During the official celebration of America a few days from now, July 4, 2018 will mark 242 years ago that our nation was “conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal,” not withstanding the fact that many African Americans’ ancestors were being denied freedom at the same time. Moreover, that strike for independence in 1776 started America on a journey for justice that continues to this day.
Interestingly, during much of that 242 year history, particularly, this early phase of the Trump Administration, Americans have been trying to determine what kind of country we want to have, causing us to re-examine the true meaning of America’s founding promise of equality and justice for all. Make no mistake about it, we must remain committed to the long term goal of fulfilling the ideals embedded in our founding promise, putting them into practice for all Americans. Therefore, it is quite fitting to say America remains a work in progress, all these many years later, still depending on our democratic form of government to make America more inclusive.
Unfortunately, since the inauguration of the Trump Administration on Jan. 20, 2017, America’s journey for justice seems to have hit a detour with Mr. Trump and his team being unable to strike the right balance for the continuing betterment of our beloved Republic. Being a close observer of the Trump presidency, it does appear that Mr. Trump is overwhelmed with the complex responsibilities of having to lead the U.S. and the world. Particularly, President Trump does not appear to be able and competent to continue the tradition of modern day American presidents in helping move the world forward, especially in working with America’s allies.
At this point in the Trump presidency, Mr. Trump seems to have little interest in continuing the work in progress to advance the struggle for equality and justice for all. And he continues to fail miserably at striking the right tone in delivering a message of hope, healing and reconciliation in a much needed effort to unify the American people. So, what has the president been doing these first 18 months of his Administration? According to the Southern Poverty Law Center(SPLC), “Trump has, in fact, spent his first year promoting the alt-right’s policy agenda by systematically dismantling hard-won civil rights protections and reversing numerous progressive initiatives of President Barack Obama – all while continuing to use his megaphone to sow racial and ethnic divisions.”
With that said, we, the people, must continue to be about the business of making change, making things right and improving lives. We can show our own courage and strength as we remain steadfast in our fight for fairness and equality, for there is still much to do on the American journey for justice.
Being that America is a work in progress, on this “most American of holidays,” let’s send a hearty shout out to all the people who are working to help complete America.
Larry Sutton is a retired teacher from Clinton High School.