Name: Zakary M.

School: Sheridan High School

Age: 12th

October 15th, 2021

What does the US Constitution mean to me?

In the Constitution, the first section of the 15th amendment states that “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” The second section adds that the Congress has the ability and power to enforce this right by article of appropriate legislation.

The amendment had passed in 1869 and was ratified in 1870, giving African Americans the right to vote. Despite the ratification of this amendment, the late 1870s still saw discriminatory practices being used to prevent Black citizens from exercising their right to vote, especially in the South. It wasn’t until the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that legal barriers were outlawed at the state and local levels if they denied African Americans their right to vote under the 15th Amendment.

As everyone else in America, African Americans should get the right to vote. Not only just voting, but people of every race, religion, political orientation, and nationality should be granted the same rights as anyone else in the United States. Too often in America there is racism and it’s viewable on the news almost daily. Such as recently, white cops killing black citizens, antisemetic violent crimes against Asian Americans because of people believing they brought the corona virus to America, and the issues with people understanding the struggles of Native Americans on reservations. People shouldn’t be profiled and denied their human rights guaranteed by the constitution because of their beliefs, skin color, or lifestyle. It’s unconstitutional, and I believe that people should take more time to walk in someone else's shoes before profiling. On top of that, there should be more aggressive laws to restrict racist demonstrations and segregation.

When ratified in 1870, the 15th amendment had granted African Americans the right to vote, meaning they would be contributing to the election of public officials, people that would represent them in Washington, and a president that would be the ruler of the expanding country of the United States. Just because it was ratified doesn’t mean people followed it. Just like today, there is still racism and people that are against the rights of people that are a race that isn’t their own.

There are other amendments that had laws passed to make them more modern, such as the second amendment, and I believe that this ability should be used for other amendments that, in my opinion, are a bit more important to civil life than the ability to own a firearm. I firmly believe that there should be laws passed to protect all races and creeds from being segregated against and profiled by another race.

Since the passing of the 15th amendment, it was an issue of being able to participate in the elections of public officials and people that would watch over the land and people. Time has proven that it’s not just an issue of voting, it’s an issue of how people treat said races, creeds, and colors. People need to be held accountable for racist demonstrations and should be punished more aggressively than they are already.