Today's Tell Me More show will feature yours truly. All about Juneteenth.
As I thought about the subject some more, again way overthinking what turned out to be about 30 seconds of airtime, my mind went in several interesting directions about the prospects for celebration. The interesting thing is that I brought about seven different examples of what I think the theme of Juneteenth implies, and for me that theme is ambition and freedom.
I say that freedom is tied to ambition, without one you can't have the other. They reinforce each other. Start with Frederick Douglass who said "I didn't know I wasn't fee until I found out I couldn't do the things I wanted." So there is total freedom and their is relative freedom. America, of course, has tons of cultural material and wisdom around the subjects of slavery and freedom. We could talk about it all year long.
This band had a song that many Americans will sing metaphorically in their quest for the American dream. Tell me how to get to your America. Or as the Isleys wrote (and my senior quote) half of us are satisfied, half of us in need. We African Americans have ritualized tropes of ambition and relative freedom in our history. The world is not enough, and we share that ambition with all sorts of emergent groups within American life.
You gotta throw Iraq into the mix. Sometimes the desire for freedom isn't sustained. One of the things both Americans and Iraqis are going to have to face is the question of amnesty. In order for Iraq to have a functioning democracy, there is going to be a point at which a lot of combattants are going to have to get amnesty. That means our commanders are going to have to forgive Iraqis that killed our soldiers. It means Sunnis are going to have to forgive Shia, etc. Today, nobody is ready for that. But it will be a requirement for future freedom in Iraq.