Trayvon Martin: What It's Like to Be a Problem | The Nation

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Equality and justice for all or equality and justice for none

A nation that calls itself the world’s only superpower cannot be a superpower if it deprives its citizens of their civil rights because of the color of their skin. America is 236 years old, yet for the very first time in our nation’s history, the haters are questioning the president’s place of birth, the loyalty to our country of the president and first lady, and trying to deny, belittle and denigrate all of the president’s achievements.

If a white man had been elected president in November 2008 and he had ended the war in Iraq, helped save America from a depression, extended healthcare to 30 million people who never had it before and saved the US automobile industry from collapse, he would be winning this November’s election in a landslide.

We may think we have come so far but we have a very, very long road yet to travel before Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream of judging a person by the content of their character rather than by the color of their skin becomes a reality. Only when that happens will America truly become a superpower. A superpower is not judged solely by the size of the military or economic output but, much more importantly, by how they treat their citizens.

When some citizens are denied their civil rights and denied justice, all of us, no matter where we were born, no matter what the color of our skin is, no matter what God we believe in, and no matter what language we speak, are all diminished.