Your Papers Please
Identification cards, driver’s licenses, birth certificate and passport please. These documents are required in various combinations to conduct certain business transactions, travel internationally, and ascertain the identity between persons nationwide. By and large, this system of identification is accepted and the issuing authorities deemed credible, to maintain the integrity of a basic and necessary function of law and order in today’s society.
Matching the physical appearance of the cardholder to the picture on the card is probably the most obvious element used to authenticate the accuracy of the document presented when asked. Only common sense is required by the person making a cursory examination of that certificate to verify the information contained therein. The confirmation process is determined by the activity in which the user seeks to participate. The purchase of a firearm demands a higher level of scrutiny than the initiation of a mobile phone contract.
Membership in particular organizations such as social clubs or retail discount outlets, for instance, require identification to participate in the activities of that group. Private clubs may impose limits on membership while public organizations are less restrictive in their recruiting efforts. In the case of political activity the affiliation with one group over another is the choice of the voter with “official government registration” not being a requirement of participation in party politics. In the matter of politics one’s activities are determined by the interest level of the member and the goals of the party itself.
Short of the aforementioned necessities for ID, compulsory association with any organization is contrary to the basic freedom afforded all citizens under the Constitution of The United States. Further, lacking seditious, treasonous or other illegal acts, joining or not joining any political party is the option of the citizen. Those type acts should and rightfully so, be investigated and if warranted prosecuted, to protect the country and the rights we enjoy. Over the course of American history, differing groups and in particular blacks, have been prevented from exercising the right to participate in the electoral process. The result of war, human tragedy and legislation erased those immoralities and reaffirmed personal expression for all Americans.
But did the once ill-favored population forget the tribulations experienced by the silencing of their voices? Because it is considered at the very least odd, and at the extreme traitorous to hold a conservative political opinion and be a black person in America, are blacks now employing the same tactics used by their persecutors to muzzle the disparate views of fellow citizens who happen to be of the same race? Routinely, gestapo-like tactics are used to dissuade the rogue thinker from speaking about the many alternatives to the accepted standard of democratic ideology. That standard of what is acceptable and expected is not to be violated if good standing, in not just the party, but also remaining a credible member of the black race is desired. Even an expression of curiosity to investigate the possibility of individual prosperity and freedom through conservatism is met with a doomsday scenario, depicting the end of all things compassionate. If the heretic should persist with such madness, personal condemnation, vilification and isolation are next in order.
More importantly, what is also lost in the dictate to conform, is the original plea by the once enslaved to have the ability to express their individuality and not be classified as a monolithic class. What has changed in the minds of a people from before the civil rights era until now? The desire to assert one’s humanity by virtue of independent thought and action was indeed the core of the effort in securing the right to vote for blacks. Once secured, the overseers of those rights have failed to allow the proper implementation of them by the intended beneficiaries.
Instead of a legal document insuring a sacred free expression of one’s thought and petition to be governed by his own will, the voter registration card for blacks have morphed into the fetter of self-censure.