To the Editor:
Some things remain the same.
After watching President Donald Trump’s town hall meeting and the recent decision by the Bell County Commissioners Court to keep the Confederate statue in place, I am convinced there is denial and indifference about the experiences of Black people and systemic racism.
The founding documents offer the words, “ We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
I realize these are aspirational goals given the historical context of that time. The Pledge of Allegiance concludes with a similar concept of liberty and justice for all. One day these words will be the reality for all people.
It is important to understand the Black experience in America. Every privilege and liberty that was afforded to White people, Black people had to demand it.
One example of this is the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. This set of laws were a benchmark in the history of the United States. They ensured the fair and equitable treatment of Black people.
Given how deeply embedded systemic racism was at that time, these federal laws offered a glimmer of hope. Many more laws were changed and the reframe ” We Shall Over Come” emerged to remind the marginalized communities that things will get better one day.
These same demands for equality and respect are being voiced today and some of the responses offered by local and national leaders are indifferent to these fundamental truths of respect and the principles of liberty and justice.
If we are going to change our community culture and make it more welcoming and inclusive, there must have acknowledgement of the systems that create these challenging and complex problems.
If the current elected leaders cannot do this, they must be replaced with people who love equitable justice, embrace faithful love, and walk humbly with their God. May God help us to live in peace and harmony with everyone.
Reverend Philemon Brown