It’s hard not to hear and read what has gone on in the news lately. There has been a lot of talk, demonstrations, and hashtags about the inequality that has gone on in our country.
The truth is: these inequalities are not new. They have been in our society since we were a society. I was reluctant to add my voice to the voices of others, but I feel I cannot stay quiet on this matter.
The Founding Principles of This Country
Thinking back to history classes, this country was built with the follow ideas, that a person is entitled to: life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. After all, these were rights that was given to man by God. Perhaps somewhere, there is an asterisk or a footnote in part of the Declaration of Independence, because by the way it looks, clearly it did not mean all people.
Our lives are so unique. From the moment we are conceived then born, we know that there has never been person like us, and will never be another person like us ever again. That in itself makes life a gift.
Since we were chosen to walk this earth, we are entitled to live our lives. Not many of us makes the best of it, but we are free to choose to live our life the way we see fit.
However, we are not entitled to remove each other from their life. Our life is ours and ours alone, and no one has the right to take that away.
It’s a shame that we live in a country where all the care is taken to get a shooter out of a movie theatre alive, or give money to a defense of a person who removed the life of a kid (who had iced tea and skittles), but does not take the same care with the lives of others who are a darker hue.
Regardless if the child was Ford, Martin, or Brown we know that these kids (because they were kids) were entitled to their rights to live. Of course people who feel uncomfortable about the topic of race will talk about black on black crime, and to my answer is this: In these cases these kids killed by officers (and a pretend officer) who were sworn to serve and protect. Their primary job was to protect. Instead, children were killed who had no weapon on them.
Those who have a position to serve and protect should value human life–all human life. Period.
Liberty: the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s way of life, behavior, or political views
Also known as freedom. This option of freedom did not initially apply to all people (at the time of writing the Declaration of Independence) however, now that everyone is included (or should be…) this should apply to everyone. (Although strangely, I feel as if this is still not the case for many)
Freedom of liberty does not mean freedom for some at the expense of others. Freedom does not mean being harassed in the street because you “look” like someone. Freedom does not mean assumed guilty because of the color of your skin or your economic class. Freedom does not mean the freedom people in authority to kill or use brute force when they feel threatened (even when there is no justified threat).
Freedom means to live your life. Knowing the law, and knowing your not breaking any, you should be able to come and go as you please. This liberty is only afforded to the few.
I read in a forum that a man said, “Well, if the cops tell you to stop and you comply, there should be no problem.” This is the opinion of the a man who does not live in the same reality as people of color.
Complying with the law does not always guarantee your safety. Just asking an officer why were you stopped can bring hostility upon you.
Pursuit of Happiness
Unfortunately, like freedom, this principle applies to only select members of society.
This was supposed to mean for us to obtain our happiness by how we define what happiness is. You could want to live like a hermit. You want want to live like a pauper. That’s YOUR HAPPINESS.
How are some of us obtaining that happiness? We are getting at the expense of other people’s happiness.
What if a person define happiness by wanting to live their life by not getting stopped by the police on their way to and from work. What if happiness for them is the right to walk the streets and not be suspect because they are walking while black?
What if happiness for you is knowing that your loved one made it though another day without anything bad happening to them with the “law” (even knowing full well that they have and always will be on the right side of the law)?
That kind of happiness, only a select few in this country can have, but it is a happiness that a whole group of people have never truly known.
In this country we are purposely subjugating whole groups of people in order to obtain the happiness of the few. We are abusing power to get more power.
Power begets power.
We (as a nation) are purposely trampling on the dreams and liberty of others just so that some can have their cake and eat it too.
The reality of all this: other countries are looking at us, and taking note on how we are using military type force on civilians. Protests are visible worldwide and are seeing how the Untied States (proctor of liberties) is handling their own unrest.
What We Forgot
There is one thing here that we did forget, the golden rule. We should treat others the way we want to be treated.
We want to ignore the issues that exists in this country because it makes us uncomfortable. The news flash is, it will always be uncomfortable. This country was not founded on a bed of roses with a bunch of men who decided that they like coffee instead of tea. This country was founded with principles of subjecting one group of humans under another.
Even after wars have been fought over the issue, we are still subjecting one group of people under another.
We have seen this throughout history. The death of a few hasn’t changed anything or anyone. The rules to apply oppression has changed (black codes, jim crow, racial profiling, stop and frisk). What is going to happen is the method to oppress is going to change.
Unfortunately, what is in our future is more children to be slain at the hands of people practicing the law (or taking the law in their own hands…).
But since all of this is not new, I think Martin Luther King Jr. said it best, “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”
My heart truly aches for the families that have been put in the middle of all of this due to the injustice that they have experienced. Not just families who have been victims of an abuse of power, but for all families who lost a child too soon. May God comfort them in their time of grief and we pray that they receive justice that they rightly deserve.