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Apples of Fools Gold

What principle and general truth did Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia speak to from the bench of the highest court in our land during oral argument in Shelby County v. Holder? What society or part of our society was he representing when he uttered, among others, these words; “Whenever a society adopts racial entitlements, it is very difficult to get out of them through the normal political processes”. Was he talking about the conditions of servitude that necessitated a Civil War to water ‘the tree of liberty with the blood of tyrants’ then almost a hundred years later with the blood of patriots at the vanguard of a Civil Rights Movement? If not, his words were neither ‘fitly spoken’ or ‘apples of gold’ but rather grotesquely spoken and ‘apples of fools gold’ .

In a personal note to himself Abraham Lincoln embraced the idea that ‘liberty to all’ was more than a principle of a given time.  Guided by Proverbs 25:11 he expressed ‘liberty to all’ as a general truth essential to granting freedom and extending justice to all.  Pivoting on the phrases ‘apples of gold’ and ‘fitly spoken’, Lincoln illuminated the relationship between the Union, the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence thus:

“The assertion of that principle [“Liberty to all”], at that time, was the word, “fitly spoken” which has proved an “apple of gold” to us. The Union, and the Constitution, are the picture of silver, subsequently framed around it. The picture was made, not to conceal, or destroy the apple; but to adorn, and preserve it. The picture was made for the apple–not the apple for the picture.” Lincoln

The Supreme Court is that branch of our government bearing the fruits of its divided (not divine) power in the form of ‘apples of gold’.  ‘Apples of gold’ refer not simply to words ‘fitly spoken’.  ‘Apples of gold’ refer to the principles and the basic truths that words ‘fitly spoken’ articulate.

“Now, I don’t think that’s attributable to the fact that it is so much clearer now that we need this. I think it is attributable, very likely attributable, to a phenomenon that is called perpetuation of racial entitlement. It’s been written about. Whenever a society adopts racial entitlements, it is very difficult to get out of them through the normal political processes.” Justice Antonin Scalia

“…the rhetoric of the American Revolution, which stated that this was an asylum for liberty for all mankind. … had not been put into reality by the founding fathers. They had created a society of white entitlement.” – Eric Foner on the abolitionist vision

scalia-465

What principle and general truth did Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia speak to from the bench of the highest court in our land during oral argument in Shelby County v. Holder? What society or part of our society was he representing when he uttered, among others, these words;

“Whenever a society adopts racial entitlements, it is very difficult to get out of them through the normal political processes.”

Was Antonin Scalia talking about the conditions of servitude that necessitated a Civil War to water ‘the tree of liberty with the blood of tyrants‘ then almost a hundred years later with the blood of patriots at the vanguard of a Civil Rights Movement? If not, his words were neither ‘fitly spoken’ or ‘apples of gold‘ but rather grotesquely spoken and ‘apples of fools gold’ .

Scalia Calls “Duck Dynasty” Decision Unconstitutional by Andy Borowitz

“Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia lashed out at the cable network A&E today, calling its decision to suspend Phil Robertson, the star of the TV series “Duck Dynasty,” unconstitutional, and demanding that it be overturned at once.”

GJ Apples of Gold

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Curriculum Vitae

Tom L. States PhD Candidate

Fields of Interest: Political Theory, International Relations, Marxist Political Economy

Research Topic: eRacism - Conflicts of Difference

Education History: Williams College, BA Political Science; New York University, MA Politics; York University PhD Candidate

Languages: English, German

Hometown: Greenwood, Mississippi

Words of Wisdom: “IT” is what you are when you are young. Your youth mistakes certainty of the few things that you think you know for knowledge of things that it takes a life time to understand. With time and a few life experiences “IT” becomes the thing you pursue to give your life meaning. Somewhere along the way of having or getting “IT” you ask yourself, ‘Is this “IT”? Panic sets in when you realize that “IT” is your life. Fear and insecurity is that feeling you get when “IT” has not been worth a life time.

Bookshelf

Harvey, David. Justice, Nature, and the Geography of Difference. New York: Longman, 1996.

Fanon, Frantz. Black Skin White Masks. Trans. Charles Lam Markmann. New York: Grove Press. 1967.

Cancian, Francesca M. Gender Politics: Love and Power in the Private and Public Spheres. Gender and the Life Course. Ed. Alice S. Rossi. New York: Aldine, 1985.

Sand, Shlomo. The Invention of the Jewish People. New York: Verso, 2009.

Lay, Shawn. The Invisible Empire In The West: Toward a New Historical Appraisal of the Ku Klux Klan of the 1920's. Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2004.

Journal

Carothers, Thomas. Think Again: Civil Society. Foreign Policy Date, (Winter: 1999-2000).

Ober, Josiah. The original meaning of "democracy": Capacity to do things, not majority rule. Princeton/Stanford Working Papers in Classics. American Political Science Association meetings, Philadelphia, (2006).