Land of the Free

By Christopher Woods

Freedom! Freedom! I can’t move. Freedom! Cut me loose, yea. Freedom! Freedom! Where are you? Cuz I need freedom, too!

Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar opened up the 2016 BET Awards with the anthem “Freedom” from Beyoncé’s Lemonade album. Later in the show Jesse Williams told truth to power in a speech that energized the audience and erupted the volcanos of white tears across the nation at the same damn time. Two weeks earlier a gunman using automatic weapons massacred 49 people, and wounded 53 others at a gay club in Orlando, Florida, and, once again, Congress did nothing. Just yesterday the FBI announced that they were not going to press charges against Hilary Clinton regarding her improper e-mail usage (that no one really cares about), and Sara Palin went on a tirade and wants Americans to “rise up and tear down this tyrannical system that is destroying America from within.” (I hear you, sister. COINTELPRO was some bs! That’s what you’re referring to, right? No? Oh...) Also yesterday Donald “Make America Great Again” Trump decided it was a good idea to praise Sadam Hussein for his “efficient killing of ‘terrorists’” as his expression of contempt of the reformed means by which the US and the Obama Administration has handled certain incidents of terrorism. This morning I woke up to the hashtag for Alton Sterling…

What the f- America?!

There are roughly 300 million Americans, and all of us want to be free. We sing it loudly at sporting events, on holidays, and even funerals, “O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave.” But what happens when my desire to be free hinders another person’s freedom. What kind of country do we have then?

  • Millions of people in this country want to be able to live free without harassment or police brutality, systemic racism, sexism, gentrification, voter suppression, or the subconscious feeling of inferiority for being a minority in this country.
  • Millions of people in this country want to be able to live free without hearing about how Black Lives Matter and don’t want to be bothered hearing about how systemic racism is still prevalent throughout all levels of government and social structures. They don’t want to be politically correct. They would rather go back to the 1950’s when there were traditional gender roles and segregated schools and communities.
  • Millions of people want to be able to have unrestricted access to guns and will not tolerate any legislation that will make it more difficult for people to have them that probably should not have them. Their response to the staggering number of mass killings committed by gunmen in this country is that more people should have guns to protect themselves.
  • Millions of people want to be able to live free without being harassed because of who they love, what gender they identify as despite what they look like on the outside and still be allowed the same civil rights  and benefits promised by the Constitution to all citizens.
  • Millions of people want to be free to practice their religious freedoms and openly disenfranchise and even kill other citizens in this country because they don’t agree with a lifestyle averse to their religion’s doctrine.

These are the Divided States of America with liberty and justice for whom?


Photo Credit: Danny Sellers