Well, these continue to be interesting times with no end in sight. As I write this, a pro-police rally down at the capitol is being interrupted by a group demanding the police departments be defunded. For almost three months now, people have been demanding their voices be heard and their rights be acknowledged. At the same time, they think it’s quite appropriate to deny the right to speak to groups that have a different viewpoint on certain topics. Where does this all lead?

In a similar counter-intuitive argument, there is a strong movement among some in our society to push for reparations for descendants of slaves. At the same time, many in that group also argue for citizenship for the DACA children. Their reasoning is that children shouldn’t be held responsible for the sins or crimes of their parents. Shouldn’t that same argument apply to the first point in this paragraph, slavery?

I, and many of my peers, would have no problem with providing a reasonable path to citizenship for youth who were brought here by their parents as long as those youth are law-abiding and working to be able to support themselves and be productive members of our society. Certainly they had no role in their parents’ decision to enter the country illegally. At the same time, I had no role in bringing slaves to this country and should not be held responsible for the culture of our ancestors. What I should be held responsible for are my decisions and my attitudes toward giving minorities legally in our country an opportunity to improve their lot in life. That doesn’t mean giving them a hand-out, but a hand up. Our country was founded not on the principle of equal outcome, but equal opportunity.

This has been on display over and over again. Look at men like President Obama, Secretary Ben Carson, and Gen. Colin Powell. Benjamin Davis, Sr., was born in Washington, D.C. in 1880. He was the son of a messenger and a nurse, not aristocrats or wealthy people. In 1900, he passed the Officer Candidate Test and became the second black officer in the U.S. Military. He went on to become a Brigadier General in 1940. As an interesting aside, if the government does move forward with renaming the three army posts currently named after confederate generals, I think BG Davis would be a good candidate for having a namesake.

Rebecca Crumpler was the first black woman to become a certified physician in the U.S. This happened in 1864, a full year before Major General Granger reached Galveston to deliver the announcement ending slavery in this country (Juneteenth).  All of these individuals serve as examples that opportunity abounds for those who are willing to put forth the effort. Do we live in a perfect country? No. But we are making progress and we need people to work with us, not against us.

I am amazed at how often I hear criticism of President Trump’s action on the coronavirus. It just so happens our constitution gives him no power to do much of anything for this pandemic. Most Republicans are strong supporters of what’s called States Rights. The constitution states that the Executive Branch of the Federal Government is responsible for international affairs, the military departments, and appointing the heads of the federal agencies. He has no budgetary control over anything and no authority to direct any action internal to any of the states.

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