Posted by Kathy S on July 26, 2000 at 22:53:06:
In Reply to: Re: The unenviable fates of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence posted by Kathleen on July 26, 2000 at 19:14:10:
: : Those men, in ideals AND in DEEDS,proved themselves to be a remarkable bunch.
: : They had not instituted slavery, and many did their best to put a stop to it. Slavery was an abomination of its times, and practiced worldwide. In fact, in many corners of the world, today, it is still practiced. Neither were they instrumental or personally the cause of, the tragedies the native inhabitants of this land had to endure. Further, the shoe always fits the other foot. While the American Indians (in general) certainly espoused many a great thought, philosophy and mysticism, being human, if offered the chance by destiny, their warlords would have happily invaded Europe and massacred its inhabitants to give themselves more lebensraum.
: : Until we stop blaming one race, one nation, one gender for all the wrongs which befall us, until we look in the mirror and exclaim: I have seen the enemy, it is I! WE, members of the beings we call homo sapien, shall never reach full potential and forever remain locked in the circle of cause and effect.
: : Thank you for your time.
: : Vita bows out.
: : It is the IDEALS, not necessarily the DEEDS, these great men set forth that make us a great country. They were mortals, like you & me, and far from perfect, like you & me. What they did is set the ground work for greatness ... all WE, and those who have come before & those who will follow, have to do is live up it. No easy task, but ...
: : :
: : : : Ok, so many of the guys who signed the Declaration of Independence got the short end of the stick, and yes, they did risk a lot and lost a lot as a result of their actions. However, you cannot avoid seeing the irony of the situation. Here are these "gentleman" of wealth and power who sign a document that leads to revolution and the creation of a new country. Ironically enough, this same country for which these men "...who gave all they had that they and others would be free" turns around AND literally obliterates all that Native Americans had so that that they (Americans) may have all their (Native Americans')lands and the natural resources to be found on these lands. At the same time, this same country that was born out of the bloodshed of revolution, then turned around and and said that Freedom was not meant for Blacks, Native Americans, Mexicans, Chinese, etc. Seen in this light, these men paid a small price compared to the price paid by those who became the victims of Manifest Destiny.
: : : : Don't get me wrong, the signers of the Declaration of Independence did a great many things that resulted in the country we have today, but you cannot weave such a heroic tapestry of what these men did and sacrificed and not acknowledge that there is a seamier side to the tapestry if you just flip it over and see the "other" sides of the story. You have to admit that the fates of many of these peoples were equally if not more unenviable than that of the signers of the DOI.
: You have to remember that the DOI was a beginning, an outline for a new Nation to build on and that could be changed with the times and the people as they evolved. It wasn't written with the oppression or destruction of any one people in mind.
: We may not be PERSONALLY responsible for what has happened in the past 400 years but WE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR TODAY AND OUR ACTIONS OR INACTIONS IN MAKING THIS NATION ALL IT CAN BE SO THE FUTURE GENERATIONS, WHILE MAKING THEIR OWN MISTAKES, CAN ALSO MAKE BETTER CHOICES...
: We must also remember that to be an HONORABLE NATION WE MUST HONOR OUR PROMISES...TREATIES TO NATIONS OF PEOPLE WHO NEVER SURRENDERED IN THEIR HEARTS!
: Stay Strong with Love, Kathleen
The drafter of the Declaration, Thomas Jefferson was a slaveowner, and a strong proponent of agrarian society which meant gobbling up frontier. So it's unlikely that he would have any notion about the long-term effect of his words. And it's unlikely that most of the the signers would have expected it either, but the words "all men are created equal", are probably the only ones most people today can quote from the Declaration of Independence. That clause is so profound because it's like a bullseye from an archer who wasn't aiming at the target. Some of the signers may have meant "all men" in the universal sense, but others just meant white men who owned land. Yet, because those words WERE included in what was basically a list of complaints against the king, those important words have always been there to speculate about, debate over and eventually helped bring about change.
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