Black On The 4th of July
Dominique Matti

Dominique Matti. Thank you for writing and sharing your experiences and your struggle. It’s clear that being black means having to operate under a completely different set of rules and that’s not how it should be in a country with a core ethic of Liberty for all.

There is one thing I want to suggest to adjust the narrative just slightly. Maybe instead of calling America “a lie” we can respect that Liberty is an aspirational value. It’s hard to achieve fully and what we have seen in our 200+ year history is moving toward (and sometimes away from) Liberty in fits and starts.

If we choose it, what America stands for is individual freedom, autonomy, and rights applying to **all humans equally**. This isn’t provided to us automatically by anyone (and definitely not by the power-mongers in Washington that are interested in nothing but expanding their own influence and getting re-elected). Then as now, it’s something that must be fought and won on the battleground of ideas and then pursued in government policy.

I believe in this America. It is yours as much as it is mine to believe in and make real.

A slight shift in your messaging may allow you to reach a wider audience: “America is supposed to be Liberty for All. Here is why we are not there yet. So let’s start something. Let’s instigate an effort to […].”

Until we can name the vision of what we are after, we are going to send effort out in too many directions (or no direction). So we can’t stop at saying what’s wrong… we have to say what’s right (or at least what is better).

Right or wrong, I think a good first goal should be ending the war on drugs and freeing anyone arrested for mere possession.

What do you think we could do to change America from “a lie” toward our vision of being a place where all people are free and all have a right autonomy? ( Clay Rivers: same question )