Make America Be True to what It Wrote on Paper

Remarks delivered by Jordan Berg-Powers at Boston Remembers Hiroshima - Nagasaki - Ferguson - Orlando (August 9, 2016)

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men” – we know it is just men, ask Sandra Bland or Korryn Gaines if they have rights. “That all men are created equal, (just White men obviously) that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.”

We know they are alienable rights as we feel free to murder an innocent life sitting near the wrong person with our drones.

We know rights are alienable if you are Black and have a legal gun when a White police officer comes upon you.

We know rights are alienable when you are in your castle and the SWAT team comes to deliver a parking ticket summons.

We know rights are alienable when you are young Black or Brown and live in the wrong neighborhood.

“Unalienable right to life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” That is our demand, that has always been our demand that those rights be equal given out. But we forgot the second part. “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

We have consented to this type of governing. Our society is sick. We have a reverence for killing people and a disdain for the voices who value people. There is always an excuse: the moral thing to do was to end a life, distinguish a light, destroy as I believe a mirror of G-d’s image, a family’s loved one had to be murdered.

We are sick and our so called justice system reflects this deep sickness. No ice cream truck, no video of dancing police officers will cure this sickness, because it isn’t about an individual police officer. Each one is doing the job WE ASK THEM TO DO. The policing we have is our creation, it reflects us. To blame an individual police officer is to miss the horror we created.

As Dr. King said, our demand is clear, “we demand to be people.” And we need “a human rights revolution” to get there. Creating a justice system that arrests bankers and treats addicts, that prosecutes politicians who create private prisons, not sending the poor to them, a system where the police treat a Black kid from Dorchester with the same humanity as a White kid from Newton, that system is created through the legislature.

Mass Alliance fights for the radical idea that regular people who are committed to putting their communities first should be our elected officials.

We fight every day to making the words on paper a reality. So that “we can hold these truths to be self-evident, that all PEOPLE are created equal, that they are endowed with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among the people who have demanded better governing.”

In that past we have asked America to be true to what you wrote on paper. Now it is time for us to take power and make America be true to what it wrote on paper.