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The United States’ Constitution, while it may not explicitly discuss race in detail, has echoes of race throughout both its language and its history. Even during the origination of the Constitution, the inclusion of slavery was a hotly contested subject among the authors of the Constitution. The United States’ Constitution only uses the words “race” and “color” once and that is in the Fifteenth Amendment, which essentially gave black Americans the right to vote. While the US Constitution may not explicitly talk about race much, I argue that race is a present theme throughout the Constitution as well as behind many decisions regarding the language of the Constitution. While the Fifteenth Amendment may directly address the issue of race and voting rights within the United States, I believe that the history of the Fifteenth Amendment and its subsequent implementation and tests in the Supreme Court need to be further examined to truly understand the context of the Fifteenth Amendment in American society. The Fifteenth Amendment, while being a moral statement and a push in the right direction, was toothless in its implementation when the federal government usurped their own ability to enforce the amendment in states that were more hostile to its implementation. Not only do the explicit mentions of race within the Constitution need to be examined, but so do the amendments and the context of the Constitution’s authorship that are most relevant to the issue of race and slavery within academia today.

The DRC is one of the most chronically understudied countries on the African continent even though it is the second largest in size on the continent, and this is in part due to the immensely complicated issues that threaten the DRC. I have chosen to focus upon the mining operations of Western companies not only to limit the discussion for the sake of length, but also because it is the most easily influenced of all the predicaments facing the DRC. The mining corporations that oversee the harvest and exploitation of Congolese minerals within the nations could be influenced by transnational legislation and international governance, which oddly enough are the easiest and least dangerous forms of reforms to assist the DRC in its continuing decolonization efforts. An additional difficulty I have faced when writing this paper is the lack of a cohesive social media presence within the country to rally against continuing neocolonial mining efforts. This is because the issue of mining decolonization has become an issue that has been popularized to the Western world by Western reporting and academia, rather than from movements and advocates from within the country. Much of the DRC does not have access to the Internet, nor do many who are affected have the means and safety to express dissent from their situations. Throughout this paper, I will express the problems that the DRC faces in regard to Western mineral extraction from the DRC but also provide commentary upon the ways that the problems in the DRC vary from similar problems across Africa, specifically in relation to Nigerian oil extraction and South African diamond mining. While the DRC has seen little publicity about mineral extraction within the country, both Nigeria and South Africa have seen more publicity concerning their respective industries and have taken varying actions regarding their industries.


This class paper was presented as part of the History course, Race, Law, and Social Change (HIST 4743), taught by Dr. Myra Houser.



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