America – Status: its complicated

You say it is disrespectful to our servicemen and women but you wouldn’t give up one football Sunday to volunteer at the VA hospital.

You say it is disrespectful to the flag but you turn a blind eye to the basic tenants the flag represents. Such as All men are created equal and individual Liberty: The principle that each person is born with freedom from arbitrary or unjustified restraint.

America is a complicated country founded on the principle that all men are created equal while at the same time it was openly embracing slavery and allowing legalized discrimination until as recently as the 1960s. Full of so called patriots who embrace our military but at the same time are willing to turn a blind eye toward the problems many soldiers encounter after they return home. A country whose richness was built upon the various contributions of immigrants whose diversity is one of its strongest qualities yet still has a large group of people who reject immigration and segregate themselves in their own communities afraid of the unknown from a different race or culture.

Despite all its flaws America remains the greatest country in the world but it can be better. We as a people are tasked with ensuring that it reaches its unlimited potential. To achieve that promise it is sometimes necessary for the people to engage in Nonviolent resistance to facilitate social change through symbolic protests and civil disobedience. Every time this is done there will be those who disapprove those who wish to keep the status quo but as Richard Dawkins said

“when two opposite points of view are expressed with equal intensity, the truth does not necessarily lie exactly halfway between them. It is possible for one side to be simply wrong.

We should never be afraid to raise our voice against injustice it is our moral responsibility to see that our country live up to principles it was founded on. To do any less would to be complicit in the failure of the promise that is America. As H.L. Mencken so eloquently stated

“The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naïve and usually idiotic. He is, more likely, one who likes his country more than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than the rest of us when he sees it debauched. He is not a bad citizen turning to crime; he is a good citizen driven to despair.”

So continue to shine a light on social injustice. Continue to demand that America live up to her promise. Reject those who would have you simply accept the status quo. After all dissent is the highest form of patriotism.

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3 thoughts on “America – Status: its complicated

  1. jonolan

    Learn when, where, and how to make your statements and there’s a decent chance – OK, someday; you and yours burnt the current bridge so the arc of justice is going be a bit longer now – that Americans will actually listen to you. We may not, however agree with you since many of your complaints may stand the tests of experience and narrative but not of objective fact.

    Or, if you actually appreciate irony, don’t invade OUR safe spaces. 😉

    Reply
    1. Carl A. Cooke Post author

      It is your type of thinking that reminds me of what the great Isaac Asimov once said.
      There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.

      Reply
      1. jonolan

        I feel the same way about you.

        However, that you can both quote and contextualize Asimov (Hallowed be his name?) gives me hope in an odd way.

        Understand that in my opinion our argument, as you’ve just framed it, is the core of America’s division. We both believe that the other’s ignorance is just as good as our knowledge. We are, after all, divided by our respective definitions of words such as “Racism.

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