Thursday, August 31, 2017
Removing statues does not remove the problem. . .
If we think that the biggest problems we have in America today are some statues or monuments of shameful figures or events from our past, we are in a rather sad state of affairs. If we believe that removing statues will address the issues of racism and bigotry, we are naive and foolish. If we believe that we can deal with the less than noble moments of our past by omitting their mention in the present or the future, we are ignorantly following a pipe dream.
Yes, we have great problems and not in the least among them is racism and bigotry but the battle over monuments and statues has little to do with that racism and bigotry. It is a fine show but it does little to change the hearts of those who hate. Worse, it endangers the very freedom that guarantees the rights of those to speak what we might find repugnant. When that freedom is gone, we live under a totalitarian and fascist government whose job it is to control speech instead of protecting it.
I find racism abhorrent and have no sympathy or empathy for those who espouse it. Yet as bad as racism is, we have institutionalized the killing of infants, a disproportionate number of which are Black. In other words, we have succeeded with freedom to do what the bigots of the past could not do even in fighting a war between the states. The same people who object so strenuously to the rights of the racists to march and rally are those who insist upon protecting the woman's right to choose -- no matter how many babies must die. Now it stands at about 50 Million infants since abortion was legalized in 1973 - one and one half times the whole population of Canada! How many of that number were Black infants? Slavery is abhorrent and detestable yet we continue to this day to treat the lives of some among us as less than whole or human.
We have racists and bigots among us to be sure. But under it all is a moral problem. We are a nation adrift from the morality that was once part of the fabric that united us, that would cause us to go to war with friends and family in order to end the legalized trafficking of flesh and blood. We are a nation whose morality once bound back together a deep and abiding division largely by allowing those on both sides to honor the memory of their loved ones who died and forgive each other and start a new. We are a nation with barely a 50 year history of legal protection for minorities and we elected a Black man to be President of the United States. Our nation is a vast stew bringing together people of every background, race, ethnicity, and religion to enjoy equal protection before the Law and equal access to the marketplace. Many suffered along the way to bring us to this present day but who is foolish enough to watch the news and believe that others have done better in the quest for justice and equity for all people? We are not there yet but we have come a long way.
Those with abhorrent ideas like the Klan marchers, the neo Nazis, and others seek more than anything else a platform to espouse their ideas. Whether we like it or not, those confronting free speech and the media have given them just that -- a public forum. Yet in the same society there are many who insist that those who cannot agree to the morality of choice or the good of same sex marriage are the same kind of haters whose cannot be allowed a public forum.
I find racists and bigots like those in Charlottesville detestable but because of the American flag and those whose blood was shed at home and abroad to protect the freedom for which that flag stands, I also acknowledge the rights of those with whom I disagree to believe, march, and rally for their cause -- all within the boundaries of the law. Yet I have to wonder how it is we got to a place where a statue of a man who fought and lost over the issue of slavery and racial injustice is a bigger problem than the routine killing of babies? In the United States, the abortion rate for Black women is almost 4 times that of white women. On average, 900 Black babies are aborted every day in the United States. This tragedy continues to impact the population levels of African-Americans in the United States. Since 1973, abortion has taken more Black lives than every other cause combined. Where is our outrage over this stain across America?