What Happens When Equality, Liberty, And Justice Are Deferred?

Good Essays

In consideration of the dawning of a new year, the unabashed continuation of White privilege and the unrepentant devaluation of Black lives, I inquisitively thought of Hughes’ questions in terms of liberty. What happens when equality, liberty, and justice are deferred? Not just deferred for you, but likewise deferred for your parents, and their parents, and their grandparents, and their grandparents’ grandparents — deferred now for your children and your children’s children. What happens when substantive and far-reaching gains for Blacks – socially, economically and politically are deferred? How about when access to quality education and quality health care equal to that of Whites is deferred? How much longer shall we wait for full equality? How many more generations - deferred liberty? Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in his letter from a Birmingham Jail, rationalized that the required engagement needed to fight for equality could not be placed on the back burner. To wait, he concluded, “has almost always meant ‘Never’.” “Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor”, Dr. King advised, “it must be demanded by the oppressed.” What happens when “demanded by the oppressed” is deferred? Did righteous Black Power and Critical Resistance dry up like a raisin in the sun? Is the ongoing pernicious cycle of inequality in this country like a festering sore that runs deep in our skin; deep in our subconscious - discharging infected oozing matter day after day; month

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