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« The Presidential Inauguration Speech and the Importance of Grassroots Movements | Main | Church & State »

The Struggle For Freedom Never Ends

By Ken Poland
February 9, 2013

Angelo, those video clips are sad reminders of a period of time I well remember. I was born and raised in an all white and predominately Protestant community. There were a few negros in neighboring towns, but I never had any contact with any of them. The small school's league we were a part of had no negro students. Colby, our nearest large town wouldn't let colored folks eat in restaurants and wouldn't let them stay in the city limits over night. I had no reason to be racist, there was no one to be racist with.

When I moved to Wichita in the fall of 1953 was when I first really had any exposure to ethnic or religious minorities. The civil rights movement hadn't really taken off yet. A few bus seating and lunch counter protests were happening around the country. The Brown vs. Bd. of Education thing had not taken place yet.

When presidents Kennedy and Johnson led the Democrat party into supporting equal rights, the civil rights movement started gaining more traction. The Supreme Court made some landmark decisions in favor of equal rights. That was the beginning of the revolutionary turning of the South from solid Democrat to nearly solid Republican, today.

I never dreamt that I would have an opportunity to vote for a black man to be president of the U.S. His color has nothing to do with my voting for him. I like his positions on economics and civil rights. Economic issues play a decided role in a vast majority of people's fight for freedom to exercise equal rights in society. Race, gender, and sexual orientation should not have any bearing on an idividual's right to enjoy equal opportunity. I think President Obama has done a remarkable job in the face of bitter opposition from the conservative Republican establishment. Tea Party and Religious Right extemists have hollered louder than the Moderats of either party.

White male dominance in religion and politics is slowly being eroded away. Women's freedom of choice and both sex's freedom of orientation is slowly gaining traction. President Obama and the moderate to left of center Democratic majority are working toward an attempt to make freedom of choice a reality. Equal opportunity is still a dream for many.

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