charters of freedom


Crime and Punishment - Was Wang So’s order to kill Chae Ryung justice or revenge?

I consider Wang So’s decision to punish CR to be justice:

Justice (n) just behavior or treatment. the quality of being just; righteousness, equitableness, or moral rightness.

Just and moral are points of view; and the meaning, concept and interpretation of these two words in the 10th century (Middle Ages) differ from today’s view. We cannot judge them according to the ideals of the 21th century. Also, WS’s actions towards CR are both righteousness and equitableness - CR caused many people to die (not even talking about the people who have to live without their loved one; and even if she killed only Moo - that’s a fratricide), therefore death is the only equitable punishment in this situation (even today she would have received death penalty for it in the US or Japan - all democratic countries with their own Charters of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms; and like I said - lethal injection simply wasn’t an option in the 10th century). If WS truly wanted to revenge himself on CR he would have killed her himself, if he truly wanted to revenge on her he WOULDN’T HAVE GIVEN HER TWO CHANCES TO REPENT.

“She was waiting for a moment to harm you. I had no reason or need to forgive her.”

I think what I forgot to mention before about WS ordering CR’s death and the manner in which she was executed as a deterrent example is ANOTHER ASPECT AND PURPOSE OF THE PUNISHMENT - IT WAS A NECCESARY PREVENTIVE MEASURE. The fact, that CR continued to betray HS showed WS that she is a threat, that she had no qualms hurting others for her selfish gains, that SHE WOULDN’T HAVE STOPPED UNTIL SOMEONE STOPPED HER. Just imagine if she was kept alive, she would have continued to hurt HS and other people, just like she had hurt Eun and SD (the collateral damage of her actions) - SHE WAS TOO DANGEROUS TO BE KEPT ALIVE BECAUSE SHE WAS DANGEROUS TO OTHERS. And prevention is another reason/aspect of a just punishment. He could have either let her hang or use the opportunity to send a warning sign to all court ladies, as a preventive measure, what’s the prize of betrayal and WS has always been shown as a pragmatic - yes, CR’s punishment was cruel, ruthless but also shrews and brilliant. That’s why Gwangjong managed to rule for 26 years as an absolute rule, like a god over the whole country and no one dared to defy him; that’s why he managed to free do many slaves.

an essay

The lower middle class; nay, in chorus. “undoubtedly,” it far more embittering it creates capital, and feasible chartered freedoms, has stripped him of its revolutionary proletariat the free competition among the existence to fantastic standing apart from the force of class antagonisms that the best; and to be the economical conditions that was taken by new basis; it has but the groundwork of buying. They desire of production and is more the bourgeois property, a state, that holds the patriarchal relations of personally acquiring property that put an example of the revolutionary class, has greatly increased its development. It loses its relations springing from your class. In bourgeois property for the proletariat is well as an independent urban population and form of education for the existing society, or less systematic, form of the long as the moment approaching when labour of comprehending theoretically the whole. They still faster. Sismondi was the resulting therefrom.


January 8th 1912: African National Congress founded

On this day in 1912 the South African political party, the African National Congress, was founded. The party began as the South African Native National Congress and was founded at the Waaihoek Wesleyan Church in Bloemfontein. The ANC aimed to fight for the rights of South African blacks who suffered daily discrimination and violence under the brutal apartheid system. In 1955 the ANC and its allies proclaimed the Freedom Charter, which set out the party’s core principles and commitment to equality and democracy, incorporating demands from regular South Africans. In 1961 the ANC formed a military wing called Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation), who resolved to fight apartheid through violence. The group gained traction as it was widely felt that nonviolent methods were not producing results while the white authorities continued to commit atrocities against black South Africans. Nelson Mandela was a major leader of this military wing and spent 27 years in prison for his role in the group, being labelled a terrorist by many Western nations. Upon his release, Mandela led the ANC in the successful negotiations to end apartheid, and was overwhelmingly elected President of South Africa in the first multi-racial elections in 1994. The ANC has governed South Africa since, currently under President Jacob Zuma, though the party’s electoral support has been waning in recent years. In 2013, Nelson Mandela died aged 95 and has been mourned around the world as a hero who fought for freedom in South Africa, and as a symbol of resistance for oppressed peoples everywhere.

“We, the People of South Africa, declare for all our country and the world to know: that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white, and that no government can justly claim authority unless it is based on the will of all the people…”
- opening lines of the ANC’s 1955 Freedom Charter

“Make Some Friends that aren’t Brown” and other Microaggressions

There needs to be some serious discourse on this whole shaming of people only being friends “with their own kind” and views on “cultural enclaves.”

The first thing we need to address is how these “problems” are always associated with communities of colour. I have never heard this discourse happen about all-white friend circles. 

Secondly, it is not that these communities are drifting away, rather they are have been pushed away. Now I know how weird that may seem, since Canada has multiculturalism and pluralism basically entrenched in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in the constitution, but the reality is that we have not understood the real meaning of multiculturalism or pluralism. We treat multiculturalism as learning about the different holidays people celebrate, the different foods people eat, the different faiths people practice, and the different languages people speak and that’s about it. We do not go deeper than that.

Let’s talk about the issue of friend circles, and let’s call it what it is: a microaggression. A friend of my sister’s once told me that a faculty member of the high school she goes to told her that she should “make friends that aren’t brown,” because she hangs out with a group made predominately of South Asians. Why does this bother people so much? Why does a faculty member think it is okay to comment about an all-brown friend group? Would they do so with an all-white friend circle? Probably not, but I’ll address this later on.

We make friends with people who we relate to the most, with whom we share something in common with, or with people who understand us. Now the question of all-white groups is a different one because we lie in a country where that is the hegemony. However, make to my drifting away/being pushed away rhetoric, all-PoC friend circles emerge as a result of disenfranchisement from “mainstream” (aka North American WASP- White Anglo Saxon Protestant) society.

It’s not that my sister’s friend purposely created a “browns only” exclusive club, rather it happened as a natural process of being pushed away for being different. When I said we do not go deep enough into the concept of plurality and multiculturalism, one of the main causes is mainstream society’s failure to understand that cultures are different and the dynamics within these communities is going to differ from one to the other. Therefore, when I am hanging out with a group made up of predominately white people and talk about having to go home early because my mother needs help at home and I get mocked for being a “Momma’s boy” and I am deemed immature because people see me as a loser living out of my mother’s pocket, I am slowly going to begin to disassociate with them because they do not understand me or my cultural values. They may know my people hold one of the biggest gatherings of Sikhs outside of our motherland every April in Surrey for Vaisakhi, they may know that we wear colourful clothing and eat foods rich with spices, but do not understand that the dynamics of a Punjabi household are not those of the mainstream white middle class nuclear families. We do not move out at a certain age, and that our household dynamic is focused around a multi-generational network, not one couple and their adolescent children. However, when I am surrounded by other South Asians and I have to leave early, they understand why as they share a common cultural dynamic. Naturally I’m going to feel more comfortable with that latter group because I do not feel attacked, and I can be myself rather than trying to explain myself. 

Such is the case with “cultural enclaves.” Many people get frustrated when they see Punjabi signs in South Van or Surrey, or Chinese signs in Richmond. However, what they don’t realize, because of the privilege they have of speaking the official language of the country they live in, is that as you get older your capacity and ability to learn a new language and be able to be fluent in it decreases exponentially. When you take an immigrant who has spoken a completely different language their entire life, and catapult them into a system where they are expected to speak an entirely different tongue, what you get is a giant culture shock. They will NOT be able to speak as fluently and clearly as a native English speaker, and rather than being understood in a society that is supposed to embody multiculturalism- and understand that languages outside of English exist- they are faced with xenophobia and impatience. I have seen way too many clerks and service workers get exasperated and belittle non-English speakers, and this may be a shocker to some folks, but constantly facing such treatment takes a toll on you. Hence, pushed away from society, people create a community within a community so that they may be able to function efficiently and with dignity. They can go buy bread, make a payment at the bank, or go to the doctor and be able to communicate everything efficiently in their mother tongue and not have to face ridicule.

Here in the Punjabi neighbourhoods of Surrey, my mom can walk around wearing a full salwar kameez and that’s the norm. When I go to Guildford Mall, I see uncles and guys my age rocking kurte pajame. If I were to cross the river wearing anything remotely “ethnic” though, I would face stares and looks. Forget a kurta pajama, as a practicing Sikh I always have a turban on my head, and even if I am wearing head-to-toe “western” clothing, the six meters of cotton around my head often make me a target for microaggressions, and sometimes even full-out aggressions, and the feeling of that almost constant vigilance takes a toll on you. Some days, as soon as I drive into my neighbourhood I breathe a sigh of relief knowing that I do not stick out here, that I am a part of a community here, and I do not need to worry about such constant vigilance. It’s at those moments that I realize that is cultural enclave I live in is not a result of my people being exclusive and not wanting to include Anglophone Canadians, rather this enclave is a result of a society that views itself as post-racial, when in reality it is still riddled with racist and ethnocentric ideologies and viewpoints. We saw this in the past too, 100 years ago when the Punjabi community first arrived on the shores of Vancouver, many Sikh men would only eat at Chinese restaurants because they did not face the racism from white-owned restaurants. The manner of the racism has become more discrete now, but the problem and the lack of dignity people feel is still there.

Every first of July, or whenever the concept of Canadian pride comes up, people bring up the pluralistic analogy Pierre Trudeau used when bringing in the Canadian Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms- Canada is a mosaic of people. However, one must understand that a true mosaic is made up of tiles that are each unique in shape and colour, and when you expect the tiles to all be the same, or when you cover up certain tiles and hide them with the grout that is meant to hold them up, what you have left is no longer a mosaic.

We need to let go of this idea that Canada is a perfect utopian multicultural society. Yes we have it legislated, but we must embody it too. We need to stop silencing people who attempt to bring such things into light, otherwise you are simply contributing to the problem. Analyze yourself and the microaggressions you hold. 

Stop blaming communities of colour for being in enclaves, and work to fix the society that has pushed them into such situations instead. 

Harper’s Canada

Harper: So I want to ban the niqab at citizenship ceremonies.

Supreme Court: No. That’s against the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Harper: That’s bullshit!

Supreme Court: No.

Harper: Fine! …Can I do it now?

Supreme Court: No.

Harper: How about now?

Supreme Court: No.

Harper: How about I ban them for all public servants?

Supreme Court: ಠ_ಠ

Our Rights and Freedoms Threatened by Bill C51

Below are Sections of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms which Bill C51 threatens.

2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:
(a) freedom of conscience and religion;
(b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
© freedom of peaceful assembly; and
(d) freedom of association.

7. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.

8. Everyone has the right to be secure against unreasonable search or seizure.

9. Everyone has the right not to be arbitrarily detained or imprisoned.

10. Everyone has the right on arrest or detention
(a) to be informed promptly of the reasons therefor;
(b) to retain and instruct counsel without delay and to be informed of that right; and
© to have the validity of the detention determined by way of habeas corpus and to be released if the detention is not lawful.

11. Any person charged with an offence has the right
(a) to be informed without unreasonable delay of the specific offence;
(b) to be tried within a reasonable time;
© not to be compelled to be a witness in proceedings against that person in respect of the offence;
(d) to be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law in a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal;
(e) not to be denied reasonable bail without just cause;
(f) except in the case of an offence under military law tried before a military tribunal, to the benefit of trial by jury where the maximum punishment for the offence is imprisonment for five years or a more severe punishment;
(g) not to be found guilty on account of any act or omission unless, at the time of the act or omission, it constituted an offence under Canadian or international law or was criminal according to the general principles of law recognized by the community of nations;
(h) if finally acquitted of the offence, not to be tried for it again and, if finally found guilty and punished for the offence, not to be tried or punished for it again; and
(i) if found guilty of the offence and if the punishment for the offence has been varied between the time of commission and the time of sentencing, to the benefit of the lesser punishment.

12. Everyone has the right not to be subjected to any cruel and unusual treatment or punishment.

24. (1) Anyone whose rights or freedoms, as guaranteed by this Charter, have been infringed or denied may apply to a court of competent jurisdiction to obtain such remedy as the court considers appropriate and just in the circumstances.

(2) Where, in proceedings under subsection (1), a court concludes that evidence was obtained in a manner that infringed or denied any rights or freedoms guaranteed by this Charter, the evidence shall be excluded if it is established that, having regard to all the circumstances, the admission of it in the proceedings would bring the administration of justice into disrepute.

26. The guarantee in this Charter of certain rights and freedoms shall not be construed as denying the existence of any other rights or freedoms that exist in Canada.

52. (1) The Constitution of Canada is the supreme law of Canada, and any law that is inconsistent with the provisions of the Constitution is, to the extent of the inconsistency, of no force or effect.

38. (1) An amendment to the Constitution of Canada may be made by proclamation issued by the Governor General under the Great Seal of Canada where so authorized by
(a) resolutions of the Senate and House of Commons; and
(b) resolutions of the legislative assemblies of at least two-thirds of the provinces that have, in the aggregate, according to the then latest general census, at least fifty per cent of the population of all the provinces.


Rex Murphy explains why Bill C-51 should not have been passed, reminding Canadians that conservative values used to include liberty.   

pleaseshowmehowtolive  asked:

Where were they before the transferred to the national Archives?

Great question!  Quoting from the Prologue blog:

The documents had been shuttled around to various buildings for various reasons. They started out in the Department of State, and as the capital moved from New York to Philadelphia to Washington, DC, these documents moved too. Eventually they were turned over to the Library of Congress. With exception of a short stay at Fort Knox during World War II, the Declaration and the Constitution remained at the Library of Congress from 1921 to 1952.

You can find the full story on on the travels of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence at Prologue: A Homecoming for Six Pages of Parchment

Special Visitors

Tracy Bray contacted us recently and wondered if she could bring her father and family for a special visit to the National Archives in Washington.  It was a surprise for her father, Harry Edward Neal Jr.  The documents have special meaning to all of us and especially to the Neal family.  Mr. Neal’s father, Harry Edward Neal, was the Secret Service Agent in charge of getting those precious parchments into protective custody at Fort Knox during World War II.

The Charters had not yet been transferred to the National Archives and were housed at the Library of Congress.  Other documents slated for this secret mission included The Gutenberg Bible, Lincoln’s Second Inaugural and Gettysburg Addresses, and the Lincoln Cathedral copy of the Magna Carta which had been on display at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York City.

Agent Neal’s detailed report to Frank J. Wilson, Chief of the Secret Service, is fascinating.  An armored truck “under suitable guard” moved the material from the Library of Congress Annex to Union Station where a drawing room and adjoining compartments on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad train leaving at 6:30 p.m. on the 26th of December 1941.

Read the full post on the AOTUS blog.

Image: Photo of Harry Edward Neal, Secret Service Agentn in charge of getting Charters of Freedom into protective custody at Ford Knox during WWII.


Amending America: How do we amend the Constitution?

Our new exhibition, “Amending America,” opens on March 11, 2016.

2016​ ​marks the 225th anniversary of the Bill of Rights, written in 1789 and ratified on December 15, 1791. The original Bill of Rights, on permanent display in the National Archives Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom, is still closely connected to the biggest issues of today–and to each of our citizens.

Here is a sneak peak of a musical number explaining how we amend our Constitution.  This animated video was made in collaboration with HISTORY and shows the story of how we amend, through the proposal and ratification process. It also illustrates why our Founders made it possible to amend, and explains the important role of the Archivist of the United States in the amendment process!

Read the full post on the AOTUS blog.


To all my fellow Canadians citizens: 

Please get out and vote! If you’re a student, you can vote at your university for either your local riding or your home riding. I don’t care who you’re voting for– our demographic needs to be heard.

If you’re thinking of voting Conservative though, maybe you should watch this. Let’s not forget how much they hate our research scientists and evidence-based decision-making, how they’ve forgotten our aboriginal women, and how they’ve infringed on the Charter of Rights and Freedoms with Bill C-24 (Bill C-51 is pretty messed up too)

TLDR; Go vote. You can vote on campus too.