Tag Archives: equality

The Many Faces of America

According to the Department of Homeland Security White supremacist present the gravest terror threat to the United States of America. White Supremacists are a group of ignorant people who believe that white people are superior to everyone else, especially blacks.  They feel that America is “their” country and that the rise economically, socially, and politically of people of color is a clear and present danger to what they believe is the true face of America.  These people have always been a part of the fabric of America spewing their hate but over the last four years they have become emboldened once again. Emboldened by a President who spews the same hate, and with a wink and a smile tacitly approves of their actions.  He does this not only because he himself is a racist, but to maintain power for himself by using their hate and belief that he is the last line of defense to keeping the face of America white.    

But you know the truth? America has no face. America has many faces.

The Democratic National Convention offered us all a look at the present and future of America.  How refreshing it was to see so many faces. White, Black, Latino and Asian; Men and Women; Straight and Gay; Young and Old, Progressives and Moderates. You can agree or disagree with their politics, but you can’t deny that everyone watching could personally identify with someone who spoke at that convention and that’s what makes America great.

We are a country of many different races, ethnicities, beliefs, religions, sexualities, economic levels and social beliefs, an incredible mosaic woven together to form very fabric of America.  It was the founding fathers who imagined this America when they declared independence from British rule proudly stating:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal

At the time it was more of an ideal than something that was practiced, there was still the sins of slavery and the displacement of Native Americans from their home land, but it was an ideal this nation was founded on never the less. Today there are still those who believe America was at its greatest when segregation was the rule of day, when opportunities for women in the workplace were far and few between, when being gay was meet with societal shame. That America is no more. America is changing, not fast-enough, but it is changing. Evolving beyond its past prejudices. We are now the majority; we are the coalition of the righteous. It is why domestic terrorism is on the rise, it is why a segment of society willingly turn a blind eye to Trump’s corruption, lies, and cling to his mantra of hate and division and a time when the majority of Americans are coming together to reject it.

They arm themselves with automatic weapons and brazenly walk through our communities. They are afraid of the new America, unwilling to open themselves up to anyone or anything that is different from themselves and what they believe to be right. This is their last stand and they know it.  However, the momentum is against them, the new America is here, and it is has many faces.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal

It is after all the ideal that America was founded on.

and though I knew I had done nothing wrong

Another sunrise and I wake, blessed to see it by the grace of God. I take my shower, put on my suit, and prepare to head out yet again into a world of uncertainty. I kiss my wife goodbye, pull her close and whisper in her ear I’m the luckiest man alive to have been blessed with a wife as smart and beautiful as you. She laughs and replies and don’t you ever forget it. Just then my two children appear out of nowhere shouting daddy, daddy we love you as they wrap my legs in two mini bear hugs. I kiss each of them and tell them daddy loves you too and head out the door, the sun is shining, there’s not a cloud in the sky, and as I drove, I couldn’t help but smile, thinking of all the wonderful blessings God has bestowed on me. My health, my education, my job, my home, my friends, and most of all my beautiful family. By all accounts it was a perfect day.

Then the sound of the siren pierced the peaceful morning silence and the red lights flashed in my mirror and though I knew I had done nothing wrong, my hands started to tremble. I did like I had been told by my mother since I was old enough to understand. I turned off the radio, rolled down the window, put my license on the dashboard and my hands on the steering wheel.

The officer walked over to my car, his hand by his side on his gun and though I knew I had done nothing wrong, I couldn’t escape the frightful thought that maybe just maybe today was my turn to be George Floyd, Eric Garner or Jacob Blake.

Sir, would you mind stepping out of the vehicle.

Why officer what did I do?

He looked directly at me, but I could tell he didn’t see me. Not for who I am anyway. He didn’t see a hardworking, educated, family man. A man who had never so much as gotten a ticket for jay walking. All he saw was the color of my skin.

Sir, I’m not going to ask you again. Please step out of the vehicle.

I love you daddy.  All I could think of was my two beautiful children and though I knew I had done nothing wrong I very slowly removed my hand from the steering wheel to open the door.

Once I had exited the vehicle the officer instructed me to move toward the front of the car and place my hands on the hood.

And you better not forget it.  All I could think was my wife’s beautiful smile and though I knew I had done nothing wrong I did as he asked.

Do you mind if we search your car?

Why? I asked.

You fit the description of a man who just robbed a convenience store.

I thought to myself most people who rob convenience stores don’t do so with $500 suits on but before I could protest, my mother’s voice was in my head. Son don’t give them even the slightest reason to shoot you I’m too old to have to bury you and though I knew I had done nothing wrong I said not a problem sir.

After a quick search, the officer matter of factly said, sorry for the trouble you’re not who we are looking for and without so much as another word turned and walked back to his car. I stood there for a minute, still shaking, and attempted to regain my composure, and though I knew I had done nothing wrong I also knew it didn’t matter because I am a black man living in America.

WE THE PEOPLE

In an episode of Start Trek The original series, as if there is any other Star Trek, Captain Kirk once said as he read from a version of the Declaration of Independence on an alien world:

Look at these three words written larger than the rest, with a special pride never written before or since. Tall words proudly saying We the People, it was not written for the chiefs or the kings or the warriors or the rich and powerful, but for all the people! …They must apply to everyone or they mean nothing

The just completed Democratic National Convention embraced that concept, proudly showcasing the future of America in all its diversity.  Race, Nationality, Gender, Sexual orientation, Religion, and Socio-Economic statues of all types were highlighted at one point or another.  It was a beautiful spectacle to watch especially when you consider what we will probably witness in the upcoming Republican National Convention. The Republican party, which has always lacked the diversity of Democrats, has been hi-jacked by Donald Trump, a man who cannot comprehend the indisputable fact, America is great because of its diversity.  He stokes the fears, racism, bigotry misogyny and homo phobia of those in MAGA hats who would fight to see that they don’t lose “their country”, as if it ever was just their country.  Individuals with no desire to see Americans living in harmony as one people, no desire to be part of the coalition of the righteous that rejects their beliefs and is growing stronger every day.  No desire to see America finally become the nation it was created to be.  A nation in which all people are created equal.  He panders to the rich at the expense of the poor and the middle class, bragging about the stock market and offering large corporations multi million-dollar bail outs while allowing the unemployment benefits for those suffering financially to expire.  To Donald Trump it is We SOME of the People

As Americans how can we ask someone to lead us as a people, one people, when regrettably that person doesn’t have the desire of the capacity to understand the meaning of three simple words. WE THE PEOPLE.

Like the giant oak tree…

Our lives have always mattered

Our voices can never be silenced

Our beauty is undeniable

Our intellect is unsurpassed

From our land mankind was born

From Kings and Queens we descended

Our freedom you did take

But

Our minds always have been free

Our hearts always have been free

Our souls always have been free

And because you could not capture them

We have soared

Our contributions undeniable, too numerous to dismiss

Our history is not just our history

Our history is American history

Like the giant oak tree we are rooted in the very fabric of this country

Without us it would not exist

As James Brown exclaimed

Say it loud

We are BLACK and we are PROUD!

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A Few Bad Men

Donald Trump we live in a world that has walls of racial inequities and injustices and those walls have to be torn down by groups like ours. Whose gonna do it you? You Mitch McConnell? We have a greater responsibility that you can possibly fathom. You fight to “Make America Great Again” and you curse Black Lives Matter. You have the luxury. You have the luxury of not experiencing what we do everyday, that Racism while seemingly invisible to you is an inherent part of American culture and our existence while grotesque, and incomprehensible, to you, is about making America live up to its promise that all people are created equal, about FINALLY MAKING AMERICA GREAT. We have neither the time, nor the inclination to explain ourselves, to a man who rises and sleeps under the freedoms of white privilege, and than questions why we demand equality! We’d rather you just said ‘thank you’, and went on your way. Otherwise We suggest you wake up and join us in the ever expanding Coalition of the Righteous and stand for equality. Either way, we don’t give a damn, what you think you makes America great.