„We hold these truth for self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these rights are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.“
These words marked a milestone on the way to freedom and democracy. The Declaration of Independence was a turning point in world history, from a rule of the few, who thought it were their birthright to govern others, to Civil Rights and Democracy for all.
But freedom and democracy don`t suddenly appear and they are there, but it`s a continuing process of development. The fathers of the Declaration of Independent and the American Constitution lived in a time, when slavery was taken as normal. I don`t think that it`s wise to blame them for this from a point of view more than 240 years later. But we should recognize that a continuing development is demanded and normal. The history of the United States leads from Georges Washington to Abraham Lincoln to the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s.
Today every person in the US has the same Civil Rights, at least formally. And is it reality? If you are in court? If you are looking for an apartment? If you are stopped by the police? Studies say that an overwhelming majority of coloured people feel, that`s a difference in such cases, if you are black or white.
In 1776 the winning run of freedom and democracy in world began. But if you look around, we are far from a victory of democracy all over world. And look to the US, and you see a country that seems to be controlled more by business than by idealism, a country that has all kinds of problems with poverty, guns and prejudices. Democracy is no spectator sport and you have to stand for it every day.
Today we live in a time when people want to make us believe, that liberal democracy is an obsolete idea. And even people sitting in the US on the levers of power seem to be sympathetic to such thoughts.
No! No! and again No! I’m sure the ideas underlying the American Declaration of Independence are stronger. And the American people are strong enough to resist such nonsense. The US is part of the free world and the ideas of freedom and equality are unstoppable.
Greetings from Germany, all my American friends. I wish you a Happy Independence Day !