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On Freedom

At graduate school, Georgetown, Washington, DC, in the 1990s, a fellow student - the daughter of a former President of Ireland, gifted me one of her self-created pieces of art - a sketch of an equine in motion with a caption: "Freedom is a Gift".

Though I have lost communication with Tessa Robinson over the years as she ceded art to read law in London, and as I went to study law in New York City, her kind gift continues to resonate with me as an American living in a land of supposed freedom and opportunity for all.

Given the seemingly relentless persistence of racial discrimination in the United States (US), I have, over the years, added to the caption of freedom gifted to me by Tessa to include: "Freedom is a gift horse to be ridden somewhere".

Conceptual freedom is insufficient to harbor sustainable racial harmony within the American Republic. Freedom has to be real, respected and duly accorded to all people.

In the absence of the actuality of real freedom, sooner of later, conflict will ensue. This has already been confirmed following the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr; the police beating of Rodney King; and more recently, the police slaying of unarmed Black man George Floyd, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

George Floyd's slaying clearly marks a turning point of a final demand for true freedom by Black people in America. Black America is finally awakening  and demanding that their heels be well anchored in the stirrups of the horse to freedom. They have finally sufficed that the steed of freedom must be ridden to full racial equality and social justice and that there will be no turning back to the wrongs of yesterday.

On this Juneteenth 2020, I say to my fellow countrymen: RIDE! RIDE! RIDE!