Thursday, July 4, 2013

July 4th, Diminished

Efforts by hard-edged Republicans in many states - - with Wisconsin a standout under GOP domination in all three branches of government - - to squash minority voting rights and a woman's right of reproductive choice (and now even the right to evade physically invasive probing) guaranteed under the law of the land known as Roe v. Wade has drained Independence Day of much of its depth and joy.

Fireworks are nice and cookouts are fun and the day off from routine obligations is a nice summer breather, but you can't honestly celebrate freedom fully on July 4th knowing that reactionary funders and legislators and governors and even US Supreme Court justices are twisting and parsing every syllable and application in voting rights law - - and in the case of women's reproductive rights, sound medical practices - - to limit or end basic liberties for individuals and groups already penalized by historic discrimination.

The recent Supreme Court ruling that brought down federal barriers to equal rights for gay citizens was a welcome and long-overdue breakthrough, but expanding those same principles and practices guaranteeing equal legal protections in Wisconsin and most other states for gay citizens means more hard work 237 years after the Declaration of Independence was signed.

If you are gay, female, or African-American in Wisconsin - - and in the case of the Ojibwe with tribal treaty guarantees to land and water assaulted in the name of Northern Wisconsin iron extraction - - your rights continue to he discounted, threatened, restricted and denied.

237 years is a long time. Who thinks waiting that long for full freedom and and end to governmental interference with fundamental liberty thinks it's reasonable to wait that long?


Anonymous said...

Certain governmental abuses by certain very powerful persons in your party are conspicuous by their absence.
Do they not also "diminish the fourth"? Do you know what diminishes the fourth MOST? People who choose partisan loyalty and social conformity over the principles that the Fourth is about. Selling out, turning a blind eye, pretending not to notice, white-washing, excuse-making for wrong-doing. All that actively diminishes the Fourth.

Anonymous said...

@anon- ?

Anonymous said...

It's a day late now, but Frederick Douglass' Fourth of July speech is just as relevant today, even 148 years after the abolition of slavery.