The Emancipation Proclamation went into effect January 1, 1863. Read Lenny McAllister’s call to action 150 years later.
CHICAGO (January 1, 2013) — Lenny McAllister, upon the national remembrance of the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, issued the following statement:
“150 years ago, on January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln, through a move wrought by wartime shrewdness and political courage, officially declared freedom for Black people in America that were suffering the inhumane and inconceivable horrors of daily life as slaves in the American South. By enacting this noble move, President Lincoln showed both tactical expertise for the sake of reuniting the nation and visionary leadership for the sake of its future. With a stroke of the pen, President Lincoln both freed Black people from over 200 years of its shared agony while freeing our nation from decades of moral decay and interstate contention. In essence, the nation forged a new path on January 1, 1863 with the bold move for the sake of improving the quality of life within the United States of America for all.
“Now, we stand together, gathered at our own moment in time. Just as Lincoln watched the horrors of war, cultural divide, inhumanity, and hopelessness impact the land that he loved, we look over a divided country that is being torn apart by political squabbling, cultural divisiveness, generational poverty, and anxiety concerning the ongoing negative trends of violence, unemployment, and educational deficiencies. 150 years later, we are called – through the power of words, the steps of a movement, and perhaps the stroke of a pen – to be historic ourselves. We are called to join President Lincoln in the same American quest that he continued with the Emancipation Proclamation: to seek justice in order to form a more perfect union where all men are created equal; to secure the pathways where all Americans are capable of pursuing happiness through liberty; and to enact, whenever necessary, a new resurgence of freedom so that the ideals of this great nation – self-governance and freedom for the people, by the people – shall never perish from the earth.
“Therefore, we come in remembrance of President Lincoln’s noble act, but we move onward remembering that his work shall be incomplete if we are insufficient in our efforts starting January 1, 2013. In 1863, Lincoln was called to grant freedom from chattel slavery. Today, we are called to facilitate freedom from economic poverty, political depravity, societal alienation, and educational deficiencies.
“We are called to free children bound by the societal limitations of inadequate educational channels, inadequate employment opportunities, and inadequate levels of public safety. We are called to free government by the people from the partisan gridlock and philosophical rigidity that forces too many leaders to forget that we are a nation of diversity across the millions, where our strength is in our freedom and the power within our numbers. We are called to free Americans from the restrictive mindset that what we see today – from our inner-city ghettos to the poor of rural America – is how conditions will always remain. We are called to emancipate modern-day America from the binds that hold us back in the 21st century. We are called to break these binds, some self-created and some from years past, just as Lincoln did 150 years ago.
“Today, I commit personally to being visionary enough to see a better reality past the economic, political, and societal carnage we see before us now, just as Lincoln did 150 years ago. Today, I commit personally to being courageous enough to find solutions that make sense for today and empower our communities for tomorrow. Today, I commit personally to being focused enough to see a more perfect union as of now, past our previous disagreements or points of contention. I believe that there are plenty of Americans that will honor President Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation with their personal commitments to a better America starting today as well. I welcome us to celebrate Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation, not just by looking back on the significance of that moment 150 years ago, but also through keeping daily remembrance of the significance of this moment today for the sake of the next 150 years of this wonderful nation. I look forward to doing so, together, as One Big Team.
“May God watch over us all in 2013 and may He bless the United States of America.”
Political commentator and community advocate Lenny McAllister is the “Working Man’s Conservative” currently seeking office in Illinois’ vacant 2nd Congressional District seat.
For more information, go to LennyForCongress.com or call 773-492-0509.