[by Chandra Alexandre]
Last Friday, we—America—took a turn toward circumscribed freedoms for over half the population with the Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision in its Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization ruling. Millions have now abruptly lost their constitutional right to control over their own body under law. The implications of this are far reaching when we look at the disproportionate impacts it will have on people from communities with low incomes, rural populations, people of color, and immigrants. Regardless of our moral position, the reality is that economic insecurity and inequity will only increase as a result.
As July 4th approaches, a day where we look up as a country to the powerful ideal of freedom that we all hold dear, it’s difficult for me to reconcile the pain I feel given this ruling with the yearning I have to celebrate what we stand for in this country. I want justice to prevail. Yet, I cannot dismiss the loss of dignity, autonomy, privacy, and control over one’s own potential that many will now face because of what our land’s highest court has handed down.
The work of justice is sometimes hard and often long. While it may take time, I know that Community Action efforts everywhere are going to support the priorities of the people. Martin Luther King, Jr., reminded us that “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” Whether in California or Texas, Louisiana or Washington, racial and economic justice is in our bones as agencies fighting the causes and consequences of poverty every day. Our work reflects the heartbeat of the nation, and it is this that gives me hope.
As we come into the long weekend, I invite you to take hope forward into connections with friends and family, loved ones and neighbors. It is moments like these—in trusted relationship—that we are regularly inspired and can become courageous for all we hold dear.
Wishing you a safe and happy 4th of July.
2021 July 4 Statement:
Let’s Embrace Courage this July 4th