WORST DEBT TO LEAVE OUR CHILDREN
By Uriah J. Fields
Debts, what is owed, are of many kinds. But the moral debt is the greatest debt. It is the debt that is usually caused by immoral behavior, mainly man's inhumanity to man.
What we hear about almost daily is the financial or economic debt, i.e., the inbebtedness of the United States that include the 1.3 trillion dollars owed to China and the 1.2 trillion dollars owed to Japan.
At the end of World War II in 1945 the debt was 112 percent of the GDP (Gross domestic product). In 2014, the debt was 103 percent of the GDP. Over the period of 35 years the debt that resulted from World War II decreased to about 24 percent of the GDP. This would suggest that over time measures can be taken to reduce the current debt without taking away entitlements, especially those for the poor and elderly and benefits that help all Americans to live fruitful lives. A huge debt will not have to be "passed on to our children," to use a characterization of deficit often heard from so-called conservative members of Congress who advocate reverse Robin Hood, taking from those who are barely making it so the holdings of the wealthy top 2 percent can increase.
Allow me to submit to all who have ears to hear or eyes to read that the worst debt this generation - controllers: the wealthy lobbies, and politicians, many of whom represent special interests, not the people who elected them - can pass on is not the financial debt. The worst debt that can be passed on to our children is the moral deficit. History provides evidence of the validity of this truth. For instance, in the area of race in America the legacy of white supremacy, slavery and segregation bequeathed to the present generation is manifested in a racism and a systemic culture that produces conflict between black and white people. While blacks are the greater victims, whites, especially those who desire justice for all, as an increasing number do, are also victims as the result of the legacy they received from their immorally behaving grandparents, parents and for some grandparents to the tenth power. It is true that the present generation have rejected some of the immorally based practices of previous generation but the generation curse has not been sufficiently broken to produce a post-racial, more correctly, post-racist's, society, in America.
The challenge offered, especially to people under thirty years of age, is to break the generation curse. This requires them to reject the immoral practices of their antecedents who embraced white supremacy and practiced racism. Here is one example of how this has been done by one person. That person is Peggy Kennedy Wallace, the daughter of an arch-segregationist and former Alabama Governor George Wallace. He was not alone. Nearly every governor in the South was of the same persuasion. They subscribed to and wanted to believe Wallace's motto and battle cry "Segregation now, segregation tomorrow and segregation forever." Wallace stood in the doors of the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, vowing to prevent integration of the campus and then stepping aside for federal troops. But change was inevitable, although not before the blood of civil rights activists flowed in the streets and some of them were murdered by racists.
Wallace was the governor of Alabama on "Bloody Sunday," March 7, 1965 when a large number of marches, composed of blacks and whites from the North attempted to march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, to highlight their demand that blacks be granted the right to vote in Alabama. At the foot of the bridge marchers were beaten and tear-gassed by state troopers.
On March 8, 2015, during the weekend of the 50th anniversary of "Bloody Sunday," the day after President Barack delivered his soaring speech atop Edmund Pettus Bridge, (when it had to resonate within his soul that what happened on that Bridge made it possible for him to be President of the United States), Peggy Kennedy Wallace stood on the steps of the Alabama Capitol defiant and indignant, yet with an unapologetically resounding voice renounced acts of hate committed by her father. Speaking to the huge crowd that included civil rights activists and their survivors, the current Alabama governor, Robert Bentley, and members of Congress she said:
It was here that I hear my father
say the words 'segregation now,
segregation tomorrow and
segregation forever. It was here
that my father fought to support
a culture of exclusion, riding the
wings of fear rather than seeking
justice on the wings of eagles.'
When she finished her speech, Freedom Rider John Lewis who 50 years earlier had been nearly beaten to death by state troopers on Edmund Pettus Bridge embraced her and said "My friend," and called her, "My sister." Peggy Kennedy Wallace had endorsed Obama in 2008.
Let each person consider that if Peggy Kennedy Wallace had the courage and conviction to renounced her father that he or she can summon the courage and conviction to renounced publicly those who acted immorally to produce the legacy bequeathed to them, including the Founding Fathers and members of the Supreme Court. And henceforth, refuse to accept or honor past wrongs, nurture the seeds of discord or practice inhumanity. Know that the future is in your hands. Let your allegiance be to creating a more just society. Only one person can make a difference that has redeeming value. Be that one.
To reiterae, it is not the financial deficit that should be of the greatest concern. Do not allow anyone to convince you that it is. Our children will deal with the financial deficit just as the people handled the deficit after World War II. They will recognize that America is the wealthiest country in the world and take measures to distribute the wealth more equitably than it is at present. I believe our children will NOT permit the top one percent to continue controlling as much of the wealth as they do at present, and that this will be accomplished, in the words of Malcolm X, "by any means necessary." The present generation has already proved that they are more moral than their parents' and grandparents' generations. To that we say,"Let the evolution continue in the hope that a revolution will not be necessary. But a revolution may be necessary.
The moral debt can destroy America. It destroyed Rome. Maintaining the moral deficit will increase and perpetuate violence and destruction. That need not be. Our children deserve the best, a debt-free legacy or a substantially reduced debt legacy, but this must not be at the expense of people in poverty, currently constituting twenty percent of the population. Money is not our greatest resource. People are Planet Earth's greatest resource.
Let me close with this song I composed in the hope that every American will sing this song by having the courage to act in the spirit of Peggy Kennedy Wallace:
This is My America Too
1. This is my America too.
I will not be silent and
stand idly by when America
is under siege by some
Americans who work day
and night to deny freedom
and justice for all Americans.
So let the word go forth I
will not surrender to fiendish
ideologues now or tomorrow
who feign being patriotic
Americans while questioning
This is my America too.
2. This is my America too.
And I want the fiendish
ideologues to know America
is worth fighting for and I
am willing and ready to
fight to extend freedom
and justice for all Americans.
Copyright 2014 by Uriah J. Fields