Thanks, CNMI, for all the support and appreciation for the former slaves being finally free! As the story goes, they (slave owners and other whites) didn’t want slaves to know they were free so it took two-and-a-half years for all the slaves to be freed on June 19, 1865. Some African-Americans still have to pinch themselves to believe that the former slaves now have a national holiday. I’m sure the slaves never dreamed they would one day be honored and recognized by our great nation but somehow it was really meant to be as part of our evolution as humans on Planet Earth.
Our entire world is constantly in an evolutionary state that has driven mankind to be better humans and stewards of our planet. We are merely stewards of the Earth that belongs to no-man, as Ben Lam Lam said at the Juneteenth celebration: “We are all just passing through on our way to a higher plain of existence.” Juneteenth in only two years has become a “world celebration,” taking place even in other nations in appreciation of the Africans and their struggles to attain freedom.
Being a product of the Civil Rights movement, I can’t help but do all I can to push the evolution of Americans everywhere to promote the simple equation for attaining the American dream of “living long and prospering,” which is “freedom + equality = the American dream.” All people of color are now facing a real and dangerous threat in the U.S. mainland, with white supremacy on the rise with new voting laws, gerrymandered districts, and even mass shootings in churches and schools. There are still people against Juneteenth in the U.S. mainland and in the CNMI as I notice one person had even clicked “funny” on the Juneteenth article and where there is one, there are more you-know-what. But mankind is evolving one person at a time and one-day, as my MaDear might say, “We won’t have to worry about that breed of mankind anymore.”
But just like in the American mainland, we as a people still have work to do in the CNMI to make sure that every American is equal and has a genuine chance to live out the American dream on Saipan, Tinian, and Luta. Too many of our youth and even adults have virtually instituted the fact that you must move to the mainland to live the American dream. Our social migration pattern and the social stratification is living proof enough that we as a people still have work to do. There is a saying that sometimes you must be careful what you ask for as you just might get it and won’t like what you get. So my advice to all in the CNMI is to push the envelope of equality to include everyone in the CNMI because we as a people will all find prosperity together or continue to flounder in the treacherous sea of inequality, which is where we are today.
Reiterating my sincere thanks and appreciation to all who helped to make our Juneteenth celebration and Father’s Day a great afternoon at the beach, with a special thanks to my wife as we also celebrated our 37 years on that day also, which was our first date on Juneteenth of 1985. May God bless you all and God speed for the CNMI to truly make every American equal. That will surely put the CNMI on a better course to find prosperity for us all! “I have a dream” for us all in the CNMI that we will one day live up to our nation’s creed that all men are created equal!
Ambrose M. Bennett
Kagman III, Saipan