Redeeming Equality: Life, Liberty, and Alternatives to Obliviousness
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Some of our favorite values as Americans come from one of our most inspirational founding documents, The Declaration of Independence. Who would not wish to be “independent” from dominating sovereign powers? And who would not treasure such values as “equality” and “inalienable rights”—especially the rights of “life, liberty,” and the freedom to pursue “happiness”? Since early on, when the process of forging a new nation highlighted contrasts with the monarchical hierarchies of the rest of the world, the claim that we are all “equal” has long been a source of pride for the United States. More recently, we celebrate this value as we compare ourselves to contemporary authoritarian regimes such as Libya, North Korea, and Syria, or to what we take to be the outrageous patriarchies in some Muslim countries. In the United States, by contrast, we are all equal—of the same status—or so say our official documents.
KeywordsAfrican American Woman National Identity Authoritarian Regime Sovereign Power Shared Humanity
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