Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday, Belatedly

    9 score and 19 years ago, Abraham Lincoln was born into the world. In his 56 years of life, he helped guide the United States through its only civil war and to officially abolish the institution of slavery through the Emancipation Proclamation and then the 13th Amendment.

    Texas was the slowest state to accept Lincoln’s end of slavery. It wasn’t until 2 years after the Emancipation Proclamation, on June 19, 1865, that Texas finally followed Lincoln’s lead and worked to end slavery. The celebration of this Juneteenth day, the official end of slavery everywhere in the United States, is still celebrated every year in Texas on the 19th of June.

    But Texas has not always been behind the tides of change. In 1963, in Crystal City, Texas, the first Mexican-American political officials were voted into office. This groundbreaking event laid the ground for the Chicano movement and greater equality for Mexican-Americans in the United States.

    Today, on Lincoln’s birthday, we have a choice to be at the forefront of change or be stuck in the past. Rather than erect a wall and cease to learn from other countries, we must work hard to be progressive leaders in issues such as global human rights, immigration, green energy, etc. As Dr. King wrote,

I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.

…True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring…

…A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death. (Martin Luther King Autobiography 340-1).

It is imperative the the United States be a leader in civil rights as it has striven to be in the world economy and in its military. What is might and what is a mite without right? Though thousands of people on the border are opposed to a border wall and for a liberalized immigration system, very few people are actively campaigning to make this happen. If you are interested in making Texas the leader on border issues and the focus of the continent, please consider joining the No Border Wall Walk from March 8-16. The march is more than symbolic, more than simply a show of force; this march is solidarity in action – this march will be transformative and historic. Sign up now at http://www.mysignup.com/noborderwallwalk

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