Footsteps in Faith: Black History Month balances the budget

| February 21, 2014 | 0 Comments


Chaplain (Maj.) Iraheem Raheem
8th Military Police Brigade Chaplain
8th Theater Sustainment Command

As we consider the achievements of African-Americans during this month, it is important to give credit to the movement that made our current reality possible.

If we travel back in time, we come to a profound portion of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech:

“So we have come here today to dramatize an appalling condition. In a sense, we have come to our nation’s capital to cash a check.

When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, which has come backmarked ‘insufficient funds.’

But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation.”

When we consider the sacrifices made by Dr. King, and many other Americans, of all ethnic groups throughout history, who devoted themselves to the cause of justice and equality, how much have we done to ensure that proverbial check remains legal

tender today? As people of faith, how hard are we working towards these divine values? In what ways are we investing into this account of justice and equality?

Abraham was told, “You have already fulfilled the dream! Therefore, indeed do we reward the righteous” (Holy Qur’an 37:105).

As people of faith, now that we have reaped the benefits of the sacrifices of Dr. King, and many others, and in a sense “made good” on that lucrative account, how much are we willing to sacrifice to keep this dream alive?

Now that we can work together, play together and pray together, do we take opportunities to do so? When we see each other’s differences, do we run from them or do we embrace them? Are we more inclined to fear one another or do we take time to understand each other?

As we reflect over our many achievements during Black History Month, let us also reflect on the above questions. Charged with a tremendous responsibility to improve our nation, we owe a debt to a generation of freedom fighters and dreamers.

We now live in a better country because of them. We must therefore maintain the progress made and build upon it for our children’s future.

As we celebrate African-American history and enjoy all our country has to offer, let us always remember our responsibility as American citizens to balance the budget and keep the dream alive.

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Category: Footsteps in Faith, News, Standing Columns

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