By John Johnson, II
President Biden has spoken reverently about pursuing a mission of saving America’s soul. Somehow this seems to suggest that he is prepared to identify what constitutes its soul and what atonements must be made for our Nation’s past and present transgressions.
If America is really the embodiment of its people and its government is of, for and by the people, then one should be able to conclude that America has a soul. Conceivably, its soul is the reflection of its people’s deeds, principles, values, aspirations, systems of criminal justice, and decisions rendered by the Judicial and Supreme Court as well as their covenant with the U.S. Constitution. Religious beliefs were purposefully omitted because President Biden should leave those to a higher authority.
Consequently, saving America’s soul is not an easy task nor one that probably can ever be completely achieved. It is never ending because of people’s human frailties, such as lust for money, power, dominance, acquired hatred, etc.
Most importantly, before America’s soul can be resuscitated, not to mention saved, the deadly infectiousness of white supremacy must be driven into remission. If classified as a disease, white supremacy is more infectious and deadly than COVID-19, as well as a host of other lethal viruses.
Sadly, the ideological beliefs and sentiments of white supremacy are openly demonstrated, voiced, and supported by a wide cross section of society. This includes Congresspersons, police officers, CEOs of major corporations, evangelicals, military personnel, lay personnel, etc. Thus, the tasks facing President Biden are reminiscent of those faced by President Lincoln.
Former President Trump successfully stacked the lower courts and the Supreme Court with staunch conservative judges. The degree to which white supremacy resides within them will certainly be revealed through their decisions. One should surely ask, “What were the majority members of the Supreme Court influenced or infected by that drove them to gut the Voting Rights Act of 1965, of its most potent provision, Section 5.
We must not dwell on the Courts, but focus a bit more on the following transgressions of America which bears its soul: 1) boasting about being the world’s greatest democracy, yet it incarcerates more people than China or Russia; 2) extolling that free elections are the cornerstone of democracy, yet local legislatures are able to pass stringent voter suppression laws; 3) passing tax laws favorable to the rich; 4) vaccinating the rich ahead of people identified as the neediest; 5) refusing to raise the minimum wage, yet don’t prevent corporations from raising prices; 6) portraying poverty as a burdensome problem exacerbated by Black and Brown people, yet more white people live in poverty; 7) allowing a former white president to openly and defiantly violate his oath to the Constitution, yet not holding him accountable.
Remember, Obama, America’s first Black President, was threatened with impeachment merely because of claims that he was born outside the United States. It is needless to continue this list because the transgressions are infinite.
However, it is my reverent and fervent belief that President Biden possesses the leadership skills and moral convictions to resuscitate America’s soul, before it can be saved. Hopefully, saving it will not require divine intervention as recorded in 2 Peter 3:10.
In the words of our benevolent President, Joe Biden, “There isn’t anything that we can’t achieve if we work together,” which must include, Saving America’s soul!
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