King crosses an important line

Opinion

January 16, 2019 - 9:34 AM

The Iowa Constitution states, in an amendment voters passed overwhelmingly in 1998: “All men and women are, by nature, free and equal, and have certain inalienable rights — among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining safety and happiness.”

That language doesn’t say these constitutional rights extend to white people only. It doesn’t say that non-white people should be considered second- or third-class citizens. The language doesn’t even mention race or ethnicity, and for a very good reason: Under our constitutions, state and national, America isn’t a caste society, with rights limited only to a select group. The rights to free speech, to assembly, to happiness, are to extend to all.

To claim that white people are inherently superior to — or deserve higher respect than — anyone else crosses a fundamental line of decency and responsible thought.

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