The law inside the Law

Today in separate groups, Dr. McCoy introduced the fact that after the emancipation proclamation, new laws were invented that would allow free slaves to be forced back into slavery. Once the 13th amendment was made, the first section states, ‘Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duty convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction’ (constitution center) Basically stating, you are a free man or woman, as long as you don’t commit a crime, for if you do, you can be put back into slavery. Outside of stores, there were signs stating ‘No Loitering’, and if someone was seen standing outside of the store (loitering), they could be arrested.

The discussions in our groups today, about which topics resonated with the course title within Home, it was brought up by Grace what ‘vagrancy’ means, homeless, and Frank Money stated as he was escaping the Psych Ward, that he could be arrested for either loitering, being barefoot, or for vagrancy (page 9). Frank was in a mental hospital, but he doesn’t remember how he got there; now Frank is a Korean vet, just out of the war, but he is still being treated lower than dirt, even though he fought for his country. At the Psych ward, his top and jacket were taken, but he still had his pants only because they weren’t effective for suicidal attempts; they took everything he had on him except for his medal (page 8). When thinking of a vet, you immediately think of the respect they deserve for the service they have done for the country, but for Black Vets, they are treated as they were before the war. They are not shown the respect that any vet deserves for putting their lives on the line for freedom. This could be contrasted, for in the novel Home, when Frank is out with Billy from the diner, the police show up, and when the younger policeman notices his medal, tells him to ‘Get lost pal’ (page 37).






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