Constitutional Citizenship in America
By C. Herbert Oliver
April 30, 2010
What is the Constitutional citizenship status in America of persons of African-American descent?
Are we citizens? No, because the only part of the Constitution upon which our citizenship is supposed
to be based – the 14th Amendment – is itself unconstitutional.
According to the Constitution of 1787, amendments must be proposed by two thirds of the states in Convention and ratified by three fourths of the states in Convention. Following this method of procedure, and after ratification, a
proposed amendment becomes part of the Constitution. No such procedure was followed with reference to the 14th Amendment. Twelve of the former Confederate states refused to ratify the 14th Amendment, and three
Northern states withdrew their ratification. This made the ratification of the 14th amendment impossible. But the Northern states ousted the former Confederate states by military power and installed new legislatures in those
states, and those new “legislatures” ratified the 14th Amendment.
Since such a procedure is not provided for in the Constitution, it was all in violation of the Constitution. The Tenth Amendment states that: “ The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
The Constitution did not delegate to the United States
the power to write and enforce amendments, nor to define citizenship. And since the United States, under the reconstruction Congress, usurped a power not delegated to it by the Constitution, and defined citizenship in the 14th Amendment, such usurpation and definition are not
It follows, then, that persons of African-American descent ARE NOT CONSTITUTIONAL CITIZENS OF THE
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
1. Are we illegal citizens? No, because there is no such thing as an illegal citizen.
2. Are we naturalized citizens? No, because naturalized citizens come willingly to these shores. We were brought here in chains.
3. Are we immigrants? No, because immigrants come voluntarily.
4. Are we illegal immigrants? No, because even illegal immigrants come voluntarily.
5. Are we aliens? No, because aliens also come voluntarily.
6. Are we illegal aliens? No, because illegal aliens come voluntarily.
7. Are we domiciled aliens, or domiciled residents? No, because they are here voluntarily.
8. Are we legal residents? No, because our residency in America has never been made legal.
9. Are we illegal residents? No, because we did not break any law by coming here.
10. Are we just plain residents? Yes, in the sense that we reside on land originally belonging to the original inhabitants.
We are without Constitutional citizenship in the nation created under the
Constitution of 1787, the United States of America .
What is the Constitutional citizenship of all other persons in America ?
Are they citizens in the Constitutional sense? In order to answer this question we must go back to the Constitution of 1787. That document does not define who citizens are, nor what a citizen is. The Declaration of Independence does say that “These United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, Free and Independent States,” but there is no definition of a citizen in either the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution of 1787.
The word “citizen” is found eleven times in the Constitution of 1787, but there is no definition of a citizen. Please note that the Bill of Rights (the first ten Amendments to the Constitution) does not mention the word “citizen” at all.
And in the remaining Amendments (11 through 27) the word citizen is used six times. The 14th Amendment was the first attempt of America to define a citizen, and it failed Constitutional procedures and Constitutional ratification. This leaves us with a most somber realization – that there is no Constitutional definition of who citizens are, not what a citizen is in this great country.
IN FACT, CONSTITUTIONAL CITIZENSHIP DOES NOT EXIST FOR ANYONE IN AMERICA.
A closer look at the 14th Amendment brings to light some observations overlooked by most historians. If the 14th Amendment attempted to define citizenship as based on one’s being born in the United States, and if the 14th
Amendment is not constitutional, then there is no basis whatsoever for citizenship in America. It can only be said that American citizenship is not based on birth but on “assumption.” In reality, the 14th Amendment abolished the assumed “citizenship” of the founders of the country. That assumed citizenship was based on being born in the colonies, or in the states that were coming into existence, and not being conferred on them by a government not yet
in existence. The 14th Amendment would make them citizens of the United States FIRST, and then citizens of the states in which they RESIDE, not in which they were born. That is a very strange twist indeed. It completely
eradicated the assumed state citizenship of the founding fathers. Indeed the creature became the creator.
By contrast, when one reads the French Constitution of 1791, one finds a most exhaustive definition of French citizenship outlined in detailed under 10 separate headings. Nothing was left to assumption, or even imagination.
What is the Constitutional citizenship status of naturalized citizens of the United States?
Naturalization regulations require that those persons desiring to become citizens of the United States must be vouched for by two citizens of the United States . If there are no true Constitutional citizens of the United States, any such vouchers are not constitutionally valid.
Could all of the above considerations mean that the “citizens” of the United States are not really citizens of a free country, but still subjects of the English monarchy? Was the break with the mother country complete, or in word only. The Treaty of Paris of 1783 brought a close to the Revolutionary War. But it was written by King George III. How does the “loser” in a war write the peace treaty
to conclude that war?
Nothing short of a Constitutional Convention can remedy the problems raised in the above
Rev. C. Herbert Oliver
341 New York Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11213
demanding reparations and asking for dual citizenship and I shudder and cringe each time. WE MUST BE
EXTREMELY CAREFUL about demanding such things without knowing the full meaning of either. We will
seriously cut ourselves out of trillions and trillions of financial remunerations and other repayments such as full and equal citizens' rights under any law if we are not careful. Essentially, we will cut our own throats. Dr. Robert Brock told us years ago how to litigate for reparations. Keep in mind that the first thing is the apology. It gives us a LEGAL ground to stand on. Some have finally realized that an apology is NECESSARY. Secondly, we must recognize that we are NOT citizens of these United States. Let us continue to pursue a United States of Africa but requesting dual citizenship could very well be our death knell for reparations crafted by own hands. Work with the African Union just as the Sixth Region Diaspora Caucus SRDC, African Unity of Harlem AUH, United Negro Improvemnt Association UNIIA-ACL and others are doing to change Africa's policies regarding the African Diaspora, particularly the "African American" Diaspora, internally and effectively. The AU must also be educated about their role in an INTELLIGENT demand for reparations and about just who we are! We are a nation without land and Africa should provide us with our own sovereign region/area/state, which I say must be a part of our reparations demand. The land provided must be financed via reparations to set up the infrastructure. Again, this is only a component of the reparations settlement, not the whole. We were not taken from desolate places. Our homes were viable and thriving. Our family, community, political, economic and spiritual structures were intact and functioning. All of that MUST BE RESTORED and MUST BE A PART OF OUR REPARATIONS DEMANDS. Sis. Iman Uqdah Hameen, Sixth Region Diaspora Caucus, SRDC/NY Well said Rev. Oliver! Continue to express this!! Those in positions to do so (lawyers, professors, veteran activists, celebrity Pan African scholars) have not come to this conclusion and/or disseminated this information YET!!! Again, Sis. Iman Uqdah Hameen,SRDC