Intro: Listen, son, I get it. You don’t realize just how lucky you are. I mean, how could you? You’re spoiled by having grown up here, by never having seen your neighbor desaparecida—snap, just like that—for some picayune comment made in the privacy of her own home. By never having untold thousands of your country’s best hopes and brightest lights shot dead in broad daylight by the very same people still writing your Five-Year Plans today.

Transition: But in this country, in the United States of America, there’s a little piece of parchment sitting in a bulletproof glass case at the very top of the Washington Monument. And that document—though you clearly don’t understand this just yet, or you wouldn’t be yelling at me for trying to get some play out of that seventeen-year-old—that document means something.

Body: You know, when the Constitution was ratified? Smart money was, the whole damn venture’d fall apart inside ten years. It’s really nothing short of a miracle that such a vague, prevaricating mess of compromises has bound together the greatest military and economic power on the face of the Earth for three centuries, all without taking away one single solitary person’s God-given rights. So when you oh-so-nobly stand in the way of my forming a more perfect union with Clarabelle, don’t think I’m just going to sit here and take it. Don’t think I’ll turn my back on those miles of white crosses standing at eternal attention across the rolling hills of Arlington and break things off with a mature, serious girl—captain of the cheer team, for crying out loud—just because I started balding three years before she was born. 

Conclusion: Maybe the Fourteenth Amendment is nothing special to you, maybe you’ve never seen someone beaten for demanding a fair shot, but equality is more than a fancy word to me. I’ve never told a man he wasn’t white enough to work, never told a girl she wasn’t old enough to think for herself, and I’m not about to start now. Now go to your room, think about what we talked about, and for the love of God, don’t tell your mother. 

—L. Burch