Freedom and independence embrace the politics of political inclusion
By Derek Joy
And so, we celebrate another Fourth of July. Independence Day.
It is the 238th year of the Republic of the United States of America as a free and independent nation. Won that status by defeating England in the Revolutionary War.
Thus, the Framers drafted what would be ratified by the 13 Colonies and the United States was born to be governed by the U.S. Constitution.
Curious thing happened. Having fought and defeated the British Army and Navy, the Framers allowed salary of people of color to be legislated into law. They fought so that they would not be subjects of the Monarchy, only to enslave others as their subjects.
History has told the stories of what has transpired since. Jumped out at me like a ray of sunshine when I was attending the Jet Blue ‘Soar With Reading Program at the African A-merican Library and Cultural Center in Fort Lauderdale..
There was an entertaining event with the performance of Random House Books Magic Tree House characters Jack and Annie, along with Ben Markus, Chris Nurse and Mitchell Lopez of the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers Professional Soccer Team.
Two sessions that entertained and encouraged children to read. Here they were, some 300 elementary school children in each of two different sessions. And the thought of the recent tragedy in a depressed Liberty City neighborhood of Miami.
The wee hours of the morning found two gunmen armed with assault rifles murder two and wound seven others. If only they would have been reading instead of killing, wounding, being killed and wounded.
They would have known what City of Miami District 5 Commissioner Keon Hardemon said as guest on WPLG/Lo-cal 10’s This Week in South Florida with hosts Michael Putney and Glenna Milberg.
“That was an act of domestic terrorism,” said Hardemon, an Assistant Miami Dade Public Defender. “When you use an AK47 and AR15 to shoot nine people that is nothing but domestic terrorism.”
What’s more Hardemon, as did others, made a point of recognizing the responsibility of the parents and the community has in guiding children and youth away from such deviant behavior.
Precisely the point that was made when JetBlue landed its ’Soar With Reading’ Program at the African American Library and Cultural Center. The subtle and direct message of reading instead of perpetrating crime and violence or being a victim of the same.
Swati Dholakia, a JetBlue Customer Service Supervisor offered a poignant message when she told the kids: “We want to get kids to read. Take a positive message back home.”
Ben Markus of the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers added perspective when he said: “Reading is the most powerful tool in the world. Reading is knowledge. And knowledge is power.”
Consequently, on the Independence Day, consider that while America was born of war, and has fought more than 20 wars since, freedom and independence was not intended to allow the kind of violent, domestic acts of terrorism as occurred in Liberty City recently.
Granted. The shooters wouldn’t hesitate to commit murder again. Especially against any witnesses against them. So, the cycle of violence is perpetuated by force of rule.
Imagine how much can be accomplished to end such deplorable acts of domestic terrorism if only people would read. Yes, read the history of this country, the Constitution, Amendments and U.S. Supreme Court decisions.
Why not use the independence and freedom on this Independence Day to ponder how the Constitutional “Right to bear arms” is being abused?