Round 2: What do you think the founding fathers were thinking of when they penned the words "All men are created equal"?
This is another question that arose in my mind as I debate a jelly on another civilized thread about government, and rights, and laws. It got around to this question and the jelly I’m debating instantly said that they were referring to ethnicity.
I instantly said, “No they weren’t! Because if they were it would have been the height of hypocrisy at that time!” Those guys weren’t stupid!
So, as I’m doing dishes and stuff, I’ve formulated some thoughts on this.
At the time they were British subjects, and the crown had been pretty capriciously throwing down random taxes and levies and tariffs, but just on the colonies. These taxes weren’t applied to British subjects in England.
I happened to watch a biography on Ben Franklin last night (Ben was a man whore! Did you know that?!) and he spent a lot of time in England. Years at a time. He was a fiercely loyal British subject, until one day he was holding court with the King and Queen and various other representatives. He was trying to represent the colonies, However, he found that his thoughts and ideas were dismissed out of hand. Not because of their content, but because he was from America. He was inferior and not worth taking seriously. He realized he would always be treated as a second class citizen just because he was from America.
As the program put it, “He walked in to the court a fiercely loyal British subject, and he walked out an American.”
He got home just in time to help draft the Constitution.
I firmly believe “All men are created equal,” was a slap at the snobbery and the self-assumed, righteous superiority of the crown. The royals were assumed to have the total blessing of God in whatever they did. (“I’‘m God and I approve this message.”)
Our founding fathers said, “Bullshit! They’re just as human as the rest of us! They just happened to be born under different circumstances!”
Now, at the time, the superiority of the white man was unquestioned in their minds. It was…what you call it…yes, self evident. It was SO self evident that they never even had to think about it. It was so assumed, so OBVIOUS, as obvious as water, that they couldn’t even see the hypocrisy of their statement.
In fact, they were probably literally talking about “men” only, and didn’t even mean to imply “women” in the statement. However, since then we have re-worked the phrase in our minds to include ALL people, all races. Which is the right thing to do, even if they didn’t have that in mind at the time.
So, that is why I don’t think the statement had a thing in the world to do with ethnicity.
And what do you guys think?