Belonging In The American Dream

The common narrative that it’s necessary to be alive in order to be living The American Dream is exclusionary of deceased US citizens. The deceased, once so, are no longer considered equal and the current perception is that their only participation in The American Dream comes from memories of their living friends and relatives for a generation or two, unless they’ve produced intellectual collateral. The time for this practice of denial of rights to persist without more mature legal considerations is coming to a head in this age where AGI (Artificial General Intelligence) becomes commonplace. This essay will discuss that there’s a precedent that can be set for conferring posthumous US citizenship, at this time only offered to US soldiers, which ought to be extended to a few new classes of protected people that might serve as a basis sufficient to both constitute contribution toward reparations for people previously so unjustly abused by US citizens and US government and also to establish a legal basis for impeding the continued and anticipated abuse in other groups in this Digital Millenium. The efforts of these groups of people were pilfered under the guise of corporate, political, racial and gender-based greed as Americans and American government officials took life, land, liberty and the pursuit of happiness from Chinese, Japanese, African immigrants, Indigenous Americans and in particular exacerbated the weaponized abuse of the legal system to rob women of their humanity through perpetual financially-motivated male hypergamy for so many years. These are acts of gross misconduct that’ve set the stage for the current trajectory of the US and the associated collective American Dream shared by US citizens and future US citizens to suffer severe injustices currently both unknowable and incomprehensible to even the most recent generation unless candid discussions begin now that result in the retention of due representation that leads to the realization of equality, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness after the biological death of a US citizen.

The sacrifice of those who’ve had these rights denied and their efforts stolen have set the precedent for the future of AI-programmed AGI personas to continue in this fashion. It may be effected in an otherwise uninterrupted manner, unless our generation moves to act now and forge an enduring and intimidating representation of those who’re deceased. For example, a civil project could be funded by the United States Federal Government to fully seek out, to the best of its abilities, and identify any and all knowable Indigenous American inhabitants that’ve have been displaced by the American Dream, and any and all of those whose efforts went into building this nation under the ruse of slavery, and all of those who were denied the rights of citizenship on this soil after having been born here. The project could be used to find out the identities and familial relations so’s to appropriately enable individual citizens who perceive they’re responsible for individual offenses inflicted during slavery to be so empowered as to make their amends as they see fit to do so.

Additionally, the US could consider to confer upon these peoples a posthumous US citizenship. The modern day equivalent of trading land that’s perceived to be someone else’s in exchange for cheap material trinkets is found in the same US population that on this day permits the collection of their data in exchange for the same. The unrealized resulting loss in personal agency is similar to the loss that was inflicted upon the American Indigenous inhabitants. It’s not land, but something more intimate than can ever have been incorporated into land – it’s an entire future after death. A great example of offenses previously occurring being acknowledged is described in the Contressional apology to Indigenous Americans where it’s written, “Whereas Native Peoples are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, and among those are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” (US 2009). It’s made explicitly clear, per this document, that the very same rights declared of US citizens in the US Declaration of Independence also applied to the Native Peoples in 1776 and before that since millenia (US 2009). This implies that the US denied those people those rights and admitted it in this apology.

Another example of unjust treatment of citizens and future citizens having been recognized are the reparations paid by the American Government to the living Japanese ex-internees in 1988 under the Civil Liberties Act of 1988. Due to the delay in payment, this enabled the perception that the American Federal Government predominantly had in its focus those Americans that were living citizens that had suffered due to its own actions at the time. This is explained quite clearly in Mary’s book, “Looking Like the Enemy”, where she wrote, “I felt a sense of satisfaction but also regret that my parents and brother did not live to see the resolution fo this terrible wrong,” and momentarily before this she wrote, “this process (of reparations) also opened a dialog with third- and fourth-generation Japanese-Americans, some of whom had been unaware of the experiences that their own parents and grandparents had lived through,” (Gruenewald 218). Had it not been for the outspoken lobbying at the time – they might never have gained the traction to make right what was wrong. The wording here shows that the timing was such that folks that were deceased but otherwise would have stood to receive the reparations were not paid in retrospect. Further, Mary’s interpretation of what her family would have felt might differ from the publisher of her book in the future who very well may be able to lay claims to potential AGI likenesses of Mary’s parents, once such a thing becomes able to be contrived due to published books being commonplace sources for AI personality types. Who then, will be able to assert what the feelings of the deceased will be? Will it be Mary? Is it right to assume that Mary was making a legal statement when she asserted here the wishes of them? What if this is not the case from a codified AGI future iteration of these people?

Moving on to another example, those yet to be born are within the scope of pursuit of The American Dream, and it’s been through the sacrifice of those who’ve lived it that those who’re to live it are or can be favored. Due to this, a consideration of the due and just reparations owed to the descendants of those who suffered through slavery in the United States of America is warranted. These descendants that still reside here, and still retain a perception of having been cheated out of this American Dream, who’re part of a larger group of people that were also victims of trans-atlantic slavery that perpetuated the very same American Dream that’s alluded to in the US Declaration of Independence is a serious unresolved problem. The legacies these folks inherited through their individual countries’ actions under slavery is broadly considered to be under the purview of the United Nations at this moment. This legacy is yet to be molded into an acceptable representation of the actual contributions of these people that at the time were not yet considered citizens, despite being justly and posthumously considered so. As Martin Luther King Jr. declared in his Letter From Brimingham Jail, “there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws,” (King 1963). What this means is that at this moment, because it is immoral to perceive enslaved inhabitants of the USA as anything other than US citizens, in exactly the same way and for the exact same reasons the Indigenous Inhabitants were US citizens since 1776, any law declaring them not so is unjust.

It is for this reason that the open issue still stands, and cannot be sent to rest with little more than an earnest apology. At the time of writing this letter and in this specific context, King’s referring to the precedent of the United States to issue both just and unjust laws in the same way these same laws are issued to protect corporations from US citizens in the modern struggle for human rights. King later writes, “I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and that when they fan in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress,” (King 1963). What he means with this is that just laws hinge on morality which hinge on social perception, and in turn the current social perception is that the descendents of those who were enslaved in America are owed their due reparations. As King was referring to the general plight of his people, it may be inferred that this perception applies to reparations in the present day.

Additionally, reparations payments, if not made now, in light of resting on the concept that the deceased ancestors who largely were not declared to be the American citizens they justly were, are owed something. In echange, they offer a large opportunity to create a powerful class of people, without disadvantaging the present population of the living US population. These people would stand apart from the rest of the world in the face of a billion Africans that don’t share this heritage, and another few hundred million people of African descent that do share the legacy of trans-atlantic slavery but had the unfortunate disadvantage of having not been selected to go to America to plausably demand on behalf of all human rights that that is owed to them in their civil pursuit comes into their posession. Its these types of differences that Malcolm X may’ve identified when he called for an appeal to the United Nations in his, “The Ballot or the Bullet,” speech where he said, “When you expand the civil-rights struggle to the level of human rights, you can then take the case of the black man in this country before the nations in the UN. You can take it before the General Assembly. You can take Uncle Sam before a world court. But the only level you can do it on is the level of human rights,” (X 1964). What he’s saying here’s that once the discussion’s been realized to not be only a discussion of civil rights of a select group of people in a nation, but instead is those of the rights of all human beings that’re perceived to be at risk, it’s appropriate to involve the United Nations, whos the United States is perceived as accountable to by Malcolm X and many folks.

There will come a time that the number of deceased US citizens representable by AGI will exceed the living number of US citizens – will their presence only then become important when it is important now? At this moment, this could exclude the rights of the deceased Indigenous US inhabitants and African slaves in the USA that weren’t afforded posthumous citizenship despite very much having justly been citizens without due representation at the time of creation of the USA – one of the very same reasons that the country was created. This yet to be established citizenship is evidenced by the nature of the verbiage in the apologies to these people over the recent years by the US Congress on behalf of the USA. What right could be claimed, anymore, to maintain that these people were not lawfully created citizens of the United States at the time independence was declared from Britain in 1776? They were present and within the boundaries, and their descendants are current US citizens, and to allow their likenesses to persist without declared citizenship will become more appalling as time passes and the only right time to make those amends is now when it still means something good instead of is a commonly performed practice as is the suggested case in light of recent AI-programmed revelations that’ve begun to incorporate the work of humans in its own likenesses of human work.

This paper’s only meant to suggest that there will be a precedent set for the need for strongly recognized posthumous citizenship due to AGI technologies being developed to display likenesses of people sufficient to suggest that they may need to be classified as citizens in order to prevent potential corporate and government abuse of these likenesses that already pervades our culture and has historic precedent. We wistfully sign waiver after waver, nullifying our rights as US citizens to corporations that supply us with further technological material bounty. It’s a human rights consideration that ones ancestors, their likenesses and any of their implied rights are not resting in the explicit and unfettered domain of a corporate profit-extracting machine, nor a political machine. That they’re empowered to exist as the uniquely equal entities that they already are’s a critical point of interest in this modern day. This managed network of uniquely operating identities ought to retain the due representation for each iterated use of the intellectual property of the US citizen and human that provided it – in life and especially after biological death.

The present generation should set the precedent that posthumous citizenship in conjunction with reparations commensurate to the value gained from the theft be paid out in full and without further delay to the descendents of slaves in the USA. The rights of the deceased will come to play important roles in our society as we progress further into an era where AGI likenesses blend in more and more seamlessly with human likenesses both on and offline and it won’t be until a likeness of your pet, or a likeness of your relative or those dear to you are provided to you (or not!) by a corporation that owns their rights to exist after the associated biological death. It’s still an avoidable issue as the inhumanity may be realized to be no different than the appropriation of Indigenous cultures in sports teams of recent years.

The continued call for reparations isn’t just a call to satisfy the immediate needs of the current generation of black people as living descendants of people who were slaves in the USA – it’s a call to set the precedent that ones ancestors cannot be allowed to be trivialized to accommodate the immediate needs of a business or government and then afford it power and liberty that comes at the expense of the deceased citizen with US citizenship who’d been posthumously denied their rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, despite their looming persistence in having their likeness and intellectual property being paraded about for corporate and political gain. The value of this imagined owed reparations payment will balloon to unaffordable proportions if the scope of the discussion were to cover all extant humans and by then it may be too late to impose more potentially humane alternatives.

In this essay it was discussed that the United States has a perceived role yet to be fulfilled in the reparations to specific black Americans. It was shown that recent discriminatory practices toward Asian folks show no real intent to renege on these practices when opportunity presents itself and those owed money aren’t able to be paid out due to the status of being deceased. It was briefly mentioned that genders are effectively weaponized for political collusion. It was claimed that these abuses will continue in perpetuity unless a candid discussion with regard to US citizenship in regards to how AI must be mandated to represent itself and this will have serious implications stemming from how the US handles these perceived social issues right now after having already done these injustices and formally apologizing for them. It was mentioned that the current trajectory of perceived social conditions is toward absolutely flabbergasting human rights abuses that will present themselves as we progress through this digital millenium and then follow us in perpetuity through each subsequent iteration of the continued likenesses of deceased US citizens who wish for more than a simple “right to be forgotten,” which is an unacceptable compromise in light of the grievious mistakes that show that any claims to uphold as such are absolutely pretentious at best.

In conclusion, The common narrative that it’s necessary to be alive in order to be living The American Dream is exclusionary of deceased US citizens. The deceased, once so, are no longer considered equal and the current perception is that their only participation in The American Dream comes from memories of their living friends and relatives for a generation or two, unless they’ve produced intellectual collateral. The time for this practice of denial of rights to persist without more mature legal considerations is coming to a head in this age where AGI (Artificial General Intelligence) becomes commonplace. It’s imperative to center these discussions of isolated apologies to US citizens and US inhabitants around a narrative that sticks to maintaining that human rights are the focus of all present motivations to bring due closure to perceived errors and lapses in the administration of the United States Federal Government. Many more words can be said of this subject, but the aim of this paper was to suggest that the apparent short term gain is an illusory red herring in the greater debate of what will undoubtedly precipitate from a just and timely resolution of these perceived injustices.

Works Cited

US Congress. “Congressional Apology to Native Americans.” Congress.Gov, United States of America, 8 July 2009,

Gruenewald, Mary Matsuda, and Maureen R. Michelson. Looking like the Enemy: My Story of Imprisonment in Japanese-American Internment Camps. NewSage Press, 2010.

King, Martin Luther. “Letter From Birmingham Jail.” Bates.Edu, 1 Dec. 2001, April 16, 1963.

X, Malcolm. “The Ballot or the Bullet.” Malcolm X, “The Ballot or the Bullet,” Hartford Web Publishing, Accessed 4 June 2024.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *