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“I freed a thousand slaves . . . I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.”
Black History Month, for me, is usually spent reflecting on the legacies of many influential people in the civil rights movement for their bravery when combating such horrible injustice. However, it is interesting to see the many methods that were taken to reach a level of equality, and it hurts to see many fall into a trap of a collectivist mindset while fighting for freedom.
Just recently, I saw the first chairwoman of the Black Panther Party, Elaine Brown, speak at my university. After reading her book, Taste of Power, I knew what to expect — a socialist mindset with hatred towards free markets, laws for affirmative action, “free” housing, health care, and food. All of this came out in her speech, which ended with a Che Guevara quote and a thunderous applause from the audience. I felt incredibly out of place and the anger that had built up throughout the speech put me at a tipping point.
After cooling off, I realized that instead of being angry towards this woman, I should feel sympathy, if anything. She spent her entire life fighting and fighting and fighting — and her method of choice? Politics. She had run for office several times, even running for president in 2008 with the Green Party. While she tirelessly battled for equality using the same very governmental system that enforced inequality and that continues doing so to this very day, she has not had any of her goals reached.
I feel sympathy towards Elaine Brown for another reason, too, and this is the fact that she had become a complete martyr for the black man, and in her book, she mentions how many times she neglected fighting for women’s rights and simply sacrificed herself for men, with no value for herself as an individual. The Black Panther Party represents the anti-thesis of LOLA, that’s for sure.
Sadly, this is not the first time that I have heard minorities beg for a socialist government to force equality, and I have heard it many times in other regards. The problem with this argument is that it fails to strike the root of the issue of inequality. Many fail to note that it is only government that forces inequality to exist — and while we are all different, in freedom, we would not be judged by the color of our skin, but by the content of their character (thanks, MLK).
While I am not a huge fan of Glenn Beck, I heard that he had a special called the “Revolutionary Holocaust” on why minorities, the poor, and the oppressed should not believe that socialism and communism will solve all their problems. I have yet to see the special, but I hope it does the topic justice! I feel as if many fall into the trap of socialism because offers a sense of equality through a system of each receiving a measured collective share, but it has been tried and tested to have failed in several countries. Freedom, however, is restrained as much as possible, and has never gotten a chance to show off its possibilities for equality.
As I’ve said, striking the root of the inequality problems is the best method to finding the solution. And the root is big government. The war on drugs, prohibition, lack of self ownership, not teaching personal responsibility in public schools, victimless crimes, subsidizing poverty . . . all of these things hurt minorities in their current state and all are based on government. Instead of lobbying for more laws and more regulations for equality, let us try a new approach — removing these laws and regulations that only make sure inequality exists!
We can all be equally free, but not equally enslaved.