Black Equality Matters, because without equality for all people in a society, we have abandoned the universal human rights, which are the foundation for shared law and democracy. Such global commitment to equality is a bedrock of the December 10, 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) Article 1: "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood."
There has been a great deal of focus on abuses and rightful anger and dismay, and calling for changes in addressing abuses. But along the way, we must not lose sight of the real message, which is not only lives, access, economics, but the protection and responsibility of Equality. That is the real goal we must all continue to stay focused on - to prevent rogues who seek to use moments calling for change to divide and undermine our real objectives - into paths for privilege and resentment.
In 2013, public frustrations over deaths of black Americans while involved with police activity spilled out into social media. The frustration was described as the Twitter hashtag "#BlackLivesMatter." If the life (also part of the UDHR - Article 3) of any group is considered as expendable , our protections for equality are not being met. Through 2013 through much of 2015, the debate was ongoing in the United States of America (USA) over the "Black Lives Matter" issue with police, and the issues of police violence and concerns about racial systemic violence.
Many fair-minded individuals like to believe that the USA has become "color blind," when history and facts would tell us that this remains an ongoing "work in progress." There has been, and R.E.A.L. has been a part of the efforts to make dramatic change in USA society, from racial desegregation, legal protection of rights from abuses, and a longer, more protracted societal effort to bridge the gaps of past divisions and even hatred among some.
Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1863 was only 157 years ago. Yes "only." In history, 157 years is actually a very short span of time. Singer Tony Bennett is 93 years old. Ringo Starr is 80 years old. Their grandfathers or great-grandfathers may have lived during a time before the Emancipation Proclamation. While the final implementation of this Emancipation was implemented on June 19, 1865, the reality is that decision was made on January 1. It was a SHARED decision on January 1. The goal of the Emancipation Proclamation was not only end the crime of slavery, but also to set a milestone in the USA in commitment to EQUALITY.
So yes, in merely 157 years, the USA will continue to have problems in equality, including but not only equality for black Americans. When we work together for equality, we are working together on a historic path that our nation decided, hundreds of thousands gave their lives as martyrs, and which is the true legacy that the people in the USA must seek as Americans.
In the growth to overthrow the trappings of inequality, law enforcement has been a focus of many protests. But that is only because it is the most visible. Quiet inequality that seeks to deny, undermine, and oppress others exist in many areas of USA life. R.E.A.L. has seen this too often and too frequently first hand. While working for the Department of Justice in a new legal system in 1982, I distinctly recall the shock I had in seeing a crime posted in a U.S. southern state law enforcement system "rape of white woman." I immediately acted and had this changed. But the idea that a law enforcement organization in 1982 saw nothing wrong with this, over 120 years after the Emancipation Proclamation, shows there was and has been system legal problems.
What is often forgotten is that thousands upon thousands, millions, of American people have worked tirelessly to CHANGE such inequalities in the legal and justice system. The fraction of abusers are the ones who get all of the attention and the endless efforts by millions in the law enforcement and legal system over the years, to ensure Equality Under Law, is ignored.
There is no question that there are factual problems in racial disparity in parts of law enforcement and parts of USA society. But those are parts, not the entire USA nation, not every person, not every police officer, not every organization, not every business, not every government organization.
There is a very big difference between the "#BlackLivesMatter" hashtag on Twitter began in 2013 to stand in solidarity with those rejecting those instances of abuse and racial disparity and the official Black Lives Matter Network organization, with a number of leaders promoting Marxism, anti-capitalism, and other values. The BLM Network and some of those involved in some protests have conflated the issue of law enforcement reform and justice with an anarchistic goal to overtake, undermine, and overthrow the institutions in the USA. These are very different objectives.
It is also obvious that Anarchist and Communist disruptors have sought to latch onto BLM protests to further their divisive campaign against law, democracy, and human rights, as their only real goal is to disrupt - to leverage conflicts for insurrection. To those legitimately concerned about the core mission of law enforcement reform that was the nexus of the initial BLM hashtag protests, you have an obligation to chase away saboteurs of your demonstrations.
That's right. CHASE them away. Make it clear they are not speaking for you. And CHASE away the advocates of violence and "violent revolution." Make it clear they are not speaking for you either. It is very common for the Anarchist and Communist to find any discontent to use for disruption. R.E.A.L. recalls an event we had in challenging Iran on a scheduled stoning of a woman, where Communist disruptors showed up. What did we do? We chased them away. This is what you **HAVE** to do. They are not your allies. They are not there to help you. They are not advocates for equality. Their only goal is disruption to aid them in keeping us from reaching actual progress, and advocates for violence are there to satiate their hate and lust for violence against their fellow human beings.
If you cannot CHASE the Anarchist, Communist, and advocates for violence away, then follow Dr. Martin King, Jr.'s example and lead with your feet. WALK AWAY. Do not let your legitimate issue get hijacked by disruptors and criminals. Manage your message.
To those being swayed by the Anarchist, Communist, and Violence advocates, the facts remain that the USA is and has made very significant changes on EQUALITY through our history. The change in equality may not work at the speed and pace that we want. But we can continue to get it to work. A key factor is to stop taking steps backwards, by allowing advocates of violence, hate, and insurrection to manage the message for equality, because they are NOT equality advocates.
The reality is, and Thank God for it, you do not live in the USA of my childhood, or even the USA where I was a young man. You simply do not. It is a fact. You do not have to be assaulted with signs that designate only certain racial clientele are allowed to go into restaurants, hotels, bars. You do not see the obscenity of separate drinking fountains and restrooms. The idea that your race decides your future has increasingly been a thing of the past, with people of all races leading major USA business, governments, law enforcement, and other leadership organizations. This is absolutely NOT the USA of my childhood, with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. marching in the street for a basic Civil Rights Act. USA has gone from having black men protest in front of the White House to black men running the White House. The USA has many, many serious problems in growing to meet its obligation of equal rights for all of its people. But let us not deceive ourselves, the USA is NOT the nation where Lincoln had to fight for the Emancipation Proclamation, to end slavery, the USA is NOT the 1960s and 1970s.
We must continue to find HOPE in the long campaign for equality, by remembering that progress has indeed been achieved. That progress has been achieved largely by changing hearts and minds. But it has always focused on EQUALITY... not on campaigns believing that one part of American people matter or are more deserving than another.
Because let us also be clear, there are advocates who do not want the American people to remember that progress has been made or that hope should exist. There are advocates whose single goal is to promote violent revolution and to advocate violence against others, no matter what the cost, and no matter which innocents suffer, even children. These are not advocates for equality, and equality is the furthest thing from their mind. There are advocates for violence who are abusing the legitimate concerns of black lives threatened in instances of police abuse. There are advocates for violences whose only real goal is insurrection and power for themselves. The only "rights" they are concerned about are those that help them profit in power. Such rogues are a distraction in the long campaign for human equality.
The racist separatists and racial nationalists also seek to take advantage of USA division.
For decades, people of conscience have worked to reject and denounce the anti-equality views of white nationalist and white supremacist movements, which themselves had come to realize that they represented minority, "dissident" movements. But which white racist movements have gained increasing influence in the past four years, in no small part, due to political activist media figures giving very small minor activities an outrageously overwhelming media coverage. As with all racist groups, it is the responsibility of people of conscience to challenge and protest them. But political media have worked to link them with legitimate political ideologies, and give them undue credibility. One white nationalist group, Occidental Dissent, which R.E.A.L. has protested and sought to urge change has recently found mockery of equality in a recent commentary, stating: "As the evil oppressors of blacks, the only way to bring about true equality and to establish a just society is to treat White people differently than black people. White people have to be punished for their unwitting sins and the sins of their ancestors." There is a finite voice promoting equality to challenge such confused vision of white nationalists, because the focus on EQUALITY itself is missing from much of today's discussion and too much political activism, which focuses on positioning for power and influence, rather than an outstretched hand in genuine equality and compassion.
The National of Islam (NOI)'s Louis Farrakhan has long sought segregationist and black nationalist goals, with a call for black supremacism, with the belief that only black individuals are even actual human beings, and the people of other races are "grafted creatures" created by evil scientist Yakub. R.E.A.L. has regularly challenged the NOI and Louis Farrkhan on this. But how can we expect followers and advocates of this ideology to promote human rights, when they literally don't recognize the existence of others as actual "human" beings? Not all black nationalist groups are as visible and documented, but let us be clear, such segregationists and supremacists are not advocates for Equality.
Separatists and Nationalists have a lot in common.
The main common cause is their REJECTION of Equality. They have no desire to be "equal" in a shared cohesive society. They seek to use conflicts and abusive circumstances to actually turn the public against the very idea of equality itself.
Equality is NOT the Zero-Sum Equality that the racial nationalists and separatists seek to promote. The deceivers want to convince you that division is necessary due to an imaginary lack. The deceivers want to mislead you to believe that the only way you can get a larger slice of the "pie," is to take someone else's "pie." The deceivers want you to believe that equality can only exist when you oppress, and especially violente oppress others not like you. These are the rogue arguments that have nothing to do with equality and nothing to do with reality. The only goal of these arguments are to divide and spread hate and violence. The deceivers believe they can manipulate people to fight among themselves sufficiently, so that they can gain power of their own.
The truth is that in our massive nation and massive global society there is room for everyone, especially there is room for everyone WORKING TOGETHER. We do not have to choose "gridlock" over racial equality. The economic justice that is also sought can be lifting all ships together with improved overall economic conditions, not by seeking to take from others. We can and have found a nation and world with generosity, kindness, mercy, and respect... when those are the values we seek - and we give back.
Equality is about PEOPLE power, not about Privilege, not about being told WHAT to think and WHAT to do. As the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states, written by people of all different ethnicities and races around the world, we have an innate right to "equality" simply because we are human beings. We keep that state of equality through "reason and conscience" and by acting "towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood."
In a cohesive society, that commitment to Equality requires both protection and responsibility. It is not enough only to expect Equality in protection under the law. We must also expect Equality in responsibility under the law. The deceivers, separatists, and insurrectionists want to convince us that we can have a society where law only protects the identity group that they manipulate. They want some to believe that they can have privilege to do what with want with impunity, a false form of equality under law, where there is no responsibility. But that deception is not for the rational mind. We must never forget that there are ethical mathematics as there are in practical mathematics. Two wrongs never make a right. As we know that such ethical mathematics are true, so we must also recognize that we can not have protection under law, without responsibility under law. It is two-tier justice that we already reject. Giving privilege a different label does not somehow make it equality.
Equality is Equality. For Everyone. Equally.
Equality remains an ongoing work in progress, as we are all born free and equal in dignity and rights. Now the hard work is to build a society that continues to respect such universal human rights. There will always be rogues who seek to rationalize that equality is not a desirable goal. They will seek to claim that human equality is about an attack on financial systems, safety, or there will be those who seek to claim that human equality undermines their own view of supremacism in their identity group.
Equality will ultimately not be denied. Despite the fevered passions of the anti-equality advocates, seeking to draw up separatism, their own nations, and legalism to stop equality, the flood of human equality will continue to reach all shores.
The forces of violence, inequality, separatism, segregationism, and racial nationalism are advocates who seek to imitate failures from the past. Those in the past ultimately found these failures would not work. So it will be in the future. As we must find a new path from the desolate night of violence, so we must also find a new path from the desert and wastelands of inequality, segregationism, and rational nationalism. The future of progress leads to advocates of nonviolence, equality, cohesion, dignity, and mercy. We can find our way to the future with an ethical compass of Equality, Mercy, Dignity, and Nonviolence. The future waits for us to find the path of progress and hope by looking for values that will bring us together, not bitterly divide us apart.
Too many are focused on the voice of privilege and identity, but not on the concept of Equality For ALL. The scales must be balanced by our restraint, mercy, and empathy. We do not work to build the healing grasp of Equality in hearts and minds with an Upraised Fist, but rather we must offer an Outstretched Hand. That is how we build the trust for a new age. It has been done. It can be done. Let us find ways to build solidarity on the multitude of issues where our common needs outweigh our minor differences to find campaigners for our shared Vision of Equality. The campaign for Equality will not lead itself. Equality needs drum-majors across the land. We need to find ways to be voices in Equality for the 21st century, when the voices of violence, inequality, and division believe they have won. It is NOT too late.
"It is always the right time to do what is right."
Let us also find creative ways to bring USA and our society together.
USA needs a moment of healing that can bring it together. In addition to July 4th and June 19, perhaps the USA can refocus a common goal, using January 1 as a new U.S. national holiday. We have had a long celebration of New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. But let us also consider focusing on that rededicated January 1 - not only as New Year's Day, but more importantly as "Equality Day," and the birth of a new nation, where all people's right to be equal as fellow human beings is remembered and revered.
Let us all be Responsible for Equality And Liberty.