Natural born citizen

Back in 1856, the US Supreme Court issued what is undeniably the most abhorrent ruling in the Court’s history. That year the American Supreme Court ruled that Americans of African descent who were brought to the US as slaves, as well as their offspring, were not protected by the Constitution and could never be U.S. citizens. The ruling was instigated by the long legal battle of an American slave named Dred Scott (pictured) to buy his freedom from his owner. The ruling came as differences of opinions between Northern and Southern states were growing stronger, and some historians even claim that the Dred Scott ruling was one of the major causes of the US Civil War that started in 1860. After the North won the war in 1865, the United States Constitution was amended in the years that followed in order to fix many slavery-related wrongs, and the 13th, 14th and 15th amendment were added to the Constitution. Among many other things, these amendments annulled the Dred Scott ruling.

You may wonder why we give you this small history lesson, and as the Joker would ask: why so serious? Because we live in the year 2012, and because some Americans still seem to live in 1856. Let us present to you Gorden Warren Epperly, a man living in Alaska who has filed a lawsuit claiming that Barack Obama can’t be president of the United States. This time the argument is not that he was not really born in the US; no, this goes beyond the birther movement. Epperly’s reasoning is the following: since the US Supreme Court never officially retracted the Dred Scott ruling, blacks and mulatto’s (mixed-race) living in the US are still not citizens. You can do the math: Obama is of the mulatto race, so B-Rock is not qualified to be president of the United States, since Article 5 of the Constitution states that only “natural born citizens” are eligible for the presidency.

There’s this old saying, which goes a bit like this: if it walks like a duck and if it quacks like a duck, it probably is a duck. In this case we would say: if it smells and sounds like blatant racism, it probably is. As said, it’s sickening that in the year 2012, African-Americans still have to deal with this kind of bullshit. Probably the best commentary on this story comes from David Wells, a blogging lawyer:

“My legal analysis in brief: this is crap. In fact, any excessive amount of scrutiny of what it means to be “natural born” as it pertains to the presidency really didn’t come up at all until a black guy with a funny-sounding name got elected president. Don’t insult yourself, America, or humanity by trying to claim that racism is not a factor in all of this.”