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What Are You Thankful For?

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By Hardy Brown

As my mama would say, “if you woke up this morning clothed in your right mind, then you have a lot to be thankful for.” If you have loved ones to share your joy, happiness, and sadness with, then you have something to be thankful for.

If you have a business that is meeting your financial obligations, then you have something to be thankful for. If you have a job, regardless of the pay, then you have something to be thankful for. If you have a friend who knows all your faults yet still loves you, then you have something to be thankful for. If you have fond memories of a loved one who passed away, then you have something to be thankful for. If you have a church home that keeps you in prayer, then you have something to be thankful for.

I cite these few examples, because all of us have something to be thankful for, as we celebrate Thanksgiving this year. I suggest that you make your own list and review it periodically, especially between now and Christmas. You might ask why. I encourage this time of reflection because we often have a tendency to forget to be thankful for the many things that we have. Like, freedom, for instance.

I am speaking particularly to my Black American brothers and sisters now. I want to remind you to be thankful for freedom and our semi-free democratic system. I say “semi-free” because as I write this editorial, our freedoms are systematically being taken away from us, and we aren’t even angry. This week our elected officials in Washington voted to create a new Homeland Security Department. When I heard what this legislation included, I was quickly reminded of the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act that also included “big brother” type language. With the passage of that act, the government required all citizens to report all suspicious individuals to the proper authorities anywhere in country, regardless of their beliefs for or against the institution of slavery or whether or not they lived in a free state. That act took everyone’s freedom away. Similarly, the new Homeland Security legislation, will allow the government to create a database of all American’s activities, financial transactions, email correspondence, etc. and the ability to monitor that information for “suspicious terrorist activities.” Everyone will be a suspect. Those who protest the actions of our government will be singled out and watched for possible terrorist activity. Those with foreign-born relatives will be singled out and watched for possible terrorist activity. Those who challenge the status quo will be singled out and watched for possible terrorist activity.

So, while we all sit down to enjoy our Thanksgiving Day meals with our family and friends, let’s remember that some of the things we are thankful for this year, can be taken away by next year. We must all remain vigilant and alert. We want to continue to be thankful for many Thanksgivings to come.

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