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If the question is who does the 15th Amendment benefit?, then the simple answer should be the people. Assuming this was the question, the longer answer is that it benefited those people previously denied the privilege to vote because of race, color or servitude. The whole slavery issue in American history is the single greatest flaw in the Constitution of the United States. Before the Constitution there was the Declaration of Independence, which asserted that all people were free to live their life and enjoy liberty in their pursuit of happiness. The Constitution drafted was founded on this principle and yet when it came to the slaves who existed in nearly every state in the union at that time, they were counted, in terms of enumeration in regards to apportionment of state representatives, as three fifths of a person. This bizarre calculation was known as the "three fifths compromise" and it is a product of the "great compromise" which created our bicameral legislative bodies.

The three fifths compromise is what kept slaves from having rights in a country filled with great men who asserted boldly that all people were created equal and were free and in possession of certain rights. The greatest tragedy of the three fifths compromise is that it directly contradicted the original premise of the Constitution. It set precedent for acceptable servitude, and the 15th Amendment, 14th and 13th Amendments all were written supposedly to right that wrong. The 13th Amendment quite effectively takes the first step by abolishing slavery. No one can abrogate or derogate the rights of another, this has been declared self evident. The abolition should have been condition of entering into the union of the federal government being forged. This new democratic experiment was still very fragile (It remains fragile today.) and as a new country it had enemies, England, of course being the biggest threat. Many of those in attendance of the Constitutional Convention believed it was

necessary that all thirteen states enter into this union, for fear that if there were two new governments such as the north and the south, those who lived in the north were fearful that England would seek alliance with the southern government, and the south was suspicious of the north and their abolitionists views and feared a stronger northern government meant trouble for the south. Thus the three fifth compromise was invented and it stands as an infamous example of why we should all avoid making compromises. The South's succession was only postponed, and the war that followed killed more Americans than the Revolution that preceded, the Spanish-American, Mexican-American, World War I, World War II and the Vietnam war combined.

That the 15th Amendment actually benefits anybody is somewhat dubious given that the controversy surrounding the 14th Amendment that precedes it. The 14th Amendment is a crafty piece of legislation where suddenly the very same rights acknowledged by much of the Bill of Rights, or the first 10 Amendments is now granted to those people subject to the United States making them citizens of the United States. Where the 13th Amendment flatly abolished slavery and servitude the 14th Amendment turns around and makes the now freed slaves subjects of the United States of America, and grants them the rights they all ready had. Far from fixing the error of the three-fifth compromise, the 14th Amendment not only kept slaves as a new form of slave, it sought to grant rights to all people "Born or naturalized in the United States..." Grant rights all ready possessed and listed in the Bill of Rights. That the 15th Amendment grants the right to vote for certain people of race, color or former servitude, it does not grant the right to vote to all people of race, color or former slaves as women still could not vote. Instead of using the courts to successfully assert individual rights the government of the people, for the people, and by the people became the government that wrote Constitutional Amendments that would grant rights and equal protection under the law rather than acknowledge that any person regardless of race, sex or creed had the right to life, liberty and property from the moment they were born.

It could be argued that much of the division between Black and White people, or to be more "politically correct" African Americans and Caucasians stems from this error in law and might not exist today if these problems were addressed properly from the beginning. That more black people, populate our prison system than do white people is a fact. Is this a product of black people being made subject to the "authority" of the United States by the 14th Amendment while most white people still enjoyed much of their natural rights? That Black people were granted the right to vote by the 15th Amendment but look at the electioneering today and how politicians manipulate the "African-American" vote by creating wedge issues. Even today we ask ourselves if America is ready for a black President. Black people, or negroid or African-American they are people and while there may be cultural differences between them and Caucasians, the racial divide and institutional racism that quite clearly exists in our "elected government" is a sad and tragic indictment on all of us here in this country. Black people didn't need the 14th and 15th Amendments as they all ready had the very same rights their previous slave owners had, and their descendants are in possession of them today.

The real problem is that we tend to turn towards collectives to right the wrongs we are faced with, but in a purely legal sense black people will not be truly free in this country until they formally and as a matter of public record assert their rights instead of assuming that the Constitution protects their rights. It sadly, does not, and remains the greatest tragedy of our not yet great country today.

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Q: Who does this amendment 15 benefits?
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