The Crusader Newspaper Group

As we near 2022, never relent in your fight for a better America

There was a time when it was conventional wisdom that we were all better off in a caring, compassionate society. Even if only on the surface, leadership vowed every election year to support beliefs and practices that brought us together. There was honor in discussions of this nation being viewed as a melting pot.

Make no mistake, there has never been an across-the-board consensus for our living together as one. America was founded on division that began with depriving indigenous people of their homes, followed by four centuries of America’s greatest sin, slavery. Racism, prejudice and hatred permeated the culture.

The United States has never been Utopia. For people of color, women, the poor and myriad disenfranchised populations, existence can more aptly be described as the American nightmare as opposed to anything resembling the dream state. The struggle from within has been brutal and unending.

But at the very least, the worst elements of our society have never been recognized as the status quo. Bigots wore pointed hoods and perpetrated misdeeds hidden in the darkness of night and secrecy. However hypocritical, the evil doers were cast out as the scourge of society functioning in disgrace.

There was at least the premise of civility and the perception of possibilities for those starting at the bottom to have a chance to make it to the top—or at least make it. From the New Deal to Voting Rights to Supreme Court decisions on education and human rights to Affirmative Action and various people-oriented congressional legislation, there has always been at least the hint of decency in national discourse.

While politics have always been brutal, abrasive and partisan, there has always been some big-ticket concern other than military spending that persuaded the most open lawmakers to cross political lines. And the confinement of ideology was not so sharply divided between red and blue states. Today, the thought of partisanship is as remote as traveling to Mars. Unimaginable.

You know we are in an unsavory predicament when a teenager kills two rally protesters and not only is vindicated and rewarded with instant celebrity, but is touted as a hero for the right-wing with one congresswoman suggesting his worthiness for the Congressional Medal of Honor.

When a teenager walks into a school and slays four innocent people, eyebrows scarcely raise any more. The murder rate in America reached new heights this year, even after our undergoing one of the most traumatic experiences in the annals of humankind—the global coronavirus pandemic. The irony defies explanation and confounds understanding.

We aren’t quite a year removed from an insurrection at the nation’s capital that resulted in six deaths and lingering injury to the Democratic process on which this country was founded. And yet rather than convene the brightest and best minds for analysis and corrective measures, there is denial of the reality and utter contempt for those seeking the truth, much less restoration of the process.

States are setting up restrictions and redrawing boundaries to assure election outcomes, removing the decision from the ballot box to election boardrooms and legislatures. Misogynistic lawmakers oppress women’s rights while redesigning schoolbooks, and lesson plans are to dictate politics rather than historical or scientific truths. Like never before, the proverbial inmates are running the asylum.

However dismal a picture reality may paint, we don’t sound the bells as a signal of surrender, but rather to awaken and recharge those committed to continuing the good fight against the most depraved elements of our society. Solutions won’t come easily, and voices for correctness may be too few. But only in recognizing the challenges will we be reminded of urgency among the faithful resistance.

Even in the fog of the holiday season and transition from one year to another, we have to be adamant in recognizing that 2022 is right around the corner, and there is no time for rest among the weary in the fight for human rights, social justice and a better quality of life for all. We are battling principalities, not flesh, and challenging corruption in high places.

But the key is… we are fighting; not acquiescing or ignoring reality. Enjoy the season then make one resolution for the New Year—that you will not relent in what you can do to bring about change.

CIRCLE CITY CONNECTION by Vernon A. Williams is a series of essays on myriad topics that include social issues, human interest, entertainment and profiles of difference-makers who are forging change in a constantly evolving society. Williams is a 40-year veteran journalist based in Indianapolis, IN – commonly referred to as The Circle City. Send comments or questions to: [email protected].

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