THE CROSSROADS OF FREEDOM: JUSTICE EQUALITY FOR ALL
America’s culture is at the crossroads of freedom, justice and equality. What direction will we choose? Will we cling to past and present norms of words without deeds? Will we choose truth without honor, integrity and accountability for some, and not others? Is it words without deeds or ideals confirmed by evidence? Which choice will we make? This is the time . . . this is the moment. . . what decisions will be made?
PATHWAY TO FREEDOM
Since the founding of our forefathers, the cultural fiber of America has struggled with what freedom really means. In the larger sense, certain elements of society recognized that freedom involved a deeper sense of soul, and labored with transmitting that sense into action. It pushed the status quo to move the goal post of slavery to “free the slave.” Once getting there, the status quo convinced the populace that the slave was not worthy of freedom: he was ignorant, animalistic, violent, and worst of all, he was robbing them of their rightful heritage. Thus, Jim Crow laws sought to make the adjustment, allowing human nature to dominate divine nature. Self-justification took precedence over common sense and humanity.
Articulation of words, is a skill of human nature, but translating them into humane action, requires divine nature. Consequently, we have fallen short. This does not mean the goal posts have not been moved toward “a more perfect union,” it means movement is not only very slow, but inclined to retrogress at each stage. For the past twelve years, the mentality of America toward “freedom for all,” has been in a steady decline. While most thinkers recognize that true freedom is not a physical entity, but a mental exercise of thought, execution of it ranges from physical imprisonment to mental brain-washing.
The opposite of freedom is enslavement, and for the past twelve years, some media outlets, lawmakers, the present administration and a large segment of society, have forcefully attacked the concept of mental freedom. Truth became a scare commodity, and lies and conspiracy theories, the norm. The process has been: lie, lie, lie and confuse, confuse, confuse! Thus, the “claim of truth,” became the truth to many Americans, when what was being communicated, was a lie. The perpetrators knew they were lies. This has led to the country’s present dilemma . . .over 40 percent of the populace living in a world of unreality. What do we do about it?
Firstly, each of us must analyze our own thoughts and beliefs. Dig deep into consciousness and say aloud how we feel about self and others. Mentally articulate what words like supremacy, inferiority, superiority, freedom, bigotry, enslavement and justice mean to you. Make sure total honesty is the guiding principle. Secondly, choose leaders whose characters exemplify honor, respect for others, humility, grace, integrity, truthfulness, lawfulness and spiritual awareness. You know these when you hear them: stop pretending and making excuses! Lastly, look at the history of America, and make a concerted effort not to repeat the “wrongs of the past.”
EQUALITY AND JUSTICE
Equality and justice go hand-in-hand. One does not exist without the other. There can be no equality if there is no justice. Equality suggests “sameness,” a state of likeness–likeness in quality, quantity and degree. Justice, on the other hand, supports the idea of that which is fair and reasonable in process, distribution (access to the same resources), retribution (treated with sameness), and restoration (giving back that which was removed). It is easy see, unless you are white in America, justice and equality are failing miserably.
Analyzing several elements that aid a society in administering fair and equal justice to all, this writer calls your attention to: history, economics, education, criminal justice, health and wellness, housing, employment and societal interaction. How does America rate? Most racial and ethnic groups would say over-all, it needs a 75% make-over, with some departments better than others. For example, much of history relative to blacks and native Americans, is built on lies; in the job market, blacks and browns are the last hired and the first fired; the median income for black households in 2019, was $45,438, Hispanics, $56,113, non-Hispanic whites, $76,057 and Asians, $98,174. There is a great disparity between whites, blacks and browns in the prison population, with whites being 72 percent of the entire population, but having a 59% prison population; Hispanics with a 16 per cent population, and a prison population of 35%, and blacks with a 12 percent population, and a 37% prison population. In housing and education, the disparities are grossly unequal. These are a few of the examples of unequal and injustice currently reflected in America today. Since the pandemic, these and other differences could be much higher or wider.
The criminal justice system has glaring discrepancies! Unarmed African men and women are “shot down in the streets,” many, without provocation, while whites are coached for hours by police officers to throw down their weapons (in many instances, after police have been fired on) and surrender. Over the years, hundreds of blacks and brown have been unnecessarily killed by police, and in too many instances, the police evading investigation or prosecution. Such actions caused three young African American women to start a movement called “Black Lives Matter.” The power structure, because all races have become part of the movement, has embarked on a mission of lies, deception and violence to discredit the mission of BLM, which is saying in essence, “Stop shooting us down like dogs, our lives matter too!” How do we change the face of equality and justice in America?
HOW DO WE MOVE FORWARD?
We move forward by unwrapping the package, taking out the destructive gift and replacing it with another. The first step is correcting history that denies reparations for the free labor millions of blacks gave as slaves; admitting the numerous contributions made by African Americans in building this country; recognize that every race and ethnicity has made this nation one of the greatest countries in the world, and lastly, strive to make this nation “a more perfect union” in deed and not just words.
It should be noted that large segments of society involving whites, blacks, browns, red and yellow people have begun the process. Over 8 million Americans emptied the “gift box” in the last election, and threw out the damaged and destructive goods. However, the damage that has been done the last four years will linger in the hearts and minds of over 73 million people. Change of thought, at its best, is a slow process, but changing deep-seated hatred, greed control and a sense of entitlement, will be even slower. But . . . we have begun to unite, rebuild and understand, “the enslavement one, enslaves us all.”
We will never become a great nation unless we truly implement freedom, justice and equality for all.