Although I’m not excited at the prospects of young women being involved in combat (I’m actually not fond of anyone being involved in combat), I applaud the decision. It means that our government is finally addressing inequality.
We have a long way to go. There’s still discrimination with regard to women’s salaries, GLBT rights, economic inequality for racial minorities, even inequality with regard to religion.
Many women are paid less for doing the same job as a man. Our laws still do not recognize gay and lesbian marriage. After centuries of slavery and discrimination, racial minorities often begin their lives with fewer opportunities for a good education, economic advancement and personal security. Religions try to impose their beliefs on our laws and individual behavior. And those who do not participate in organized religion are forced to subsidize those who do through tax exemptions for church property.
It has taken far too long for our nation to achieve true equality. It took nearly a century to end slavery. It took far longer to grant suffrage to women. It took longer still to end Jim Crow laws. And after more than 200 years, it would seem that many Americans do not yet understand the meaning of Democracy; of equality and of freedom with responsibility.
If, one day, all American citizens are to be equal, we must recognize the inequalities that still exist. And we must do everything in our collective power to address inequality whenever and wherever we encounter it. Equality is, after all, absolute. Our citizens are either equal in every regard. Or they’re not. There is no middle ground.