December 8, 2013
“Avoiding Gross Ignorance”
Before taking this class, it was my understanding that our Constitution was an extremely influential document still used today and often cited the Constitution as a basis for rights of the people. Like many others, I use the “Constitution” as a protection of rights etc., but have never really read the Constitution. After reading Howard Zinn “Some Truths are not self-evident”, it is clear that the Constitution had some grand ideas but didn’t address many issues such as women’s rights. I was also under the false impression that the Constitution was integrated into our legal system somehow and was enforceable. But as Zinn pointed out, there is nothing enforcing the constitution or consequences for violation of the amendments. I found the following quote to be the most impactful: "The Constitution, like the Bible, has some good words. It is also, like the Bible, easily manipulated, distorted, ignored, and used to make us feel comfortable and protected." Howard Zinn, Some Truths are not self-evident, pg. 112.
Howard Zinn also pointed out that some of the most impactful changes in history came about due to social uprising and not the Constitution. Because at the end of the day, the Constitution is just a piece of paper. Really understanding the Constitution has helped me in understanding not only my rights as a citizen but the history of those rights and how they were obtained.
Before taking this class, I knew very few avenues for voicing my political concerns and opinions. I now feel a sense of encouragement for making my opinion known. Specifically by means of nonviolent direct action and civil disobedience. Martin Luther King described nonviolent direct action so well when he said "Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to...