Op-ed: The Promise of America Will Ring True “When We Are All Accepted as Equals”

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By Ron San Miguel

 

The Preamble to the Constitution of the United States affirms that:

 

“We the People of the United Sates, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

How does our current state of affairs measure up to the noble intentions of this preamble?

 

“We the People”: When written in 1787, this statement did not include African slaves, American born slaves, Native-Americans, or even white women. It certainly well should by now, but does it really?

 

Most African-Americans, Native-Americans, Latino-Americans, and other Americans of color, often feel alienated from the mainstream of US citizens.

 

It behooves us to ask why, and to find out how we can embrace the rich ethnic and cultural diversity of “We the People” of this country – a country historically made up of immigrants.

 

“(To) establish Justice”: We are way off the mark here. Ask any mother of a black child, teen, or young adult, if she feels that her child is safe when confronted by the police.

 

Look at the long history of the killing of Native-Americans by authorities on and off reservations ̶ killings that continue to this very day!

 

Ask the parents of Latino kids if they fear that harm will come to their children at the hands of the police.

 

Look at the number of people of color who are disproportionately arrested and incarcerated in this country. In this nation we spend more money building prisons than we do building schools.

 

Our criminal justice system is simply not ‘just’ ̶ to guarantee justice for all, we desperately need to overhaul the prison industrial complex!

 

In a fair and transparent process that seeks true justice, the accused is innocent until proven guilty. We need to stop the trial of the “accused” via national media broadcasting, and on social media.

 

Just like an arrested and indicted individual is supposed to be afforded due process and is supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, the same applies to a police officer who is accused of killing an African-American man, woman, or child.

 

Or a Latino man, woman, or child ̶ or a Native- American man, woman, or child.

 

Or any color of man, woman, or child. We are all created equal and deserve to be treated as equals!

 

I offer up thanks and gratitude to the Black Women who attended an intimate circle session.

 

I attended this summer, where we gathered to discuss the fact that Black Lives Matter. It was a powerful experience of the Catharsis of Rage.

 

Spontaneously, from within the circle, voices spoke, and hearts were opened up.

 

There was a tremendous release of pent-up pain from wounded hearts; that which we all carry inside when we see unarmed, young black men (and women) killed by police.

 

Mainstream media portrays these atrocities as if assaults on young (and old), male and female black lives were something new.

 

This is not to say that brown and other lives do not matter, but due to recent media attention on excessive force and abuse inflicted upon unarmed black folk, ‘Black Lives Matter’ was the focus of this particular session.

 

This is not meant to detract from the fact that similar assaults and injustices have been inflicted upon our Latino and Indigenous communities for hundreds of years.

 

In Black and Brown communities, we know that attacks upon our communities are nothing new.

 

In this particular event we focused on how Black Lives Matter, because they do; the focus was on Black lives because that is what is currently on the news.

 

Of course all lives matter, but the heat is on Black lives right now. So to say that Black Lives Matter, in no way implies that others do not!

 

When we are all accepted as equals, the Noble Preamble will ring true for men and women of all colors. I look forward to seeing that day within my lifetime!

 

Ron San Miguel, Song Catcher, is an Oakland-based singer/songwriter, His latest album, “Paint Me A Rainbow, “is available now at www.cdbaby.com

 

It is also available on iTunes, Amazon and Facebook at Ron San Miguel/Music.

 

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