Choose One: Life, Liberty or The Pursuit of Happiness?

As of October 2014, it would not be farfetched to declare that civil tensions in America are reaching highs past diplomatic control. While most of the world looks to the United States to play pivotal roles in resolving global issues like the ISIS regime and the Ebola outbreak, little do they know that we may be destroying ourselves from the inside out.

The city of Ferguson, Missouri is on the brink of mayhem following the death of Michael Brown. Brown was an unarmed black teenager shot to death by a white police officer. Though the details are unclear of what actually happened, the number of shots fired is enough to show that something is amiss with the officer’s story. (I will attempt to be as unbiased as possible while getting to my point, but the evidence is overwhelming.) The death of Michael Brown comes right after the country was starting to settle after the murder of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman. Young Martin was unarmed; Zimmerman, an out-of-control wannabe vigilante. (I apologize if I sound a bit partial to the victim, but I have a soft spot for innocent children.) And then, there is the shooting of 17-year-old Jordan Davis. Davis was killed by Michael Dunn, a 45-year-old white man with a history of domestic abuse from multiple wives. This woman beater thought that Davis and his friends were playing their music too loud in their SUV. See, the only problem with that is public volume regulations are monitored for a particular jurisdiction and NOT an individual. Therefore, the individual being discomforted, should bear the discomfort until the traffic light turns green. (Whatever… There is no unbiased view I can hold being an unarmed black male myself.) The point that I’m making is that the White vs. Black problem – that has never really gone anywhere – is being magnified with the deaths of these boys. There are other cases like these and the cumulative stress that they are putting on the nation is coming to a boil. This is for a whole different post though; I could go on forever.

While a majority of the nation is teetering on the edge of a race war, another group is trying to get their pieces of pie from the rich that keep getting richer. The middle class is being methodically squeezed towards the bottom of the money pile by the rich who wants to keep everyone beneath them. The banking industry is stealing money; corporations are sending business and actual employment overseas; and politicians are stealing and laundering taxpayer money like it can’t be used. When we talk about the issue of rich and poor, there is no color except green; the dollar and who has it is all that matters. The economy has been trying to rebound for nearly a decade. However, millions of lives have been destroyed since the beginning of the recession. While we all wait for progress to be made, prices of everyday necessities continue to rise, while wages stay about the same – at least for those who can actually find employment. Foreclosures, unemployment, and a complete loss of everything can cause a man to take extreme measures. People who wouldn’t normally steal may have to resort to crime just to survive. Have you watched Fun with Dick and Jane? Well imagine that attitude being taken on by tens of thousands of families, but with real desperation. If the gap between the rich and the poor continue to grow, that scenario will not be much of a stretch. The bad thing is that the poor and the middle class outnumber the rich by a long shot. So if the economy were to take another heavy hit, I doubt that people will quietly sit by again while corporations are bailed out, and the blame is shifted to a single Bernie Madoff to be the fall guy for billions of missing dollars. Another bout of financial instability like that and the common man may rise give the government more than they are equipped to deal with.

Unless…

The government consist of a network of police forces who have been equipped with military weaponry used to terrorize international enemies. The real division is not between blacks and whites. That is not to say that race is not issue. Race is definitely an issue, but when looking at the current state and progression of issues in the country, blacks and whites alike will soon realize that the upper class does not see a difference in poor people. The sooner we realize that we are all being victimized, the sooner we can come to a solution without reaching any type of civil war. I may sound extreme by considering a civil war, but why is it that small towns are having to fight against the use of armored tanks provided by the government? If this equipment was issued by the government in case of terrorist emergencies, why do we see it so often? It seems to me that the police are very much prepared for civil unrest. At the slightest sound of a protest, full S.W.A.T., riot gear and armored vehicles show up out of nowhere. Remember Occupy Wall Street?

The United States Constitution has given citizens the rights to defend those rights which were granted by the Declaration of Independence. In other words, I have the freedom of speech to speak out against the infringement of my pursuit of happiness. I can honestly say, African-Americans will be better equipped to deal with the reality of a complete government-controlled society simply because of our history. I am not proud of the fact that, generally, we have been conditioned to obey laws and its enforcers through centuries of slavery, to segregation, to where we are now, even if it’s just simple discrimination. The media has made a point to prove that black youths are targeted in some way, shape, form or fashion. It seems that the rest of the United States was under the impression that this wave of unjustified killing is a revamp of 1991, when in fact, it never ceased. If push comes to shove, young black men who can possibly be mistaken as thugs will not be the only ones being gunned down. These testosterone-jacked hired guns will do what they must to protect their investors from anyone who may pose a threat.

While the ignorance of racism runs rampant and kills innocent people, we as  Americans should come together as a people and realize we are slowly being deprived of our “unalienable rights”. We are at the point where life obviously does not count for much anymore. Liberty will be lost in the exchange for the illusion of being free. The pursuit of happiness will be replaced with the pursuit to survive. Death, imprisonment and the pursuit of survival is how our Declaration of Independence is being rewritten before our very eyes. There may not be a paper trail for it, but we all know that actions speak louder than words.

On a final note, I do realize that The Declaration of Independence and The United States Constitution were not originally written to include African-Americans, neither have we been treated as such, even though amendments have been made to accommodate us. There has always been a skewed societal scale on which we live everyday that you would have to be of our race to understand; therefore, I will not defend this any further. Nonetheless, I speak as we are all completely equal, because if militia versus civilian actually takes shape, whites or blacks don’t stand a frozen chance in hell of overcoming that without countless casualties. We stand a much better chance united as a nation and not as an ethnicity.

I do not want to have to choose between life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness… I want all three.

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