It took a lot of courage to flee political and religious oppression and come to the Americas and oppress the indigenous people here under the guise of the name of God.
The positioning of those words that have become one of America’s many mottos almost equate the words free and brave. It almost tells me that the only free ones are the ones who are brave and all those who are brave are free. That phrase almost gives us a sense of elitism.
“We (Privleged Americans) are free because we are brave. And those who are enslaved should grow some balls and do something about it.”
Our thoughts toward elitism and oppression conveniently allow us to forget our place in the oppression of our neighbors (domestic and international). We blame the oppressed for their oppression forgeting it is our desire for comfort that enslaves millions. Our t-shirts, cell phones, shoes and food are all made and prepared by slaves and when I purchase this slave made good, I perpetuate the oppressor-oppressed paradigm, but I forget that when I buy really cheap food and clothes.
I forget when I eat at McDonald’s, tweet on my Iphone and wear my designer synthetic t-shirt that slaves make my life more comfortable and that God did not call me to be comfortable.
God did not call me to freedom. God did not call me to be an Oppressor. God calls me to stand WITH the oppressed. Therefore, as logn as there are slaves, I am a slave. As long as there are homeless folks, I am a homeless man and must stand with them and fight for the rights and freedom for those folks. As long as this country fails my queer friends as they refuse to give them the same civil liberties I have, I am a queer man who must stand with them and fight for equality.
We quote Paul and say “we are glorious overcomers”. I remind you, we are not overcomers YET. Until every person of color, queer person and poor folk (my neighbors) are free from the evils of systemic oppression, I am not free.
God did not call you to freedom. You just wish God did. God has called us to oppression.
I’m sorry this isn’t a popular statement.
But today, I am not a free man.