This I Believe

Jackeline - USA
Entered on May 4, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
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We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America…

When I take a look at the Preamble I often ask myself just what each right and liberty means to me. A “more perfect union” to me is where people are not judged by race and that everyone is given the same opportunities and equal protection of their rights and liberties. Making sure that everyone in the nation is treated equally and that laws that are passed will benefit the people is my interpretation of “justice and general welfare”. Protecting the security of the people from war and other conflicts is what I believe “providing the common defense” and “domestic tranquility” should be. For the most part I feel that these ideals are protected by the laws and rights in the Constitution. But I think it is the people themselves along with the government that are responsible for guaranteeing these rights. Unfortunately, there have been some shortcomings in the past and even presently they still exist.

History proves that immigrants and African Americans were not guaranteed certain rights, just for the simple fact that they came from different places and that their appearance and skin color was different. Blacks were basically denied the rights to live as regular citizens in the United States. They were segregated in schools, had to eat in different restaurants, and their opinions were not worth much in society. Their “general welfare and tranquility” were not protected because they were victims of hate crimes that caused many innocent deaths. It was not until African Americans united for a common cause and put the Civil rights movement into effect that the government and other citizens in the United States realized that Blacks should be given the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.

A present issue where I feel that citizens’ rights where not upheld was the victims of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. Most of these people were left with nothing and government aid was not quick in arriving and helping these people. They were left to fend for themselves in the midst of their tragic loss. This was certainly an infringement of their “welfare and defense” and most importantly their rights as human beings to be helped when they are in need.

However, there are times where the ideals in the Preamble are upheld. I think that a clear example of providing “for the common defense and domestic tranquility” is the war against terrorism the United States if fighting. After the September 11th attacks the security of the people was threatened but fortunately the government acted quickly and decided to go to war to protect the nation from any future attacks.

I feel that this nation and the Constitution will try to protect its citizens’ rights and liberties but because we are human and have different beliefs and views this will not always be possible.