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You’re Guilty

A Socially Speaking Commentary from Perry Redd

A Socially Speaking Commentary from Perry Redd

So it is written, there are two categories of sin: sin by omission and sin by commission. They’re both deplorable. You can debate it until the end of time which is worse, but in the end, sin is still sin. I call it a sin that Americans—especially those born and raised in Washington, DC—the nation’s capitol—allow other Americans to live as second-class citizens. This dichotomy is akin to slavery.

For those who don’t know, The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects the rights of citizens. It was adopted on July 9, 1868, as one of the Reconstruction Amendments. White people had to solve “the negro problem” after the Civil War. Reconstruction was a great first step—without saying you’re sorry. The amendment addresses citizenship rights and equal protection under the laws of this land.

It is clear and evident that all Americans have a First Amendment right to petition of grievances. Those petitions are made to elected representatives of the state in which one finds him/herself living in; in turn, those elected representatives then vote in congress in accordance with the wishes of those whom they represent. Well, the residents—and citizens—of Washington, DC are denied that right. It’s serious folks. It’s serious because if you are listening to my show, Socially Speaking, and live in one of the 50 states, you can take advantage of that precious right. I can’t.

You see, I was born and raised in the nation’s capitol. I was no slave, though I am a descendant of slaves. Those slaves couldn’t vote, nor did they have representation. Their slave owners had representation, but they didn’t. That was as late as 1865 at the abolition of legalized slavery. Here we are 150 years later, and I still don’t have that right. What’s wrong with that picture?

I’ll tell you what’s wrong…there are latent racists who want to keep the balance of power in the hands of descendants of slave owners. Those who cherish the glory days of human suffering, white, male domination and self-perceived racial superiority. This is a problem. Since I live in DC, it’s my problem; but in reality, it’s your problem too.

The white, male founders of this country only envisioned black people acting as servants as any significant residential population in Washington, DC, thus the negro would not need—nor be entitled to—representation nor self-determination. That day has played out.

You see, with the knowledge I just gave you, you are now in knowing possession of a truth. The truth you now possess, is knowledge of a crime— aconstitutional crime—that is being committed. Every day that I am robbed of statehood—self determination and full enfranchisement—you are guilty. Every day that goes by where you are not fighting for my right to state sovereign equality, you are a complicit actor in the slave master’s original diabolical plan. Just as white people stood by while black people were made to sit in the back of the bus, just as white people stood by as black people were denied entrance into restaurants, bus facilities or institutions of higher learning, you are as guilty as those white people who did nothing.

Turning a blind eye to the commission of a crime is a crime. Not reporting a known crime is a violation of the laws of this land. You know now…because I told you. If you are not doing something about it, you are as guilty as racist, confederate flag bearers were in 1963. But you don’t have to continue in your bloody-hand, noose-carrying guilt. You can do something.

Write your senators and representatives, tell them to support DC statehood. Tell your brothers, sisters, father, mothers, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, sons and daughters that there are American citizens being robbed of their birthright. Stand for something in this American life you’ve been blessed into. Like abolitionists who found themselves on the right side of history far into the recording of humankind, you too do a grand service to the progression of a band of people who did the right thing for the reason, at the right time in history. Support DC statehood.


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