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OUR VOICES: The Chains That Bind After Juneteenth

By Dr. John E. Warren

As so many of us completed celebrating our second national holiday, this time in honor of the delayed announcement that all slaves had been freed more than two years before the Juneteenth announcement, the question remains as to whether we all got the message?

All one has to do is look at the voter turnout during these mid-term primaries in all places other than Georgia.The Black vote, needed now more than ever, has begun to fall away. The chains and bondage of slavery have been replaced with chains of apathy and selfishness. These traits are evidenced in the detachment that many of us reflect in our lack of interest in issues that we don’t see affecting us directly. Too many of our minds are still chained to drugs, alcohol and violence on ourselves, often exceeding anything that racist and white supremists inflict on us with gun violence. As a matter of fact, we kill more of ourselves than mass shooters with assault weapons.

The solution to removing these chains is a reflection and awareness that they exist and then a conscious decision to focus on the inclusion of concern for others. We must remember that we, as Black people, have come this far from Juneteenth as part of a collective effort. No one person has made the difference alone.

The good news is that there is a new wave as evidenced by those who have marched in protest against the ongoing murder of Black men by law enforcement entities. But we must grow our numbers. Using the hard fought right to vote is one major step toward removing the chains; stopping the violence against ourselves represents another major step forward.

Bottom line, let’s add to our celebrations a commitment to building upon the sacrifices of those who came before us. Let’s remove the chains and bondage with the personal involvement mentioned here.

Dr. John E. Warren is publisher of The San Diego Voice and Viewpoint.
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