President Obama continues to fight against injustice
caines | 1/31/2013, 4:30 a.m.
On Martin Luther King, Jr.s national holiday, a Black president was sworn in for his second term on the steps of the Capitol.A building, built in part by slaves and freed Black men, and builtduring the presidency of Abraham Lincoln.On this auspicious occasion, President Obamas inauguration was evidence that the dream of a Black pastor from Georgia was alive and enduring.President Obama expanded the dreambased on the principles of our Constitution guaranteeing theright to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness to groups that have been habitually subject to discrimination and largely ignored immigrants, gays and women. In the Black community, we seem to understand the need for civil rights for Black people, but do not include in our thinking the expansion of these rights to immigrants, women and gays.To his credit, President Obama realizes that an injustice to one is an injustice to all, and that we cannot be a great democracy if women working the same job as men are paid less.We cannot be a great democracy if we continue to mistreat immigrants. It is amazing that in a country of immigrants that we want to close the doors of opportunity new immigrants.It is like we got ours, so dont let anyone else get a piece of the American pie.In my opinion, the only group that can be anti-immigrant are Native Americans, who owned this land, and had it taken away by immigrants.Finally, we seem to think that gay people should not have any rights.And that being gay is a choice and a sin, and that sin is so much greater andworse than adultery, stealing, killing, and selling drugs that gay people should be scorned and suffer every type of discrimination without any protection. Even our civil rights organizations scorn gays and in some instances actively join with othergroups to thwart any attempt for this group of Americans to have any type of protection under the law.What is sad is that the same arguments used by Black civil rights groups against gays were the exact same Biblical based arguments used to justify slavery, and the subsequent mistreatment of Black Americans.I am proud that a Black president is expanding the civil rights dialogue beyond just Black and white or even gender to include gays and immigrants two groups who suffer the most abuse in this country. It is time for the Black community to look beyond itself, much in the same way that jewish and white people did in the 60s, and begin to engage itself in the battle for the civil rights of others less fortunate. We should be the standard bearers for the continuation of the dream so that these U.S. transforms itself again by continuing to seek justice and equality for all. Reginald J. Clyne is a partner at Clyne and Associates, P.A. of Miami/Fort Lauderdale.