“Fellow-citizens; above your national, tumultuous joy, I hear the mournful wail of millions! whose chains, heavy and grievous yesterday, are, to-day, rendered more intolerable by the jubilee shouts that reach them. If I do forget, if I do not faithfully remember those bleeding children of sorrow this day, “may my right hand forget her cunning, and may my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth!” To forget them, to pass lightly over their wrongs, and to chime in with the popular theme, would be treason most scandalous and shocking, and would make me a reproach before God and the world.”
The mournful wailing of millions is still with us. Men languish, driven steadily out of their minds in long term solitary confinement, a practice known to be torture. Some live there for as long as ten years.
Children are chained in factories, making cheap clothing and toys. Many hunger, and lose their homes while the wealthy few live distant from this pain. Land, animals, air and waterways are sacrificed on the altars of greed. Sacrificed, yet not thought sacred.
If we are to be a great people, a noble people, a compassionate people, we must rise toward one another in love.
We must treat one another better, both upon this gorgeous continent, and across the world.
“None of us are free, if one of us is chained.” – Solomon Burke
One current project of mine is studying the terrible effects of mass incarceration. I’m working with local groups on reform in our counties. Online, I am still studying with people from all over the US. Please join us in this study. If we can begin to better name and map the illness, we can find effective roads toward healing.