We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
The original Constitution of 1787 was, for all its genius, a deeply self-contradictory document — a charter by and for a free people who enslaved hundreds of thousands of others. In 1776, America’s founders declared that human equality was not only a self-evident truth, but a fundamental premise of their new nation; barely a decade later, they officially rejected that premise, writing inequality and subjugation directly into the Constitution.
The Fourth of July and the Fourteenth Amendment. Good start!