After the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments were ratified, collectively freeing the slaves and granting them full citizenship rights (the men anyway), white supremacists concocted various subversive laws to oppress African-Americans within the new mandates of the Constitution. The laws were originally known as the "black codes" and eventually as "Jim Crow."
For example, across the South, draconian statutes were passed against the trivial non-crime of "vagrancy," allowing law enforcement to arrest and incarcerate African-Americans for being unemployed or incapable of proving employment. In many cases, these men were sold to the owners of semi-secretive mining operations or plantations as, essentially, slaves to serve without pay -- in many cases, permanently disappeared from society. But since these were convicted criminals, slavery wasn't "slavery," it was justified as legal punishment for a ridiculous non-crime handed down by a kangaroo court. Other laws, such as literacy tests, poll taxes, segregation and anti-miscegenation statutes followed, and not just in southern states, by the way.
Fast forward 150 years and we find ourselves in a similar situation with regards to reproductive rights. Incapable of overturning Roe v Wade, radical conservatives have devised loopholes to prevent or even criminalize abortions, each of which in some way regulate the basic human right to have purview of ones own body. Faced with an increasingly permanent Roe decision, we've seen countless examples of laws that make it nearly impossible in some states to undergo a constitutionally protected medical procedure.
Rather than banning it, legislatures have decided that clinics can only exist within a certain distance of a hospital; they've decided that women should be forced to have what's known as a transvaginal ultrasound in order to intimidate them against having an abortion; they've decided in some cases to redefine what constitutes a "legitimate" rape; and they've peddled "fetal personhood," "fetal heartbeat" and "fetal pain" laws that are de facto bans on abortion. The endgame here, whether intended or not, is the oppression of women as second-class citizens if not outright criminals committing a so-called "genocide" against the unborn. In this case: Jane Crow.
Sadly, what's past is prologue, and in the face rapidly emerging and long overdue civil rights for LGBT citizens, RedState.com founder and Fox News screecher Erick Erickson posted an article on Friday calling for more state legislatures to pass what are known as Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (RFRAs) before the Supreme Court weighs in on same-sex marriage in June. In 19 states, RFRAs are already law, and additional RFRAs in other states would make it legal to refuse service to gays and same-sex couples based on religious objections to their homosexuality. Last year, Fox News analyst Kirsten Powers (a Democrat) saliently referred to RFRAs as "homosexual Jim Crow Laws."
Totally lacking any self-awareness with regards to the long history of last-gasp religious objections to nearly all civil rights laws, Erickson... CONTINUE READING