In the Summer of ’64 the parents of today’s baby-boomers marched down to Mississippi to protect the right of people to vote. Antebellum southerners were still in their Civil War psychosis and America was still contemplating the civic role that African Americans would play in its future. Today, a person’s right to vote is still a point of contention in our country. Half a century on, the American obsession with inequality and social deprivation still belies a more perfect union.
Race is still a key ingredient in motivating political races. Festive political contests are still defined by racial party politics. American economic competition, social mobility and racial antipathy are alive and well; while Lady Justice puts on the robes of the Tea Party and looks through the eyes of racial angst at an American populous too beleaguered by a long recession; an economic impasse that has called into question not the American Dream but the American middle class itself.
Even in this new millennium, American obsession with “what to do with the race problem?” perplexes a slumbering middle class as an opulent upper 1% looks down. Even as the Latino community takes its place as a majority while perched at the bottom rung, America slumbers forward into the cyber abyss–so modern and high-tech yet seemingly devoid of wisdom, foresight and vision for a tomorrow for all the people by all the people.
Let freedom ring! And when it rings who’s listening?
And when so many of us are now free, what are we free to do?
It seems that when millions are finally free to work and aim to be middle class–the middle class has all but disappeared.
“IN A corner of the immaculate lawn of Mt Nebo Missionary Baptist Church, in Philadelphia, Mississippi, lies a long tombstone adorned with fresh flowers. Nobody is buried there; the stone is a memorial to James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, three young men who came to Neshoba County, of which Philadelphia is the seat, in the summer of 1964 to register black voters. On June 21st Klansmen allied with the county police stopped their car, shot all three at close range, and buried them under a dam.”