America’s Core Value- Equality
America is at a tipping point! We need to decide and remind ourselves of the values we have held dear for over 235 years. What are the values that made us great? How do they apply in this world today? Do we want to continue as a country based on an additional set of values? Do we want to have a resurgence of the values that made our country great? My feeling is we don’t want to change, we just need reminders of the values that got us here. We need to examine our actions in terms of the values that made America great and bring them into the forefront of our minds and our dialogue.
Values: We built our country around three core values: freedom, equality, and Justice. We are free to do anything we want as long as we don’t break the laws of the land. Unfortunately, we have made laws, interpreted those laws, and treated Americans unequally. Since I wrote on Freedom last time, I will focus on equality here.
John F Kennedy said. “This nation was founded by men of many nations and backgrounds. It was founded on the principle that all men are created equal, and that the rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened … It ought to to be possible, in short, for every American to enjoy the privileges of being American without regard to his race or his color.”
Equality: This is a value requiring an impressive deal of scrutiny. Theodore Roosevelt stated that “I am an American; free born and free bred, where I acknowledge no man as my superior, except for his own worth, or as my inferior, except for his own demerit.” Here we see equality as a concept describing all people as being equal unless they prove otherwise. Martin Luther King, Jr. Said, “We may all have come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.”Martin Luther King points out regardless of our different origins we are all in America now.
A lack of equality has existed in the past years in America. In the 1960s, while I lived in Little Rock, Arkansas, I saw the first of many steps America made in moving to a more equal standing for all; I watched as the troops helped desegregate Little Rock High School. The passage of the Civil Rights Act, the Voters Rights Act, followed this and moved us further along the path towards equality. But during the last four years, we have been steadfastly moving backward,. These steps have culminated in the murder of George Floyd.
Even before this happened we still had a lot of inequality underneath the surface. Many states tried, and in some states succeeded, in making it difficult for people of color to vote. Further creating haves and have nots. Some banks refused to make loans to people of color. We recognize that we still have in-grained inequality and have a long way to go to realize the dreams of the founding fathers.
It is now time to stand up as Americans and say enough. We want to get back on the path to removing artificial barriers and continue to work for true equality for all.
We need to demand that our national laws provide that it treats all people equally . One of the more egregious areas of law that we need to clarify is our immigration laws. The children that came into this country with their parents should have a legal path to citizenship and not be subject to deportation to a country they have never lived in. Our laws should be clear so they are not subject to the whim of the President and the Attorney General. We must make changes to how police treat people.
Maya Angelou said that “We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter what their color.”