Mural in Topeka, Kansas, next to the Brown v. Board of Education Historic site.

Liberty and Justice is for All.

Amanda McDougald Scott, Ph.D.

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In November 2021, I wrote this for an op-ed that did not get published; therefore, I will publish here.

We are living in a time in which there is a culmination of restless energy and fear. In 2013, I wrote about concern regarding dwindling civic engagement. Since then, many people have stepped up — encouraged and empowered to participate in our government and society. This is the way democracy should work. Everyone should participate. However, the content spurring this engagement is troubling, as is the complicit attitude in the face of racism and divisiveness.

As was revealed again on November 2, 2021, it is apparent that some are intent upon the destruction of the civil rights for which so many have fought relentlessly over the past two centuries. Racism reared its ugly head (in the form of a van and its occupant) at the intersection of John McCarroll Way and South Pleasantburg Drive — but the clear message that one City Council candidate could be trusted to protect White supremacy permeated far beyond that corner.

Privately, friends of mine have shared that a subgroup was the culprit pushing that message. However, I continue to watch in dismay as a formidable opponent in thought and strategy allows itself to be consumed by the insidious decay of lies, hate, fear, and racism promulgated by that subgroup. Preserving our democracy requires that we use our positions of influence to speak against those who wish to tear down our progress. I call upon leadership at all levels and party affiliations to stand against racism. Liberty and justice is for all.

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Amanda McDougald Scott, Ph.D.

Advocate for social justice, mom to a 5-year-old, partner, friend. Political, child care, early childhood, psychology, and health care wonk.