The Inconsistency in Our Democracy
One of the unfortunate aspects of America is its deeply rooted racism, notably located in the Deep South. We have had this issue infiltrate our conscious thoughts as it eeks out of our unconscious actions. What we have to learn from how the Civil Rights movement began is that it was pushed by foreign relations that made us question whether or not our constitution was perfect or not.
Nazi Germany & Ethics
One of the better-known atrocities of the Nazi party in Germany was its relentless attacks on people of non-Aryan ethnicity. They viewed people that were different than this as lesser. We know today that this does not make much of a difference as to the possible success or the morality of an individual. With Nazi Germany falling, we knew that much had to be changed to how we viewed racial discrimination.
The U.N. & Foreign Relations
The treaties were signed and charters were written to amend the mistakes that led to the rise of the Nazi party. These treaties and charters served as international guidelines in which to avoid tyranny. With this said, in the years following World War II, many newspaper articles in France, Germany, Austria, and Belgium criticized the U.S. for its lack of racial equality (Sloss). This is what the U.N. is for. It is to make sure we are all united in our effort to progress humanity closer together in ideological policies that would put forth a net positive in the outcome. There was much pushback from judges in the U.S. that believed in American Exceptionalism. However, the issue is that the United Nations wasn't built upon the ideas of American Exceptionalism. In fact, the more equal, the better, in the eyes of the U.N. (Sloss). This is where foreign relations guilted America into adjusting its amendments to include people of all colors, races, or ethnicities in its protections.
Equality of Potential Exceptionalism
In this world, it is vital to our democracy that each and every person be allowed the opportunity to better their lives. This is an idea that has aided humanity into entering the Agricultural Revolution and the Scientific Revolution. We all have potential within us to be better, but sometimes the governments above us decide otherwise. It is up to the people to demand the right to the pursuit of happiness. While the constitution is not perfect, we can take this idea into many facets of life. We must allow all people the ability to pursue their dreams. This does not guarantee every African American or Caucasian American will be successful. It does not ensure every woman will feel purposeful. However, it does allow us to chase our freedoms and our inner purpose. What do we want our lives to look like? What would they look like if we allowed ourselves to start chasing our dreams? These are the questions we can only ask when we are equal in our potential to be exceptional. We are a society of potential exceptionalists, and it's very important we allow this potential room to grow.
How Do We Find Ourselves?
We have to first set up a foundation of beliefs we abide in no matter who tries to tell us otherwise. Societal norms are not always ethical. Societies are little experiments in our world, just like how our constitutions are experiments. We have to experiment to see how we end up and so far this American experiment is working out well. With the guidance from the United Nations, we can hold each other to a level of scrutiny for not acting as we preach. We can find ourselves through reflectance on who we are, what we want to stand for. What do you want? What do you have right now? These are the questions that only someone in a free society can ask. So if you do not ask yourself these questions, maybe you aren't as free as you thought you were? And if you are not as free as you once thought, now is your opportunity to change. You can change, just as civil rights changed, and neither seemed like plausible ideas before they happened. What we all have within us is the ability to adapt. This becomes reflected in our ability to form groups and civilizations that every once in a while making huge leaps and bounds towards a utopia we collectively desire. What was possible yesterday should never be a limitation for today?
We have to keep asking ourselves these questions, because questions sometimes lead to answers, whereas answers without question lead to tyranny.
Sometimes freedom is far exceptional to always tyranny. So let's focus on sometimes being exceptional, and always being curious, and this all begins when we allow ourselves to continue to think differently.
- How International Human Rights Transformed the US Constitution. (2016). Human Rights Quarterly, 38(2), 426-449.