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Commentary: Is the United States of America Really A Democracy?


By Kevon Cottrell

Spectrum Staff Writer

Like the great Malcolm X once said “I'm for truth, no matter who tells it. I'm for justice, no matter who it's for or against.”

The word "democracy" means a form of government in which the government derives its power from the people and is accountable to them for the use of that power. In this sense the United States might be called a democracy. However, authentic democracy in the United States would probably trouble the Fathers of the Constitution if they happened to be alive today.

See, people don’t choose the president anyway, but the government wants the people to choose the person they wanted. So the illusion of democracy continues to prevail. The United States of America is not a democracy; the United States of America is a republic. That’s why when people pledge the flag they pledge the flag to the republic.

Ask former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who according to media reports said, "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”

The word democracy is not in the Pledge of Allegiance. The word democracy is not in the preamble to the United States Constitution. The word democracy is not in the constitution. And the word democracy is not in any of the 50 state constitutions.

So, why is the United States of America called a democracy when it’s really a republic? It is the “illusion of inclusion,” the belief that the people actually control its leaders when it does not.

Remember 1865 you get the 13th Amendment which frees blacks from slavery. In 1866, you get the 14th Amendment, equal protection under the law. But the 14th Amendment isn’t ratified until 1868 because you need two-thirds of the states to ratify an amendment.

So what was the legal status of blacks between 1865 and 1868? Blacks were simply residents, not citizens of the United States of America. Blacks today are still residents and not citizens of the United States of America. We tend confuse the word liberty with freedom. Liberty and freedom are not the same thing.

Whites in America have freedom and blacks have Liberty. Freedom is the ability to make decisions without external control. Liberty is the ability to make decisions because an external control gave you the privilege.

On the one hand, you have people doing what they want. On the other hand, you can do what you want to do within these constraints because we still own you.

This is exactly why President Abraham Lincoln emancipated the slaves; emancipation simply means to let go from bondage, and it also means a transference of ownership from the individual to the state.

The United States never eliminated slavery they just transformed it: So ask yourself is the United States of America really a democracy?