it is the designated day for celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King, and all day long i have been wondering about what it means to be free at last.
as Dr. King pointed out in his speech that day, one hundred years after slavery had been defeated, the ‘negro’ was still not free.
fast forward another handful of decades and even tho a black president resides in the white house, how much has really changed?
there are a disproportionate number of blacks as compared with white folk imprisoned in the united states. often a black and a white person found guilty of the same crime will be treated differently, the white guy might even get off entirely.
there are a disproportionate number of blacks as compared to white folk who live in poverty, in slums. a disproportionate number of people of color in general, who are sent to fight our wars or who struggle with the inequities of the society of which they are a part.
and if they are ever allowed to be truly free some day and equal, there are no end of other people within this same society that will still be left struggling with similar inequities, struggling for the reality of being truly “free at last”.
white as i am, i am NOT going to try to appropriate in the slightest part the legacy of this great american, this martyr to the cause of a sane and equal world, there seem to be a few correlations between the history of the civil rights movement history with regard to black people and the present day battles that gay, gender diverse and transgender people must face.
whether or not blacks could marry outside their race used to be an issue…now it is whether two folk can marry within their sex.
discrimination against gay, gender diverse, and/or queer folk of any flavor still exists, as does racism…so when can ALL people, no matter their color, creed, sexual orientation, gender expression et. al truly be ‘free at last’.
just as a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, i believe that a society is only as free as its every member.
is it xenophobia? is it arrogance?
what is it in societies of humans that causes one group to assume a superior position to others, to usurp the power that should rightly be shared, and to deny others the rights to which they entitle themselves?
such behaviour seems unbefitting an advanced life form.