Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Liberty and Justice Cancelled?


Men sleeping in front of an abandoned building in Whiteclay, Nebraska (population seventeen). Whiteclay is two miles from the Pine Ridge Reservation and consists of four liquor stores that sell an average of 12,500 cans of beer a day, mostly to the residents of the Reservation.

Alice C. Linsley

The recent violence in some of America's cities has focused attention on the failure of the American Republic to secure liberty and justice for all.

Black lives matter. To be black in the United States is not an identity. Some black Americans are rich and some are poor. Some commit crimes and some are law-abiding. Some are uneducated and some are well-educated. Some are on the Left politically and some are on the Right. Many are moderates who simply want to live securely in peaceful neighborhoods. 

Among the black Americans are African immigrants from Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, and Somalia. Their problems and concerns are different from native black Americans.

The Black Lives Matter protests appear to represent a generation of left-leaning activists whose concerns for liberty and justice are focused too narrowly. Not all black lives matter to them. Some black voices are cancelled because they don't share the narrative of overthrow of the structures that make America a republic. 

Cancelled are the voices of black persons who applaud efforts at criminal justice reform.

Cancelled are the voices of black persons who speak against killing the unborn.

Cancelled are the voices a black persons who have decided to vote for the Trump-Pence ticket in November.

Cancelled are the voices of black persons who question the motivation of BLM leaders and organizers. 

Some wonder why recent photos of inner city riots do not show many black people? 

Some wonder if the Black Lives Movement has itself been cancelled by the violent actions of groups like Antifa?

Where is the "liberty and justice for all" that the socialist Francis Bellamy (1855-1931) hoped to see and which is enshrined in the words of the Pledge of Allegiance?

Who is speaking for other Americans who have suffered injustice? The Cheyenne Nation was once a proud and strong people. Today they are among the poorest in America. The most recent U.S. Census estimates show Zieback County, home of the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation, as the poorest in the United States. In fact, of the seven poorest counties in the United States, South Dakota has over half of them - all homes to Indian reservations.

Do Native American lives matter?

Do the poor whites of Appalachia matter? Although the Appalachia region’s poverty rate declined 1.2 percentage points since 2009–2013, Appalachia’s poverty rate remains higher than the U.S. average. However, the difference is not great: Appalachia 15.8% vs the nation 14.1 %.

Poverty in the United States poses the greatest threat to our Constitutional Republic. Consider how the Covid-19 slowdowns, lockdowns, and shutdowns have worsened this problem. Until we as a nation care about all lives equally and take immediate steps to address poverty, our fragile hold on liberty and justice for all may slip away, possibly forever.

Related reading: History of the Pledge of Allegiance; When a Riot Becomes a Revolution; Anxiety About New Poverty Guidelines; What Makes a Good Society?

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