I, like many Americans, and sick of the vitriol and hate being espoused every where you look lately. In the news, on social media, and even in public places, whether it is a result of differences in political opinion, religion, race, sexual preference, country of origin, there has been a profound loss of humane interaction between people in general.
Personally, and I’m not ashamed to say this, I believe it is a direct result of the acceptance of the behavior of our President as normal. His campaign was fraught with foul language and accusations, name calling and rising contempt for the institution of government. Making fun of disabled people, reducing the office of the President of the United States to a child’s game of ‘can you top this ’with world leaders who actually are still children.
The rise in racism and anti-Semitism, the disdain for Muslims, and immigrants was making news every day. Videos on social media are going viral every day of people mistreating people. Beating up two men simply because they are gay; Destroying a house of worship because it is a mosque or a temple, and not a church; Screaming at a woman to go back to Asia because her facial features aren’t ‘white enough’; Police shooting an unarmed young black man because he ‘looked’ like the suspect in a nearby robbery.
We are living in very treacherous times, when our morals and values have already been challenged by a basic breakdown in the institutions of marriage, family and education. Our social norms are not what they were fifty years ago. Some of it is because of the expediency of information in the tech age. Some if it is because our lives have become so fast and so complicated that our home lives are strained and we either don’t have time to or we’ve forgotten to teach our children manners and respect.
There is no censorship of what we say or see, due to our freedom of speech and expression, so white nationalists can protest. So can LBGTQ, Black Lives Matters, March for Our Lives, or anyone else that wants to make a statement. However, nobody has a right to stop someone from a peaceful protest.
For anyone who has a question as to American immigration policy, who belongs here or who doesn’t, our Constitutional Rights or any other question that has been contentious and has given rise the palpable hate and disdain for each other we seem to have as fellow Americans, let’s stop for a moment and take a brief look at our history.
The Declaration of Independence, when our country began, ended with these words: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men (implied ALL PEOPLE) 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,” the key points being:
- All men are created equal.
- All men have basic human rights given to them by God.
- The only reason to have a government is to protect these basic human rights, which Jefferson lists as “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
- Government must be by the consent of the governed.
The Constitution begins this way: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
While the first 10 amendments constituted the Bill of Rights, I’ll only mention the first amendment, so I don’t start a gunfight. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances”
Please indulge me for one more historical reference to make my ultimate point. The 16th President of our country made a speech on a Civil War Battlefield which some may have had to learn about in school. Not sure the curriculum even bothers anymore because they must teach to testing or run mass shooter drills.
The Gettysburg address opened this way: “Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”
And closed this way “…increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion-that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain-that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom-and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.”
I suggest here that we start to remember the values of our forefathers and start treating each other with some love and respect. STOP acting on fear and hate. Besides, the only people who have the absolute right to this land is the American Indian, and if you ask me, we need to pay them back a hell of a lot.
I was always taught that we were put on this earth to make it a better place, not a hateful one. If you don’t agree with me, then I suggest you spit in a cup and send it away to get a report on your own ancestry. When you get the report. Pick a country. You can all go back to where you came from… including the white nationalists who want to make America white again.
J T Fisher, Author