A Hard Road to Freedom Happy New Year, Detroit! 2013 has finally arrived, and 2012 is part of our recent past. Although we have much to be thankful for, it truly has been a hard road to freedom. Since the reelection of President Barack Obama, the great state of Michigan and the city of Detroit have been overtaken by political turmoil and chaos.

Both the state of Michigan and this country seem to be faltering amid intense divisiveness. President Obama, the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House averted falling over the fiscal cliff by compromising America’s financial security on the first day of the New Year, but this choice is truly the hard road.

The city of Detroit faces insurmountable debt and is nearing financial collapse, while looming over so many voiceless taxpayers is an emergency financial manager and possible Chapter 9 bankruptcy. No one is free without eliminating the country’s debt.

Despite all the successes and failures of 2012, we must remember that history replays itself. It has been a tough year for many, but things are about to get tougher with the critical situations we will be facing in 2013. We have an opportunity to fundamentally change Detroit, but let’s not change it for someone else’s benefit or special interests.

“We, the people of Detroit, note that the state economy can be built upon the principle that one place can be exploited, even destroyed, for the sake of another place.”

This situation reminds us of the slave trade, in which many Africans lost their freedom. Remember, in the United States, a wilderness of greed created an economic windfall for the elite and this in turn created the American slavery and apartheid system, which we still see remnants off today. We are reminded that as we celebrate the 150-­‐year anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation signed by President Abraham Lincoln, Jim Crow laws ruled, until voiceless men and women became sick and tired of sitting at the back of the buses. Soon, civil rights activists needed affirmative action to try to right the wrongs of those who view injustices as justice.

“President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on Jan. 1, 1863, as the nation approached its third year of bloody civil war. The proclamation declared “that all persons held as slaves” within the rebellious states “shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.”

Although today, tomorrow, and the coming months will be difficult, we have a voice. We must neither forget the past nor hold on to it, and we cannot give up, because those who wish to oppress us relish the thought. We must remain vigilant and hopeful; we must stand strong, which in 2013 justifies the continued hard path to freedom. If you are not willing to die for something, then what else is there to live for? The fight for our freedom continues, even 150 years later.

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