On Equality

By Jack Cunningham

Jack is an undergraduate student at University of Cincinnati, and an intern with Tamaya Dennard’s campaign for Cincinnati City Council.

From the founding of our Nation, change has progressed to encompass more protection for the lives and freedoms of our fellow citizens. Nevertheless, because our government is based on a two-party system and a political climate that is becoming increasingly hostile and polarized ideologically, there are two “sides” engaged in a constant battle over which side’s opinions and set of values are more valid and proper for the nation.

Partisan battles over centuries-old issues and controversies still plague our national discussions. Heated exchanges over issues related to slavery, women’s suffrage, gender equality, and racial discrimination, to name a few, still have a profound impact on today’s society.

Great gains have been made socially and economically in America because of the actions of people who fought to defend the freedoms and liberties of minorities. Heroes like Susan B. Anthony, Martin Luther King Jr., Abraham Lincoln, and Lyndon Johnson brought national attention to the plight of suffering people who sought to be accepted and treated equally in the eyes of their fellow Americans and in the eye of the law.

Nevertheless, the American legal system serves as a living example of how racism and sexism still plague our politics and institutions to this day. Women are paid an average of 60–70% of what men make for the same work, and racial profiling and police brutality continue to prevent people of color from achieving equal opportunity for socioeconomic advancement.

There are many examples of ways by which the U.S. legal system inflicts pain and unfair treatment onto minorities. These inequities can be as widespread as homelessness and drug addiction, to more abstract issues related to religious intolerance and assumed racial “superiority”. For example, the rights of people sexually and romantically attracted to those of the same sex, both sexes, individuals who identify as the opposite gender, both genders, and no gender at all, are still actively repressed by groups and individuals who remain opposed and weary of social progress.

Flawed ideologies and repressive politics allow legislation to be passed that negatively impacts those who identify as LGBTQIA, preventing them from enjoying the full experience of a free and liberated life.

As a millennial, I am concerned about the state of affairs in America. I believe that all people are entitled to the same rights and privileges guaranteed by our Constitution, and that all people should be able to live their lives lives free from fear and intolerance.

This is why I am supporting Tamaya Dennard for Cincinnati City Council. As a member of a minority community, Tamaya not only sympathizes with those who have been impacted, but she also has a clear vision and broader goals for all people. She has the motivation and willpower to really get things done. Tamaya’s determination to bring people to the table and to include them in the political process is as inspiring as it is encouraging.

Knowing that someone truly has your best interest at heart and will work to fight inequity is tremendously reassuring. Tamaya is that someone.