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IPFS News Link • Constitution

Law Prof Wants To Scrap US Constitution's "Racist" And "Gendered" Language

• by Maria Copeland

Richard Albert, a professor of law and government at the University of Texas-Austin, denounced the Constitution in an op-ed for The Hill published Tuesday, saying that "its gendered and racist words stand in the way of true reconciliation in this divided country and have no place in any modern society."

Albert cites the 13th Amendment as an example of racism in the Constitution, saying that although it abolishes slavery it still includes the Fugitive Slave Clause; which, remaining in the Constitution, is "a painful reminder of America's original sin."

The Constitution's language also discriminates based on gender, Albert says. It uses exclusively male pronouns when referring to the presidency, he points out, admitting that this did not prevent Hillary Clinton from running in 2016, but suggests that the first woman to be elected to the House of Representatives -- Jeannette Rankin (R-Mont.), 100 years prior to Clinton's candidacy -- faced disapproval merely because the Constitution's language only allowed for male leaders. 

"Imagine how schoolchildren must feel when they read the Constitution in their basic civics course. Some will be made to feel less than welcome in their own country...

The highest law of the land creates a hierarchy of citizenship."