.
More than one hundred years later, the oppressive design of the Tillman act has fallen victim the Constitution that is was born to circumvent. More than one hundred years it took. Race however, was hardly the issue. From this political posturing is born and our nation’s first “black” president is defending it. Can’t help but to appreciate the irony.