27 Nov

     It's freedom, to be sure. It's not easily available in some other countries such as North Korea and Syria.

     Let's then, consider the United States. One of  its founding ideals was "liberty." Guantanamo prison hardly qualifies, for suspected terrorists have been detained there without due process and have been brutally interrogated without restraint...whether or not they are guilty. Black citizens are murdered by racially prejudiced police one after another, on the most dubious of grounds. They do not share the liberties that white people enjoy, for the color of their skin immediately identifies them, and puts them at great risk. While Blacks account for only 13% of the American population, 38% of individuals in jail or prison are Black. One could perhaps fairly say that so-called "liberty" is still mainly reserved for "us white folks.

Chains used in a Slave Pen in the early 1880's to temporarily warehouse enslaved Blacks who would later be sold farther south.

    And yet, even white folks have limited liberty. Governmental agencies spy on hundreds of millions of innocent people; the massive extent of these activities came sharply into focus after the leak of wide-ranging revelations by the whistleblower Edward Snowden in 2013. Freedom for same-sex marriages throughout the country was only made legal in 2015, and LGBTQ individuals still suffer from considerable discrimination in the workplace and from religious groups who deny them their rights. Women, in general, still lack the many freedoms that are accorded to men who continue to tenuously hold on to their traditional power base.

   Even in our social activities, we are often afraid to speak our thoughts out aloud for fear of upsetting the sensibilities of our friends and neighbors. This, too, is a restraint on our liberty even though it pales in comparison to the gross injustices of freedom to which we are subjected by our government and other institutions.

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