Letter: We have lost sight of our collective form of democracy
On July 2, 1964 President Lyndon Baines Johnson, with the visionary Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. in attendance, signed the Civil Rights Act. Great effort, perseverance and the sacrifices of many — including the loss of lives — were required for this, a monumental undertaking in the history of our country, to be accomplished.
Racial segregation was the impetus of this epic movement. It is blatantly evident we now face a similar challenge that divides our country and threatens the unity and well being of our country. We as a people are now being oppressed by the injustice of economic segregation. The gap in both the disparity of income and wealth in our country continues to widen leaving the vast majority of Americans alienated from the prosperity our country has to offer.
The Fourth of July marks the anniversary of the birth of our nation founded on an unprecedented form of democracy. Our founders created the foundation of a democratic process that has endured many challenges and continues to provide the opportunity for our voices to be heard. On this day, two hundred forty-three years ago, the Continental Congress approved the final wording of the Declaration of Independence, which was later signed the same year on Aug. 2. Our independence as a democratic nation guaranteed “unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
We have lost sight of this collective form of democracy and the vision to take a stand against oppression in favor of the “public good.” Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis warned us, “We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.”
Jim Coddington III,
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