Corporate personhood trumps human rights

Charlie Smith
AFFA, Charleston

The 14th Amendment was adopted to ensure the constitutional rights of freed slaves and their descendants after the Civil War. There have been roughly 325 federal court cases relative to this amendment since that time. Nineteen of those cases have actually had anything at all to do with a human being. The remaining 300 or so cases have been part of the ongoing corruption process that grants “personhood” to corporations.  

“Corporate Personhood” is the legal concept that grants most of the rights of natural living, breathing citizens to corporations. Under our constitution US corporations are allowed virtually every right of human beings, including such rights as the right to marry.

This “marriage/merger” concept which flies in the face of “traditional marriage” is openly embraced by conservatives who will freely grant to a profit-making business what they flatly refuse to grant to millions of our living, breathing LGBT citizens. Did anyone hear a single conservative objection when half the major banks in our country eloped with the other half in 2008? Even corporations like Blackwater and Halliburton are allowed to serve openly in every branch of our military — unlike thousands of living breathing gay and lesbian citizens who still serve and suffer under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

What we have discovered over the course of the past year is that along with our “constitutional rights,” human persons also have the obligation to serve time in prison and in some cases be executed when they break the law. Corporations have somehow managed to avoid that unpleasantness.

In the wake of last week’s decision in the Citizens United case, corporate rights of personhood will now also include the right of corporations to buy politicians and elections with no limit on the corrupting power of their contributions. This is because corporations as “persons” must be granted free speech. This free speech right is in addition to their corporate “human right” to marry and their corporate “human right” right to serve openly in the military.

Does anyone see the irony that corporations have now been granted more “Human Rights” by the Supreme Court than millions of our own anatomically HUMAN citizens have been granted? After the last two years of outrageous corporate arrogance and greed, why is it that we have done absolutely nothing to strip those rights from corporations, yet we strip those very same rights every day from our very human LGBT soldiers and citizens?

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