It's time for a New Civil Rights Movement for All
Why weren’t the Founding Fathers, whom conservatives love to extol their so-called virtues and wisdom, so great? Let me use the words of a man far wiser than I to put this into context.
“There is not a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States at this very hour.” Frederick Douglass – What to the Slave is the Fourth of July, 1852.
The Founding Fathers did parcel together a fantastic framework borrowed from other nations that the United States would then be founded on. But great men from that point on they were not! You can erase words from a textbook and convince those who want to be convinced that Wrong is Right, but Truth is eternal and immutable.
How can so-called great men, as many wish the Founding Fathers to be viewed as, create a recipe such as the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, and even shed blood for it, yet refuse to follow its directions?
The Founding Fathers knew slavery made their American cake rancid, yet kept it firmly in the recipe. And after handing over the nation to other supposed great men, slavery was removed after many men fought to keep it, yet they added teaspoon after teaspoon of sharecropping and vagrancy laws, and were shocked that their cake didn’t rise, but fell and scorched the pan it was baked in. But future American leaders were stalwart in their resolve not to follow the recipe after so many failed attempts. They continued to experiment by adding a cup of Jim Crow, Separate But Equal, Civil Rights and The Voting Act. And even today, they try whipping in Immigration Laws, Voter Suppression, The War on Drugs and Affirmative Action. Yet time after time, the cake falls. It’s bitter on the tongue. It’s an abomination to the eyes. Yet we are told that we are not proud of our nation if we don’t blindly scream out in false pride about “American Exceptionalism”.
To even say that we as Americans adhere to the Constitution is a farce!
Those who hold these Founding Fathers and other leaders who came after them in such high esteem merely show their own moral failing. The Founding Fathers lacked the courage of their conviction, yet are still revered as infallible men? I ask, is your soul so lacking of self-worth, that those who declared that “All men are created equal” while gnashing their foot into the neck of African Americans worthy of demigod status to you?
The Founding Fathers were men . . . that’s all.
You and I, however, do possess the ability to be great Founding Mothers and Fathers of America.
The recipe is sitting there waiting to be followed!
But do we have the courage of our own conviction?
What will history say of us when the time comes for our tale to be written? Will it say we were cowards? Racists? Misogynists? Homophobic? Selfish? Shall it be written that we were the very incarnation of a new age Camelot; the fabled land of old . . . the key word being ‘fable’. Yes, a fable indeed. For in a land where it is decreed that “All men are created equal”, we have followed it to no letter of the law. Enshrined in our Constitution is the right to vote; yet it is being suppressed for the benefit of the wealthy. In a land of opportunity, urban children are left to rot in crumbling schools until they are old enough to be warehoused in jails or prisons . . . again, for the monetary benefit of a few. Women are still treated unequally. Gays are intentionally caricatured as pedophiles, deviants and inferior. Black men are viewed as predatory animals that must be feared, caged or killed. The white poor are stepped over as surely as one steps over trash in the street. Muslims are demonized as terrorists. Hispanics are imprisoned in Immigration centers, unless we need their back-bending labor to pick our fruits and vegetables. And all . . . and all . . . and all of these things are done but for the monetary enrichment of a few and to feed the irrational fears of some white Americans.
And I hear silence from far too many. I hear silence from those who are oppressed. I hear silence from those with the power to change such laws. Yet I hear loud and clear the furious scribbling of our sad history being written into the minds of humankind.
Again, my friends, Truth is immutable. History shall not be kind to us if we follow this sorrowful path we continue on, no matter how hard the next generation and the one after that tries to whitewash it.
There are but two images I would like to see added to Mount Rushmore . . . one being, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., who mobilized man and woman to change the course of America for the better. The next iconic image should symbolize the American people, who have finally realized their true destiny after waking from a long stupor induced by hate, envy, sexism, homophobia and racism.
Why should we look to the Founding Fathers as great men, when we, the American people, could collectively become greater, more moral and compassionate than they could have ever been? It is completely within our power to commandeer the wheel of America’s grand ship and steer it away from the black waters it sails upon right now. We can chart a new course into waters blue, gentle and soothing. And though there may be rough seas at times, such a vessel that we would command would break upon even the mightiest wave and split it asunder, for the might of Right is an invincible juggernaut.
In that day, of that day, when that day shall come to pass, that we truly link arms in sisterhood and brotherhood, love and compassion, and sealed with the eternal force of Right on our side, we shall become a nation the likes this earth has never seen.
In that day, of that day, when that day shall come to pass, we will be the envy and the example for all other nations. We shall truly lead by examples, not the hollow, duplicitous words that we speak today. We shall know that even the least fortunate of us is as worthy as the wealthiest of us. We shall mourn the loss of even one uneducated child and celebrate the success of one who achieves their utmost potential. Our elderly shall be afforded the respect and care they so deserve, and our children with special needs viewed as the unconditionally loving angels that they are.
That day . . . that day . . . that day shall come to pass only when white looks at black, and black looks at white as brother and sister. Asian and Muslim, gay and straight show each other mutual respect and love. Latino and white realize that the love they feel for their children is far from different, but exactly the same. We are a symbiotic nation of people. When one thinks the oppression of another group does not bear on them directly, I beg to differ, for the purity of your soul is at stake. When the death of one urban youth is as much a cause for sorrow for his mother, as for the white mother in the suburbs hundreds of miles of way, we as a nation shall be saved from our own reckless devices. When a white man guns down innocents and a black man in the south thousands of miles away grieves along with the victim’s family, we shall crown this nation Camelot.
In that time, of that time, that time shall come to pass if we only had the courage of our own conviction.
Mark my words; this Republic that is the United States of America shall fail if we continue on the path we are on now!
Do not tell me that we have come so far as to split the atom, yet cannot educate our children and young adults. Do not tell such a lie that we can land a man on the moon, yet can only warehouse those with drug addictions as a solution. Whether Republican or Democratic politician, we now know it is not in your interest to educate our citizens, for you would have already done so if you wanted to. Your lie is revealed! Your greed and need for power has been exposed at the greatest level. We know, were willing whites and minorities to link arms, you would fear us, yet fear your loss of power even more. You would redouble your efforts to keep us ignorant, fighting and separate. You would intensify your use of racism, homophobia, fear and hate to succeed in your agenda.
If . . . when . . . perhaps, if Blacks, whites, Asians, Gays, Muslims and Hispanics were to lay down their arms of animosity toward one another, the land mass of the United States would shake and shudder.
So . . .?
Shall we start a New Civil Rights movement for ALL?
Shall we all become Founding Mothers and Fathers of a just nation?
Shall we epitomize the meaning of brotherhood and sisterhood?
Those who are willing to sacrifice for the better of our nation, please stand! Let it now be written in the History of Humankind that today was the day that America lit the true light of justice and equality, and that you and I were part of that!
And as I started, so shall I end with words from one far wiser than I can ever hope to be . . .
“So you refuse to take a stand. Well, you may go on and live until you are ninety, but you are just as dead at thirty-eight as you would be at ninety. And the cessation of breathing in your life is but the belated announcement of an earlier death of the spirit. You died when you refused to stand up for right.” Martin Luther King, Jr. – a truly great Founding Father of the United States of America.