Saturday, September 26, 2015

Equality, Equality...

Of course we Americans value the words of the Declaration of Independence or we're supposed to, anyway.  Some time ago I wrote some thoughts about it.  Although I haven't read the book (I still might someday...) I have enjoyed seeing the author of Our Declaration, Danielle Allen,on Booktv.  On a recent appearance, she noted we don't seem to have many 'sayings' about equality as we have about say - freedom.

That got me thinking.  'Why not?' and 'If not, why don't we start creating them?'

My mind almost immediately thought of a passage from the song "The Farmer and the Cowman" from the musical Oklahoma! - this passage delivered by the character Aunt Eller:

 I'd like to teach you all a little sayin'
And learn the words by heart the way you should
I don't say I'm no better than anybody else,
But I'll be damned if I ain't just as good!

To me, that goes to the heart of equality: the sense that we all are equally valuable human beings.  Dr. Allen  thought that there are so many aspects to equality - moral equality, equality before the law, equality of opportunity, and maybe more, if I remember some of what she said correctly.  I suppose that this passage speaks so very clearly to MORAL equality.  My feeling is that recognizing and honoring moral equality certainly would help to point us toward equality in other respects.  So of course I feel we should all work toward making this a reality to and for everyone.

However, we still have to fight for equality before the law, equality of opportunity and other equalities regardless of how folks feel.  For example, I love the scene in Lincoln where Thaddeus Stevens turns the tables on one of the anti - 13th Amendment representatives, noting that however reprehensible and unequal he felt that fellow was, even he was entitled to be equal before the law.  So we must start insisting that folks be given equality before the law; regardless of their circumstances or the way some folks might feel about "them."  We must fight for programs and policies to promote equality of opportunity for all.  We must continue to spread the word that "All men - and women - are created equal..."

Oh yes, back to the idea of creating sayings about equality.  Well, being both a strong proponent of equality and a math person, here's my shot:

"Equality - not just a word you heard in Math class!" 

More ideas???  Feel free to share in comments!  And here's the visual - an original graphic:

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