Dear Editor of The Triangle,
As you know, on June 24, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, upending decades of legalized abortions in the United States. On July 16, 2022, in a visit to Philadelphia to discuss this change as well as recent efforts related to voting rights, Vice President Kamala Harris reminded listeners that freedom was decided here in our own city.
I am sure many readers will agree as we say we are a country built on freedom. However, most of us, if being honest, know that historically freedom has been more freeing for some than for others. Over time, we have made progress — expanding voting rights, outlawing redlining, and allowing same-sex marriage. But recent political activity has pushed back, or brought into question, the durability of this progress. Indeed, for some of today’s leaders, freedom seems to be predicated on two factors: who the freedom is for and whether it bolsters the power held by the select few deciding on it. As a result, we now find ourselves living in a country many of us don’t recognize.
In considering recent developments, I have been frustrated by the realization that today, I live in a country:
- Where parents can choose which books are in the school library, but not whether to become parents at all.
- Where a teacher can be arrested for discussing different types of families, but a former president walks free even after trying to overthrow our democracy.
- Where security can be increased for Supreme Court justices more quickly than for children in classrooms.
- Where a “patriot” is celebrated for their inflexibility and a negotiator is seen as weak.
- Where my neighbors who wish to spread a deadly disease have more rights than those who need protection against that disease.
- Where my right to bear arms is valued more than my right to survive a trip to the grocery store, church, concert, nightclub or mall.
- Where my right to spread misinformation is valued more than my right to expect the truth.
- Where my flag has come to symbolize a belief in power over honor.
- And where my Bible has come to symbolize judgment over love.
I hope I am correct in my belief that I am not the only one who believes:
- That others know what is best for their families.
- That laws apply to everyone.
- That children and the elderly deserve our protection.
- That power lies in compromise.
- That we all deserve to be safe in our communities.
- That we all deserve the truth.
- That our flag must stand for freedom and honor.
- And that God, not humans, is the judge.
Am I alone?