Special Edition – Are We Really Free?

So for those of you that know me and know me really well, you know that I love to watch movies. I am a big movie buff and often times I find myself uncovering the hidden messages or lessons in some movies. Today, I found myself watching The Free State of Jones. In full disclosure, I sometimes do not like to watch movies like this because it makes me so angry and I become so enraged at the audacity of one group of people thinking it was okay to own another human or treat another human as less than because of the color of their skin. Nevertheless, I found myself watching The Free State of Jones. I think I caught the movie somewhere towards the middle or end of the movie.

The part of the movie that I came in on, the character played by Matthew McConaughey was speaking to a group of poor, white people in his community and he was telling them that they are fighting a war to keep another group of people rich by owning another group of people, and he was not going to fight on the side of the Confederate. For those of you that have not seen the movie, The Free State of Jones partly takes place during a moment of time during the Civil War and the freeing of black slaves. As I heard that line in the movie, I thought about things happening in this country today. There was a point in time when poor, white people and black people were united and working together to gain their own independence and rights in the face of wealthy landowners. When working together these two groups were able to come together politically and make some strides but the wealthy landowners wanted to keep their wealth so they created discord between poor whites and blacks by making the poor whites overseers over black slaves and laborers.

This made me think of today and all of the things happening in the Office of the President and the Senate of the United States of America. This President has created a situation where he has led poor whites to believe that people of color and immigrants are somehow taking their jobs. What I want us all to recognize is that this President does not care about anyone but himself. If you are poor you are going to remain poor under him. He is leading you to fight a “battle/war” to keep him and the other millionaires and billionaires wealthy, while you remain in poverty and barely able to take care of your families. It is time for us as citizens of the United States of America to realize that this country will never be great again as long as one group of people think they are better than another group because of their race, ethnicity, language spoken, socioeconomic status, gender, and any of the other things that are being used as a ploy to divide us. It is time for us all to recognize that as humans we all have value and something to offer this country and world to make it a better place for all to thrive and succeed, and have all of their needs met abundantly.

As I was watching this moving, Matthew McConaughey’s character said again to the group of blacks and whites that he was leading that “No man should stay poor so another man can stay rich” and “Every man is a man.” Looking at things today, we cannot keep people in poverty without living wages or equal access to resources to earn an adequate salary to take care of their families just so another group of people can hold on to their wealth. We cannot keep taxing the poor and middle class to keep the rich, rich. If we continue on this path, this country is going to destroy and bankrupt itself. I also took these statements to mean that every person has value and we should not continue along the racist, bigoted path that has tainted the history and now the current story of this country.

For those that think another Civil War or race war will make this country great again. Please remember that the Civil War almost destroyed this country and it did indeed destroy the lives of many people, black and white. Please remember that war is never the answer. Someone else wanting equal rights and to be treated as a human being, does not diminish the rights of another person or take anything away from them. Every man is a man and every woman is a woman, and regardless of skin color, race, or ethnicity; every person deserves to be treated with dignity, respect, and have equal rights and equal protection as citizens of this country.

There were so many other things that happened in this movie that made me think of what is happening in this country and world today. What I will say is this, America needs to stop waging wars in other countries under democracy and fighting terrorism when everyone in this country does not have all of their rights. America needs to stop “fighting terrorism” until they recognize and denounce the history of terrorism in this country at the hands of white men calling themselves the KKK, white supremacists, and Neo-Nazis and any other group promoting hatred and racism. America needs to stop going into other countries fighting injustices when they have not acknowledged that lynchings against black people in this country was a form of terrorism and take definite action to ensure that these types of behaviors are not encouraged and do not happen again.

So, I ask you are we really free? I mean every person in this country. Are we really free? When one person in this country does not have all of their rights, it is a threat to the freedom of every person in this country. I challenge all of us, to examine our views about race, racism, and people that are different from us. Examine if your beliefs will help or harm this country. To help you out, if you hold hatred or racism in your heart towards another group of people because of the color of their skin, language spoken, ethnicity, gender; then you are harming this country and are missing out on knowing some really awesome people. You never know where your help or blessing will come from.

Ask yourself, are you really free? Let’s make this country a place where everyone can thrive and survive, and live abundant lives where all of their needs are met.

Seeking True Freedom,

Dr. Daphne

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