Charles Peterson on Corporate Personhood

Here’s something else inspirational. I’ve been in communication with Mr. Peterson. He is a City Councilperson in Oberlin and Associate Professor of Black Studies at the College of Wooster. This is what he said when voting in support of a Resolution to abolish corporate personhood and money equaling speech. The Resolution was adopted by Oberlin City Council in February.

“The movement to abolish the ‘citizenship’ status held by corporations is one of the unheralded battles of our historical moment. Under the guise of freedom of speech and the protections of the 14th Amendment, corporations have slowly expanded their control over not just the economic life of the nation but its political life as well. Recognized as having the same rights as individual citizens and the protections offered by the Constitution, Corporate ‘citizenship’ asserts its asymmetrical resources against the common holdings of the every day citizen. Corporate ‘citizenship’ brings to bear its extraordinary reach, biases and reserves against a political system whose integrity is only maintained by the access of those same common citizens. It is a cruel irony of history that the amendment to the constitution which guaranteed freedom, justice and democratic participation to 4 million former slaves turned citizens, would become the foundation for the degradation of freedom, justice and democratic participation for every US citizen. As both a private citizen and public official, I support a constitutional amendment that abolishes citizenship rights for corporations. As the Supreme Court”s decision on Citizen’s United v. FEC demonstrates, this issue will determine whether government of the people, by the people and for the people, will endure.”

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