Tag Archives: unity

Do not think. Do

As Yoda would say: Do not think. Do.

As children, we do not look at each other and think.

How are they different than me?

Do they believe in the same god I believe in?

Where were they born?

What is their sexual orientation?

As children, we do.  We see other children and look to interact with them.  We do not think about the unknowns of the child across from us.  We reject the fear that they may be different than us because we do not believe there is an unknown.  We allow our minds to be free, to embrace the unknown and new possibilities. In these possibilities is the growth potential that is essential for the existence of humanity. As we grow, we learn to question the culture, religion, and religion of others. Subsequently, we cease to grow; we stagnant and wither away, unable to or afraid to dream of a better future for humanity.

Yoda had it right. Do not think. Do

America is not a country – America is a concept

America is not a country.

America is a concept.

A concept based on the founding fathers’ words in the Declaration of Independence, the document that announces America’s creation. Words that America did not live up to at that time, words that America has fought to live up to ever since, but words in which America was created:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that 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.

America is the largest and the world’s only real “melting pot,” A society whose success is defined by immigrants’ contributions from all over sharing thoughts and ideas to create one new culture. It is written in the United States’ very seal, E pluribus unum – “From many, one.”

Sadly, at the very time, America is becoming increasingly diverse; it is becoming more polarized. The concept on which it was founded, the concept that allowed it to become the world’s leading nation, is slowly being forgotten by many of its citizens.  Just as the founding fathers spent four long months debating with each other, listening to each other’s points of view, and coming to compromises that benefited the collective in a real democracy, the citizens must listen to and understand one another. They cannot hope to sustain their democracy by merely pursuing their interests;  They must be willing to make concessions in the hope of finding common ground for the good of America as a whole. 

Online decision-making platform Cloverpop found a direct link between workplace diversity and decision-making.  When diverse teams made a business decision, they outperformed individual decision-makers up to 87% of the time.  When employees with different backgrounds and perspectives come together, they develop more solutions, which leads to more informed and improved decision-making processes and results.  Whether some accept it or not, this is the hallmark of America.  It is what makes America stand out. America is not a specific racial or ethnic identity or religious belief.  America is differing groups with varying moral and religious outlooks, coming together to embrace America’s concept. It is in their diversity that America exists.

In the last four years, we have seen America led by a President who promoted division and hatred.  Stroked fears and tacitly promoted the idea that for a particular segment, they were losing their America.  Ironically it was the person he defeated to become President who truly understood what makes America great when she said:

What we have to do… is to find a way to celebrate our diversity and debate our differences without fracturing our communities.

Secretary Clinton understood that no one group could claim America, and therefore no one group can lose America. America is what it is because it is a beautiful mosaic, and while we may not always see eye to eye, that is fine.  We may have differences, that too is fine.  As Surak, the most influential philosopher in the history of the planet Vulcan, remarked:

I am pleased to see that we have differences.  May we together become greater than the sum of both of us.

2020 Maybe just maybe America is turning that corner

In 2008 I was transfixed to my television screen with tears in my eyes as Barack Obama and his family celebrated his historic victory, becoming the first African American President of the United States of America in Chicago’s Grant Park.

Here was a moment I never believed I would live to see.
Here was a man that looked like me
Here was a family that looked like mine.
Here was a family that was now the FIRST family.

It was a moment that I will always remember. It said to me that maybe just maybe, America has turned a corner. Maybe people of color will finally be afforded the respect that they have always deserved. Maybe America was finally going to live up to the words on which it was founded that all people are created equal. Maybe Doctor Martin Luther King Jr’s dream that we will be judged by the content of our character and not the color of our skin was finally on the cusp of becoming a reality.

But then came 2016, and even though, for eight years, President Obama and his entire family were the personifications of grace and dignity, America elected a man who was the polar opposite. A man who campaigned on division and tactically embraced racism. Maybe I thought to myself, America hasn’t turned that corner.

But as miserable as 2020 has been, something special was happening. 2020 saw the rise of the Coalition of the Righteous. A coalition of varying ethnic and religious groups, gender and sexual orientations, young and old, and they were ready to rebuke Donald Trump’s message of racism and bigotry.

Today the hope I had in 2008 is building in my heart again. On Saturday night, I beamed with happiness as I watch Senator Kamala Harris. a woman of color, address our country as the first female Vice President-Elect. It was an emotional moment as I thought to myself, for 400 years, they have tried to silence us, but here Senator Harris stood, and as she spoke, you could almost hear the wind whispering in the background saying:

WE ARE STILL HERE, AND WE ARE EXTRAORDINARY!
SAY IT LOUD I’M BLACK AND I’M PROUD!

REALITY CHECK!

REALITY CHECK!
 
Many believe a Biden victory will set America straight. IT WON’T!
 
Even if Trump is defeated on November 3rd, let us remember it is not the end, but it is just the start of winning true equality in this country.
 
This country’s systematic racism, bigotry, and greed are rooted at the local level and will continue to burn brightly in many who will still be in power. With Trump out of power, it may actually be easier for them as the spotlight won’t shine so brightly on them, and they will do as they have for done 400 years in the protection of the shadows, marginalize black and brown people, LGBT groups, women, the poor, etc.
 
No matter what happens on November 3rd, we must stay vigilant. We must continue to make our voices heard. We must continue to fight until all people in America are truly equal.

Why We Say Black Lives Matter

The echo of gunshots filled the air.
And the young man’s lifeless body fell to the ground.

The cries of I can’t breathe filled the air.
And the young man’s lifeless body fell to the ground.

The howls of disbelief filled the courtroom.
And the defendant walked free once more.

The sound of silence filled the halls of the city, state, and nation’s capitals.
And those in power did nothing yet again.

For centuries, our lives have been devalued by those who see only the color of our skin. 

Have we not helped build this nation?
Have we not fought for this nation?
Have we not shown time after time our love for this nation?
Have we not been every bit the American that you believe yourself to be?

Because of your hatred, your racism we must scream for the world to hear that Black Lives Matter because, for 400 years, you have demonstrated that to you it doesn’t. It isn’t a logical mentality, but it is true.

BOOING A SHOW OF UNITY?

“A smile or a tear has no nationality; joy and sorrow speak alike to all nations, and they, above all the confusion of tongues, proclaim the brotherhood of man. – Frederick Douglass.”

On September 10th, the Kansas City Chiefs prepared to defend their NFL title against the Houston Texans.  Before the game, the players in a sign of unity decided on their own to stand together and lock arms in support of Black Lives Matter.  It was a moving tribute and one that you would expect would be universally applauded by a so-called enlightened society.  Yet as the cameras rolled a nation heard boos emanating from the crowd.

Sad yes, unexpected no.  There remains a segment of America that does not or wants to relate to the tears shed when a person of color’s life is needlessly taken, or the sorrow when yet another incomprehensible acquittal is met with indifference.  To that segment of America, the tears and sorrow are not theirs and as such have little importance.

It is only when the tears and sorrow turn to anger do they see it but make no mistake they do not see the reason for the anger, they see only how it impacts them. Their level of comfort interrupted by those they label as troublemakers’ anarchist. 

“The white man’s happiness cannot be purchased by the black man’s misery.” – Frederick Douglass.

Those who booed the moment of unity are a relic of America’s past.  A time when segregation was the rule of the day.  When the desire to learn about other races, cultures and religions was deemed unnecessary.  When the pain of one group was looked at as their pain and not America’s pain.  In 2020 the Coalition of the Righteous, a group of all races and nationalities coming together to rebuke this thinking is starting to change this mindset.  However, this mindset still simmers beneath the American surface and is stoked by President Trump.  His agenda is one of fear, hate, and racism.  Designed to keep Americans divided.  To ensure that they fear and hate each other to such a degree that they will never look to understand each other.  To never appreciate the pain and sorrow one group feels when faced with racial and social injustice.

“the prejudices people feel about each other disappear when they get to know each other.” – Captain Kirk, Start Trek

On September 10th they booed a show of unity, they are the past and one day the future of America will boo them for their booing.  

 

Ignorance leads to Hatred, Hatred leads to Division

On September 4, 2020 President Donald Trump directed federal agencies Friday to end diversity training programs, calling them “Divisive, anti-American propaganda a sickness that cannot be allowed to continue.” This decision comes amid a nationwide reckoning on racial injustice that Trump has adamantly opposed.

There is a reason Trump disparages those who would educate America on issues of racial injustice. Why he looks to paint those who do so as radical left wing unamerican extremist. It is so he can easily mislead a segment of American society, to continue to tap into their ignorance and hate, to ensure that his lying and use of misinformation is seen as truth.

Because Trump knows that:

Misinformation leads to ignorance

Ignorance leads to fear

Fear leads to isolation

Isolation leads to mistrust

Mistrust leads to intolerance

Intolerance leads to hate

Hate leads to division

And division ensures we that we as Americans never band together as one but continue to fight each other over the crumbs he and his kind continue to toss us. It is to ensure we remain victims to ensure their way of life.

Matthew 12:25 New King James Version

But Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. –

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.