My 4th of July in DC: A country is only as good as "The People"Submitted by hectorinmiami on Wed, 07/06/2011 - 12:50
My 4th of July in DC
A country is only as good as "The People"
I am celebrating this July 4th among friends in Washington D.C. This Independence Day weekend I walked among the monuments and visited the museums. D.C. is a truly a site to behold. Without going to Europe one can see a Roman-style temple complex here in our own country. The detestable Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is among the largest of such buildings on the National Mall (Constitution Avenue) that reminds me that in ancient Rome it was pagan priests who administered public services ( Church and State were One). As such, every Federal agency has the look of a pagan temple. But enough about that…what a far away city looks like has nothing to do with the identity of “The People.” My story instead starts at the exhibit for the Greensboro Lunch Counter Sit-in at the Smithsonian.
A chronicler working for the Smithsonian named Xavier describes the event and explains the exhibit as a reminder of the non-violent approach to the Civil Rights movement. During the Q&A, I asked whether the civil rights activists from the sit-in thought that the use of the “force of law” was still considered a “non-violent” approach. Xavier explained that the violence during Segregation was so serious that the violence from Federal law enforcement against state agencies and private business did not compare. I thought this is a perfect example of a justification of the “better of two evils” as well as good example between hard tyranny and soft tyranny.
My further attempts to discuss the efficacy of civil rights legislation with Xavier prompted him to utter the motto “We’re not there yet; We still have a long way to go.” I mentioned how every statistical measure of success for minority communities (i.e. Black communities) showed a failure of social and economic progress which is demonstrated in increased incarcerations, high school drop outs, unemployment, post-secondary education, etc. (take a look at Dr. Walter Williams’ Archive for more information on the progress of Black America). I made a lot of points such as a failed legal system that targets non-violent offenders and minorities in which 1 in 3 adults in this country have been in prison and boasts the world's highest incarceration rates.
I was dumbfounded that I could not get a single acknowledgement from Xavier of worsening conditions despite civil rights legislation that was supposed to improve things. Xavier instead challenged me with the question: “What are you going to do about it?” Obviously, he was trying to shift the conversation and I fell for it. I started to say things like the "Informed Juror Movement" and to stop voting for prosecutors (and lawyers in general) to public office. I could tell I was not getting anywhere with this conversation. Thus, I ended my conversation with a handshake and thanked him for his time.
As I was walking away I realized that the best answer to “What are you going to do (about it)?” was not to accomplish some small demonstration of liberty or a change in working the legal or political system. Instead, I turned to my girlfriend and said “JESUS! If a government is only as good as its people and we have a terrible government then it’s the people who suck!” So the best answer I can come up with is JESUS.
Government laws cannot change the heart of men, but Jesus can. It is only a moral and ethical society after all that can respect the rule of law and the equality it offers.
Tonight, as I watch fireworks with my friends and I will continue to hold this idea in my heart: Jesus is the answer to a thirsty man’s heart for justice. Government only adds fuel to injustice and makes violence possible. So if you desire peace in your heart after this July 4th then think on Jesus who gave us peace with God so we can now have peace with one another. It is this hope that inspires us to struggle for freedom. Even false hope motivates people to act. It was a false hope that motivated support for our current president. But true hope, like true love does not disappoint or ever fail (1 Cor. 13:4, 8a, 13). After all, freedom is for people who love freely and do not give in to despair or cynicism. I for one thank God there are still people such as Ron Paul who is one of the few in Washington, D.C. that keeps to the cause of faith, hope and "unfailing love."
Remember: Freedom is NOT Free!