The Nation’s justice correspondent Elie Mystal said Friday on the”We’ve Got Issues” podcast that the United States Constitution is “trash” written by the “captains of the slaving industry.”



Discussing Mystal’s new book “Allow Me to Retort: A Black Guy’s Guide to the Constitution,” host Joshua Holland said, “You write that the Constitution is a document designed to create a society of enduring white male dominance. You criticized it for being hastily edited. Elie, I’ve seen a lot of arguments about how the Constitution has been used in political cudgel, or how it has been interrupted by the courts, but you just came out and said this document that so many people fetishize is shit, and I applaud you for it.”

While laughing, Mystal said, “Josh man, I’ve honestly been a little surprised that that statement has been so controversial.”

He continued, “Let’s just talk as adults for a second. We are talking about a document that was written by slavers just straight up. The largest slave owner at the time of the Revolution was George Washington. So not your average everyday neighborhood slavers. We are talking about the captains of the slaving industry, you are talking about colonists, and you are talking about some rich white men who were abolitionists but were willing to make deals with slavers and colonists. No people of color had a say in how the Constitution was written. No women had a say in how the Constitution was written.”

Mystal added, “So the idea that this literal 18th Century slave document represents the best we can do as a society is laughable to me. Of course, it is a bad look at the source. How can it be anything other than kind of jacked? The Constitution has some great ideas. It has some great ideals it is pointing towards. But the problem is there has not been a day. We have not lived for a single day in this country where the ideas and ideals expressed in the Constitution have been given to everybody who lives in this country equally.”

He concluded, “One way you know the Constitution was kinda trash is the way it required a civil war less than a hundred years after it was adopted to solve some constitutional issues.”

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