The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same

I came full circle on the gravity of this statement while watching the new film, Lincoln. The laws on slavery have changed. The laws on black and womens voting rights have changed. The laws surrounding equal pay for equal work have changed. And the laws surrounding the promotion of blacks in the military have also changed. So many monumental amendments, laws, decree and proclamations have been set forth by our congress over the last 236 years of creating a more perfect union.

But its the laws that have changed. Many of the thoughts and mentalities that went into the opposition of the amendment abolishing slavery, women’s voting rights, etc., still exist in the minds and hearts of white elected officials. It was unerving to sit and watch the depiction of congressmen giving testimony as to why the amendment cannot be passed. How its ungodly that blacks should be seen as equal to whites. The anger and resentment that existed not on the surface, but emanated from the very core of their being. The idea of living alongside over 4 million newly freed blacks was frightening. Seeing interracial marriages sickened them. I sat and wondered even onto this morning if it was fear of losing perceived power that fueled this anger. Or maybe it was the fact that a fully trained and capable workforce of Negros would now be able to perform their crafts better and for their own profit. The money that whites stood to lose was immense, and as one confederate gentlemen suggested, their economy would fall.

Though saying nigger and blacks in congress today would be far from prudent, the attitude of some congressmen reflect the truth that the negative feelings of Lincolns day towards blacks and women has never left the halls of the capital. Its evident in the treatment towards President Obama. It’s evident in the “War on women”. The sad reality is that it’s evident at all. Many of us exercised our right and responsibility to vote on the right side of history. Lets be sure to do it again in 2014. Politics doesn’t end when an election does.

S.

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