When Donald Trump responding to MLB for taking the all-star game out of Georgia and Corporations speaking out against restrictive voting legislation, says, “They’re woke and woke is not good for our country. Woke is not good,” what he really is saying is: They’re talking about equality both economically and socially. They want “their” voices to be heard at the voting booth. This is not good for “us”; it”s not going to make “our” America great again. And it is “our” America, not “theirs” make no mistake about that, and they’re trying to take it from us.
You feared us from the minute you saw us. So you stripped us of our culture, religion, and name. You shackled us in chains, raped our women, and killed our men. You separated our families. You donned white hoods and rode through the night to terrorize us. You denied our children access to the type of education your children enjoyed. You silenced our voices by denying and then intimidating our access to the vote. You redlined us out of neighbors and unfairly denied us loans to secure the American dream of homeownership. You disproportionately incarcerated us. You used the media to stereotype us as killers, thieves, drug dealers, prostitutes, and pimps.
Yet today, you look, and to your disbelief, we are still standing, and your fear is growing. You use words like “Our America” and wish for a bygone time when segregation and racism were the norms with slogans like “Make America Great Again” Even more worrisome to you is the coalition of all races, religions, and genders standing with us now. You know the truth is out there. You are losing your America. “Your” America was flawed. It is being replaced by a more enlightened America, one for everyone. An America with equality, liberty, and justice for all.
It’s March Madness, so I figured I would go to youtube and relive some of the great one shining moment videos from years past, and you know what stands out the most? It was watching young adults, black and white celebrating together or consoling each other, even opposing team players. At that movement of jubilation or sadness, they didn’t see or look for color. It didn’t matter because they were all in it together.
What a concept!
If only the world could act like that, I think to myself, what a wonderful world it would be. Oh yeah,
Morpheus: This is our country Neo, everyone treated the same regardless of the color of their skin, gender, ethnic make-up, or religious belief. Individuals judged purely on the content of their character. Everyone has health care, and parents send their children to school unafraid they may become infected with the coronavirus or the victim of a mass shooting. Political leaders tell the truth and put the citizens’ well-being ahead of their agendas; corruption at the highest government levels is unheard of. There is no social or racial injustice. People walk down the street unafraid that they may be wrongfully targeted simply because of their skin color. Everyone is afforded the same opportunities regardless of their social, ethnic, or economic background. It seems too perfect, doesn’t it, Neo? You know something is not right, don’t you, Neo? You can feel it.
Neo: We’re living an illusion?
Neo: But why?
Morpheus: Is it so hard really to believe? Our democracy was designed to be where the power comes from the people, not a ruler or group of powerful individuals who would do whatever they want. It was founded on the belief that these truths are self-evident; all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. Yet all that has always been an illusion, hasn’t it.
Neo: Are you saying our democracy has never been real?
Morpheus: What is real? How do you define real? If you’re talking about the people being the source of power or that all men are created equal, then real is simply a bunch of words written on a piece of paper. That America only exists in a series of oft-cited but rarely enacted words. A constitution to be held up to the rest of the world symbolizes the moral high ground we supposedly occupy. That America doesn’t exist, you’ve been living in a dream world, Neo.
This is the country as it exists today. Corruption at government’s highest levels. Blatant disregard for the constitution. The well-being and health of Americans were sacrificed for political gain. Racism and bigotry are alive and well and used by leaders to divide and conquer. Economic and social injustice roadblocks impede the pursuit of happiness for many. The few control the narrative and dictate policy to maintain their power and enrich their bank accounts—millions of citizens living in poverty and millions more without health insurance. Children forced to go to bed hungry, funding for education always under siege…. Welcome to the Desert of the Real Neo. Having seen all of this, I have come to realize the obviousness of the truth. Control. Democracy today is control, an illusion propagated by those in power to control the masses.
Neo: No. I don’t believe it. It’s not possible.
Morpheus: I didn’t say it would be easy, Neo. I just said it would be the truth.
Let us celebrate!
Let us rejoice!
Let us revel in this moment!
Let us not rest!
Let us not believe the battle is over!
The wicked witch is dead, but sadly we have not brought back values to Washington as most of his enablers have been rewarded with re-election. They are already talking about putting roadblocks in Biden’s way.
In the House, they picked up seats, and at the State level, they picked up Governor houses, ensuring attacks on people of color, the LGBT community, Women’s rights, and the poor will continue.
Trump and McConnell have ensured the courts are stacked against real progress for decades.
Let’s be clear Tuesday was a very good night for Republicans. Yes, we got rid of the face of stupidity, but the heart still beats strong.
We must not rest!
We must continue to rise as one!
We must continue to make our voices heard!
We must drown out the hatred in the heart of 67 million Americans who voted for Trump!
We must continue to demand change!
We must ensure America provides liberty and justice for all!
We are the Coalition of The Righteous, and we will are just starting.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, White supremacist present the gravest terror threat to the United States of America.
White Supremacists are 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 America’s real face. These people have always been a part of America’s fabric, spewing their hate, but over the last four years, they have become emboldened once again. Encouraged by a President who spews the same hatred, and with a wink and a smile tacitly approves of their actions. He does this not only because he 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. Still, 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 views, an incredible mosaic woven together to form the 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 practiced, there was still the sins of slavery and the displacement of Native Americans from their homeland, but it was the ideal this nation was founded on never the less. Today there are still those who believe America was greatest when segregation was the rule of the 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 and evolving beyond its past prejudices. We are now the majority; we are the coalition of the righteous. Our rise is why domestic terrorism is on the rise; it is why a segment of society willingly turns a blind eye to Trump’s corruption, lies, and cling to his mantra of hate and division and a time when most Americans are coming together to reject it. Armed with automatic weapons, they brazenly walk through our communities. They are afraid of the new America, unwilling to open themselves up to anyone or anything 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 has many faces.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. It is, after all, the idea that America was founded on.
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, education, job, home, 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 my mother had told me 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 jaywalking, 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 car’s front 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 that 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, please 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.
In an episode of Star 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 America’s future in all its diversity. Race, Nationality, Gender, Sexual orientation, Religion, and Socio-Economic status 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 homophobia 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 multimillion-dollar bailouts 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 or capacity to understand the meaning of three simple words. WE THE PEOPLE.