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The 14th Amendment


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Been listening to a very interesting programme on BBC Radio 4 about the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution. It is a piece of documentary reporting that is well worth listening to if you can access it. You can find it here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07lg6j8

Listening to it gave me an insight into some of the historical background to the political issues in the United States that many of us over this side of the Atlantic find difficult to understand.

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Thanks for posting this topic, Nigel.

I think this is a very well done program, covering both sides of the equal rights issues, primarily if you are born in America (the U.S.A.) you are automatically a citizen regardless of who whether your parents are citizens or not, and the Citizens United suit brought to and passed by the Supreme Court granting corporations the same rights as citizens ("personhood").

There was a girl interviewed on the program who was born in the U.S.A. to parents who were illegal immigrants. She said that in school the 14th amendment wasn't covered. When I was in middle school (6th through 8th grades) the Constitution and all 14 amendments were covered in depth in my history classes. But I live in California and she lives in North Carolina. The difference in what is taught in schools varies from state to state depending on whether the state leadership is conservative or liberal. California is liberal/progressive; North Carolina is very conservative.

The impact of the 14th amendment on other issues was also covered in the program, particularly the granting of rights to LGBT persons and the right of same-sex marriage. Other current issues including sex-specific or gender-specific restrooms for transgender persons was covered.

Hearing this program in high school U.S. History classes would provide useful discussion points. I'm going to recommend it to the high school district.

Colin :icon_geek:

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Thanks for pointing this out, Nigel. It gives a pretty good overview of the amendment's history and the implications of how it is used. I suspect it might confuse some listeners because it repeatedly mentions the Republican Party without explaining that the party has 'evolved' over the ensuing years. And the Citizens United issue could have some major league impact on the 14th that the presentation only obliquely addresses. Nonetheless, I'd bet not a lot of American kids learn even as much about the 14th as we hear in this presentation. Good stuff.

In exchange, can we now tell you what's wrong with the idea of monarchies? :wink:

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