Free Write #6

I think Stanton chooses to be in dialogue with the entire Declaration rather than just the constitution because she explicitly states the idea behind setting forth the institution of a new government which is the essence of the Declaration. She discusses how if any of the rights discussed in the document are forfeited, the ones who are suffering have the right to refuse allegiance. If she were to just discuss the contents of the constitution, there would be all of the rights and truths of the Declaration left out. She mentions what is said in the Declaration then does not exactly correlate to women now. In actuality for women the rights stated in the Declaration are almost looked over. There are certain statements that do not include women but now that women are expected to be looked at as equals in this new age, as citizens women can and should demand the admission to all rights and privileges. Simply put, the Declaration is written for citizens of the country and if women exercise the habits of being a citizen, they should receive the privileges as well. This is almost the exact argument that Allen had because she felt as if the Declaration was for citizens then, it is the same for today now. Even though there were certain groups of people excluded from the Declaration at the time, now they are citizens of the country and should be treated as such.

I Never Thought of it That Way…

First and foremost, I would like to give credit to my fellow classmate, Ed Pipestem, for so wonderfully pointing out to me an idea on inclusiveness. Ed, pointed out in his first essay that Americans with prefixes or hyphens (e.g. African-American, Mexican-American, Native American, etc.) do not fully accept themselves as being American. After reading his thesis in a peer review session, it stuck out to me that even white people could technically have a hyphen. Truthfully, they came from Europe (and stole this land) so why is it that we don’t refer to white people as European-American? I find it disheartening that a people that came to a different country, took the land of the existing inhabitants, brought over other people from their own country and used them, and so much more can find more connection to being called American. Indigenous people shouldn’t feel like they aren’t apart of this society, they were here first. African-Americans sure as hell shouldn’t feel out of place considering their ancestors literally built this country from the sweat of their backs. It is really strange that white people feel more entitled to America than the people that lived here first or the people that built the country with their hands. Yet, somehow this is true.

I also think that people with prefixes or hyphens feel like they should not feel super connected to calling themselves American. It’s like they feel as if they’re betraying, neglecting, or ignoring their heritage or culture somehow. That’s partly how it is for me anyway. However, I feel like I should not be ashamed to claim who I am. I should be the exact opposite; I should be proud.

Is She Serious?

Danielle Allen is out of her mind and in the black community, we would say that her black card is officially evoked. You mean to tell me that she finds patrimony in the Declaration of Independence, a document written by white men that would have wanted nothing to do with her unless she were his slave, and she liked the document enough to write a whole book over it? She is delusional. I personally felt almost betrayed like she was the Uncle Tom of this day and age. I really thought it was impossible that ever in this lifetime I would begin to feel deeply connected to the document because of what this woman wrote in her book.

Now looking back, I’m thinking, “I should’ve been thinking this way a long time ago!” She is absolutely right, that document IS mine and nobody can tell me different! I do what I need to do in the community, I pay my taxes, I’m working towards the American dream and abiding by the law (i.e. being a citizen) so I should indeed feel apart of the “we” the Declaration refers to. In the the end I really appreciate and respect Allen for doing me this service because before, subconsciously, I was putting myself in a position that was below the rest of the non people of color and felt like that was somewhere I belonged.

Going Back to the Basics

How did I end up in this specific class? Well, I kept putting off taking Comp II and started needing it as a prerequisite. I was late to enrolling and could not get into a Comp II class, so, I ended up taking and Expository class instead. At face value, I ended up in this class just by chance because of requirements that needed to be met. Beginning with free write two, considering free write one was really just expectations, I began to become somewhat passionate for being in this class in this particular semester with the racial incidents that surfaces. Initially, I just wanted to be in the class, complete my writing assignments, and get out. To begin, I did not think I really cared about truly getting to depict citizenship and what it really means. However, the passion that I had for free write two evoked some sort of epiphany in me that made me realize that I should really freaking start paying more or closer attention to the true definition of citizenship. It hit me that being an AFAM minor, I could begin to connect what I’ve learned within my minor to this very class. The very thing that made me come to this conclusion was in free write two when I wrote, “Our expectation to fill the “citizen” characteristic is fine when it is on us to do what is right but when it comes to being treated like a citizen, someone that deserves respect, we are no longer fully accepted.” 

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