We have celebrated our U.S. Independence this week-end. We’re feeling good about our freedom and living in America. We’re full of good food and drink, watching the fireworks and sharing with friends. Happy to have the week-end to just relax and have fun. Right?? That’s all good.
Now…. how are we going to make this “freedom for all”? To make the statement President Abraham Lincoln made in his Gettysburg Address of 1863 a reality?? You know. The one in the United States Declaration of Independence that reads:
“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.”
None of us are truly free until all of us are free from racism and bigotry. Our lives are affected by the hatred of others whether it is towards us or someone else. How did we feel when we read about the February, 2012 killing of a teenage African American, Trayvon Martin, by a “self-appointed” neighborhood watch coordinator, George Zimmerman, in Sanford, FL? This “neighborhood watch” program was administered by the local Police Department? How did we feel when we read about an African American church having Bible Study when a white man joined them with the purpose of killing them? Nine of these church members were killed. How did we feel when we read about all the African American churches being set on fire? This is just a minute fraction of what many African Americans endure every day in this country.
There was an article written on September 10, 2014 in the publication “Mother Jones”, sub heading “Crime and Justice, Race and Ethnicity, Top Stories”. The article’s title is “Here’s the Data That Shows Cops Kill Black People at a Higher Rate than White People. Another article dated December 8, 2014, is “Unarmed People of Color Killed by Police 1999-2014 on the web site Gawker.com. Let me be clear. I am not saying all police are guilty. Most are people just doing their jobs trying to serve and protect us. What are we going to do about those who don’t?
How do we feel when politicians blame the Muslim community every time we have a terrorist threat in our country? As we celebrated the “freedom and pursuit of happiness for everyone” in our country, a member of the United States Congress, Rep. Peter King (R-NY) said “Because if there is a threat, if there is gonna be something happening, it’s gonna come from the Muslim community.”!! This is an elected member of congress who is supposed to uphold and support the United States Declaration of Independence and Constitution!! When someone in this powerful position can get away with a “bigoted remark” such as this, there is a very serious problem in our country, whether we want to admit it or not! According to the New York Times, since the terrorist attack on September 11th, 200l, nearly twice as many people have been killed by White Supremacists, anti-government fanatics, and other non-Muslim extremists than by radical Muslims”. What are we going to do about this?
How does it make us feel when a member of the U.S. Congress calls our President a liar during his “State of the Union” speech to congress and the nation? How does it make us feel when members of the U.S. Congress and citizens of our own country slander our President and tell lies about him? How did it make us feel when we heard the Republican Majority leader of the Senate, Mitch McConnell, said the top priority of the Republican Party is to make President Obama a one term president. This was on the very night of President Obama’s Inauguration? How does it make you feel when the Republicans obstruct everything President Obama tries to do for the American people? What are we going to do about this?
How did we feel when Donald Trump made the terrible “racist” remarks about Mexicans? How does it make us feel when other candidates running for the presidency of these United States remain silent about this behavior? How does it make us feel when candidates running for the presidency of the United States do not accept the highest court in the land (U.S. Supreme Court) decision on health care or legalized marriage for the LGBT community? Yet, these same candidates applauded this same Supreme Court when it decided to allow corporations and billionaires to give as much money as they want (without disclosure) to the candidate of their choice in elections.,
How does it make you feel when we see homeless families, hungry children and parents out of work looking for a job that doesn’t even pay the minimum wage while the Corporations and Billionaires (who have no soul) control the very people (members of congress who also have no soul) that could pass laws to help these people?
These acts of inequality do hurt us in ways we don’t even think of. As long as all citizens of these United States are not treated equal we will never be totally free! The more I see and read about all these citizens who do not have the “quality of life” the writers of the Declaration of Independence wrote of, I see how much work this nation, as a whole, still has to do to make things “equal”” for every citizen! What are we going to do about it??