I awakened this morning feeling hopeful which is a sharp contrast to how I had been feeling since the presidential election. In the words of Eric Garner, I had been feeling like – “I can’t breathe.” America is divided. She is perched on a precipice shrouded in a stressed and fraying garment called democracy. Some citizens want to go back to the future to make America great again while many like me feel America is already great and is headed in the right direction.
When I opened my eyes this morning, I felt great remembering it was Martin Luther King Day, a day of the remembrance and celebration. Even though colonists exploited slaves and created chattel slavery and codified it with fictions about race, many blacks still fought and died in every war since the revolution for the truths declared in the constitution. It states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by the creator with certain unalienable rights” -- to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
When America was formed, slaves were considered 3/5 humans; however, since slavery ended, blacks have been striving to reach the Promise Land described in the constitution. This quest has taken three constitutional amendments (the 13th, 14th and 15th) five congressional civil rights acts, a Supreme Court decision and an African American President, but as a people, blacks still have not reached that Promise Land.
In his last speech, King proclaimed, “I may not get there with you… but we as a people will get to the Promise Land” -- hence my reason for celebration!
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