Jack wrote this in December, 2005:
Last night I was re-reading some of A. Grove Day’s, Coronado’s Quest. It’s a middling good history of the Spanish conquest of the American Southwest and the earliest encounters between Spaniards and Amerindians in the unexplored reaches north of Mexico.
In 1537, Pope Paul III issued a Papal Bull declaring that the Indians were human and that they couldn’t be enslaved or driven off their lands without the folks doing it having to fear excommunication from the Church. This represented a considerable inconvenience for the Spaniards, who had a lot of work that needed doing and didn’t want to have to do it themselves.
Mexico already had a population of black slaves almost as large as the population of Spaniards, but getting more was an expensive problem involving capture and transportation, whereas the local Indians were easier to get at, so they had to find ways to circumvent the newly discovered human status.
Reading all that got me thinking. Nowadays we’ve mostly all been declared human. It’s lost the moxie it once had. Almost no protection to be found anymore in just being human.
Seems to me what’s needed now is something akin to an endangered species status to get things going more along the lines his Holiness intended for the American Indians (but didn’t quite achieve).
Okay. A person kills a bald eagle or a whooping crane, he’s going to do some serious time. But if that same person kills a mere human being, it’s two-to-five. That’s provided the person he kills isn’t a police officer. Police already enjoy something akin to an endangered species status when it comes to getting himself killed. That’s in spite of the fact that the cop shops in this country are growing almost as fast as the prisons. (Not to mention their exclusive retirement systems and special health care systems comparable to those gravy trains the US Congress gives itself).
No. What I’m talking about is something the man on the street can benefit from, along with his family. Something to keep the wife and kids from getting shot on a street corner. That sort of thing.
Something along the lines of a Papal Bull declaring particular sorts of people both non-human and of a species that’s dying out fast.
People born before 1950 might be a good place to start.
An attractive tag worn in the ear, maybe a tattoo in some obvious place to notify the casual killers on both sides of the law that need to take a miss on this one.
Wonder how a person would go about getting something like that organized.