This post was prompted by a question, “Why do we have to do this all over again?” The reference was to the recent hullabaloo over the Supreme Court leak about Roe v. Wade being overturned. The issue of a woman’s right to choose how to treat her own body is protected under the current law and that should be protected and preserved. However, the question can also apply to issues regarding equity and justice in other civil rights issues.
My immediate response to the question was that we have to keep doing “it” meaning work continually to preserve and protect our democracy because it is not guaranteed.
Elizabeth Powel of Philadelphia asked Dr. Benjamin Franklin, “Well Doctor what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” – “A republic” replied the Doctor, “if you can keep it.”
Franklin, and the other founding fathers, and mothers, were well aware of the fragile and precious nature of this new experiment and their laying down the foundation of our government included “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”, a well-known phrase in the United States Declaration of Independence.
“We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men (and women) are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
And this is the opening of the Constitution: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, ensure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
These words are essential to our society. If these words cease to have meaning, we will be in a very dark place. In order to prevent that, we have to preserve and protect “liberty and justice for all” and that means for all and not for some, but all individuals regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, ability, religion/spirituality, nationality and socioeconomic status. I know there are many who do not agree with that belief and that there are those who are working to dismantle a “more perfect Union.”
In a nutshell, that is why we have to keep doing it again, and again, and again. This is not the time to be afraid or to panic. It is the time to step up and resist those who are a threat to equal justice under the law.