Sunday, January 19, 2020

Dangerous Times in Virginia

Welcome to the holiday weekend where we take time to reflect upon and to celebrate the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr. and his call for equality under the law. 

How I wish we, as a society, could get to a place where equality and justice were fully realized by all people living in our country. But, it seems that every day new obstacles appear in the path to true equality and "justice for all."

The gun rally in Richmond is but one example. 

Thousands expected to head to Richmond for gun rights rally on Monday

I am good with the gun rights rally, everyone, under the Constitution, has the right of free speech and the right to rally for what they believe. The concern that 2nd Amendment Rights are being abridged in Virginia is very real and requires rational people to discuss and determine a way forward. But what concerns me are the arrests during the week of the White Supremacists heading for this particular rally which resulted in the Governor restricting the rights of the people attending the rally to hopefully ensure the safety of those rallying.

The whole idea of militias among us, as described in the news item, concerns me because invariably these militias are not dedicated to preserving the fullness of the Constitution, but rather devoted to depriving someone of their rights under the Constitution.

We live in tumultuous times. We must keep our eyes wide open to the events occurring around us and consider the implications of the actions and reactions to those who are professing a splinter ideologies which will impact our rights, our freedoms, and life in America. 

At the close of the I Have a Dream speech, Martin Luther King Jr. gave us his vision for America as a land of equality and freedom.

This will be the day, this will be the day when all of God’s children (Yes, Yeah) will be able to sing with new meaning: “My country, ‘tis of thee (Yeah, Yes), sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. (Oh yes) Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride (Yeah), from every mountainside, let freedom ring!” (Yeah)
And if America is to be a great nation (Yes), this must become true. So let freedom ring (Yes, Amen) from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. (Uh-huh) Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania. (Yes, all right) Let freedom ring (Yes) from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado. (Well) Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California. (Yes) But not only that: (No) Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia. [cheering] (Yeah, Oh yes, Lord) Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee. (Yes) Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. (Yes) From every mountainside (Yeah) [sustained applause], let freedom ring.

And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!” 

-- Martin Luther King Jr, I Have a Dream Speech, August 28, 1963, Washington, DC

How could this be a bad thing?

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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