Truth About Our 'Founding Fathers'
From: Can't Hold My Tongue
The term founding fathers has come to be associated with honor and glory in US society. They are referred to most often when one is lamenting this or that deviation the nation has taken from an earlier, truer, more righteous path established by the Founders. Almost always, I hear this rhetorical device, “the Founders” emanate from the mouths of whites in the US. The evoking of “the Founders” stands as yet another plank of evidence of the pathological nature of our national insanity. The myth of “the Founders” is most easily exposed simply by looking at a few of amendments to the Constitution for which they are so highly and incessantly praised and adored.
The main Federalists, James Madison, Andrew Hamilton and John Jay are heavily credited for providing the basis for what many consider to be a great system of governance, that existing in the US. Mentioned far less is how the Federalists had to be pressured by the anti-Federalists to include what is now known as the Bill of Rights. The Federalists didn’t want it in. Freedom of speech (1st amendment), the right to a speedy trial (6th amendment), the right to a gun (2nd amendment), decree that Africans are human (13th and 15th amendments). The Founding Fathers didn’t see fit for these things to be a part of the Constitution, hence the need to amend it, to add to it later. Look at all the amendments.
I agree that it was indeed wise to include an amendment feature, but the very things that had to be amended communicate volumes about just who the Founders were and what their interests were. They didn’t allow women or non-whites to be a part of the democracy they continually bragged about (and that continues to be bragged about). They created this thing called ‘America’ but then stated essentially that women and non-whites were not Americans. These groups subsequently had to fight for the right to be Americans. They had to fight for the right to reverse their situation created by the Founders. Women and non-whites being a majority of the population, most of the country had to spend years in struggle reversing the situation of exclusion written into law by the Founding Fathers.
If you talk to your average white guy you’ll find extolling the virtues of the Founders, he’ll explain to you that although those were problems the things he finds exciting and in fact extraordinary are all the other things. The fact that a majority of the population was excluded, is but a footnote to him, an ancillary concern. This is instructive as it illustrates how, even after literally centuries of so-called ‘progress’, the mindset of the Founders, those elites, still exists within the average white male in the United States.
Indeed, anyone that finds it within himself to extol the virtue of the Founders inherently sidelines the value of the lives of women and non-whites generally. History allows me to say that without hesitation. We know that the Founders were racists, were sexists, that many of them were enslavers. Knowing all of this, many in the US make it clear that they see these problems as minor. And thus the reality of the problems of today are made clear. The racist, sexist mindset of the Founders continues to resonate throughout US society; culturally, politically. Though progress has been made, it is the citizens of this country with the mindset of the ‘the Founders’ that have, throughout the years, have not advanced progress but instead formed the principle resistance to that progress.
B4B NOTE: Beware of folks who constantly rant that they want things the way the Founding Fathers wanted things to be. This, in many cases is code word for support of the ills and extreme negativity that has plagued our country for centuries.