On May 26, on the floor of the Louisiana House of Representatives, state Rep. Barbara Norton attacked the Declaration of Independence, calling it a “lying” document since it stated that all men are created equal while many were still in slavery when it was written. It appears that Norton’s knowledge of history is quite lacking.
Prior to the declaration and our forefathers declaring our independence, several of the American colonies desired to abolish slavery, but the king of England would not allow them to do so. As long as they were colonies of England, they were to have slavery.
When the declaration was signed, all the colonies had to write their own constitutions. In doing so, seven of the 13 colonies immediately outlawed slavery. This could not have happened without the Declaration of Independence.
Among the signers of the declaration, there were more anti-slavery individuals than there were pro-slavery ones. But the declaration threw us into war with the strongest military force on Earth at that time.
The debate over slavery had to wait until the Revolution was over, and the Constitution, which united the colonies into a nation, was written and ratified, giving us a form of government.
But by that time, the tables had turned, and there were more pro-slavery members of Congress than anti-slavery members.
Yet the debate did not stop. Great abolitionists like John Quincy Adams and others kept the battle going until the Emancipation Proclamation gave freedom to all.
The Declaration of Independence was a milestone in the battle for freedom for all people. If the Declaration of Independence had not been signed and acted upon, the freedom we now know may have never occurred.
It should be noted that Martin Luther King Jr. referred to the Declaration of Independence often in his speeches as the foundation to bring about true equality.