What Rights Do We Have As Americans?

Posted by Ahmiah M. Pennsylvania

The rights of most people living in the US weren’t fully honored as much as the Constitution said it would. One right that is not fully honored is the right of having equality in this country. Till this day many African-Americans still suffer from racism.

What rights should people living in the US have? Here is a question that many non-citizens have while living and working in the United States (U.S.). I believe that if you live in the U.S., you’re entitled to all the rights provided by the United States Constitution.  During the Reconstruction, this idea of “equal rights” was demonstrated when they passed the right of the 13th Amendment, “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

The 13th amendment shows that during the Reconstruction Era slavery wasn’t allowed unless it was punishment for a crime because it was considered inhumane. This example shows that if you live in the US then you are was entitled to all the rights that the Constitution states that citizen will have. Similarly, events in modern times illustrate that people living in the US should be treated equally. However, we run into some walls as being equal in the US.

For example, the freedom to worship as you wish has caused much conflict in the US such as accusing many Muslims as terrorists. In recent history, as I just stated many Muslims were accused of being terrorist. This event shows that people are being judged by who they worship but anyone living in the US should be able to do as they please when it comes to religion. Also, anyone living in the Us citizen or not should also have the right to freedom of speech.

During the Reconstruction, there were laws that stated that no matter what race you are and what role you played in the Civil War you would be allowed the right to vote. The right to vote was very important during that time because it allowed you to make sure your voice was heard and also for your opinion to be included on how you think the government should operate. Even though, slaves weren’t required to vote until they were actually considered citizens they still had a mind of their own and that’s one of the main reasons why the law was passed for African-Americans to vote.

These events share many commonalities because they show that the rights of most people living in the US weren’t fully honored as much as the Constitution said it would. One right that is not fully honored is the right of having equality in this country. Till this day many African-Americans still suffer from racism. Even though in the 14th Amendment ” it forbids states from denying any person "life, liberty or property, without due process of law" or to "deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” Meaning that no one living in the US citizen or not should be restricted the basic rights of US citizens or other persons.

In conclusion, the basic rights of people living in the US are the Amendments but most of the rights are not fully reached by our government. We as a nation need to come up with a plan to change that!

Sources:

“Primary Documents in American History.” 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: Primary Documents of American History (Virtual Programs & Services, Library of Congress), www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/ourdocs/14thamendment.html.                         

“13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: Abolition of Slavery.” National Archives and Records Administration, National Archives and Records Administration, www.archives.gov/historical-docs/13th-amendment.                                                                         

Published on Mar 22, 2018
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