Write your own emanicipation proclamation!
I may not be black, but my culture was enslaved and brutally oppressed as well. They said the same things about the Irish, Scottish and Welsh when we first arrived here. They said the Celtic people were brutish, savages, lesser humans. And under indentured service to other humans who owned their lives until they paid off their debt, meanwhile making it difficult for them to save anything by paying them below living standard wages my heritage were enslaved for the better part of two centuries. Beaten, whipped, and overworked. They used racial slurs against us, and hurled their burdens on our backs.
I can identify in so many ways with Martin Luther King Jr, Malcom X, Marcus Garvey, Rosa Parks. Not that my burdens were as great as their burdens. But I too was beaten, denied liberty, denied access to social programs that I have paid into since I got my first job digging ditches for Mapleton Irrigation company at 14 years old. Why?
Because I choose to use cannabis when I was merely a teenager in a state that strictly forbids cannabis consumption on a “no tolerance level” according to Mark Shurtleff and other officials in Utah.
After getting my nose broke by Provo police, and serving 3 months in Utah County Jail (the old one, with the gross cell blocks in the basement). I bailed out and fled to Seattle. I was homeless for 2.5 years, just to escape more persecution. I would rather be poor and homeless than in a cage! But I got to work on I-615 and I collected signatures for the initiative in 1997/98.
Where in Utah I was thrown in a cage. In Seattle I was paid to promote cannabis!
But after finding my faith in Jesus Christ after years of searching for life’s meaning. I read Romans 12 which inspired me to return home and turn myself in on 3 warrants, all of which were for marijuana.
So I turned myself in, and I got another 5 months. Fortunately I was granted work release. I worked at McDonalds at that time.
I followed up by putting myself through school, which I had to finance myself since I was denied access to the military and GI bills, etc..
I got 26 college credits while working at Microsoft. I didn’t quite get my degree before my job ended.
I feel blessed to have these advantages that many folks have been denied based on one thing or another in this country.
One thing that most of my heros in this world have in common. Is Jesus Christ. Who inspired a better life in me too.
I am so grateful that the words of this amazing man was recorded. The determination, the self respect, the forward thinking of this man can not be competed with. He was one of a kind.
But we can do our own duty to secure our freedom and liberty.
The words in MLK’s speech “We must write our own emancipation proclamation” is what we ALL she be doing. NOT waiting for someone else to do it for us!