Custom Search

Sunday, March 13, 2016

America Bleeds

The blood that flows from America runs thick and chaotic. The land of the free no longer so brave. I can not even wrap my head around the barrage of violence and hatred, that filters through every sound bite, of every media outlet, of millions of social media meme’s; but I’m sure there is someone I can ask, who will explain it all to me.
A persons character was once judged by their ability to face their adversaries, head on, strong and vigilant in their beliefs; willing to die for their god, their family, their country. Always lending a hand to help a neighbor, a family in need, a community. I grew up in a world where one didn’t have to pass a litmus test before they were loved, cared for and protected. Sure racism and bigotry has existed, probably since the beginning of time itself, but these were the things that I was being taught to reject, to cleanse our world of. I was being instructed to lift my fellow man up, that no one was beneath me and that we all are responsible for one another.
For a decade now, people stopped speaking up, stopped asking questions, stopped helping their brother an sisters. They no longer stood in the light of day, ready to defend their rights, they instead chose to hide behind a keyboard, held up in some obscure room in some remote place not found on a map. Tapping out hatred and bigotry. Relieving themselves of all the pent up judgments and discourse filling their hearts. Filling blog after endless blog with their conspiracies and theories of a government trying to control them, trying to obliterate their rights and stall their pursuit of happiness. Why they didn’t just demand term limits and transparency from the very government they were electing into office escapes me, but I am sure there is a politician I can ask.
Now the pot is boiling over, the steam has risen to the skies and a darkness has rolled in.  The have reappeared, slowly they have crawled from the darkness and safety of their homes and they are now running rampant on our streets, in our cities and towns. They are carrying the pitchforks of propaganda signs and spewing the rehearsed rhetoric of the day. Most have no idea what it is they really believe, but they are certain their beliefs are being trampled on, and they are looking for a leader to point the finger for them, to name a target, to give them the sacrificial lamb that will bring back what they perceive they have lost. I’m not sure what it is they have lost, but I’m sure there is a newscaster I can ask.
I do not advocate violence, though I can understand the knee-jerk thought of throat punching someone who has just spit on me. Though I am of the make love not war mindset, I have also found myself on occasion curling my fist and wishing to pummel another human being. I am after all human.  I am someone who believes in protecting all that is good in this world; our children, our elders, our freedoms and our country.  I believe that being the loudest voice in the room doesn’t make you the right voice. Maybe I’m wrong, but I’m sure there is some psychologist on television I can ask.
I don’t understand the deep rooted hatred that is spilling over our country and ensnaring our citizens, like a serpent in the night. I do not subscribe to any specific religious order, but I know many who do. My favorite Aunt was born and raised in the southern vein of our country. She fiercely believed in her Christian god and prayed for me a time or two. She was never heard speaking ill of anyone, nor would she turn her back on someone in need. I’m sure there were people she didn’t particularly care for, and am certain there were many ideals in this world she would have never subscribed to though she never said so. She was of the belief that if it did not serve her god it was not worth her time. She didn’t live as though she were above anyone, nor would she ever accept she was less than anyone else. If you were of a different belief she still prayed for you and she still embraced you. After all, the son of her god regularly embraced thieves, prostitutes, adulterers and liars. It was not her job to change others, it was merely her calling to live life in such a way as to emulate the god she worshipped.
When I see Christians today chanting for the death of someone they don’t even know, or advocating for violence against anyone who does not believe as they do, I am baffled and confused. This is not the example of Christianity I was raised with, and I can not begin to comprehend whom this serves; I wish she were still here so I could ask.
There is this one cousin of mine, she and I are a lot  alike. We help those in need, advocate for peace and love our families fiercely.  I have never heard her utter a word against America. She doesn’t dribble the remnants of hate from her lips nor does she plot against anyone. She was born and raised in this country, she comes from a family of strong women. She also happens to be Muslim. I know there are radicals in this country and in others, that use their religion like armor and stand behind it in some twisted, unrealistic way to justify their need to murder. The Muslims I know, are not like that. Just as all the Christians I know are not bigoted. I am not sure why some are, but I’m certain there is a conspiracy theorist I can ask.
My daughters are young adults, they are strong and independent in their own ways. They know and believe in hard work and sacrifice. They aren’t sitting around waiting for the government to hand them a life, they were raised better than that. Yet they, like so many others,  are tired of the status quo in this country. They know that when government began subsidizing college it gave the Universities free reign to jack their tuitions up. With guaranteed funds from the government ensuring anyone could go to college, the schools had nothing to lose. Now the costs are so exorbitant the only way, our children can further their education is to submit to a life time of debt, for a degree that no longer guarantees them a job. 
I know people believe this group of 20 somethings have no clue about life, working hard and building a life for themselves. Yet those that came before didn’t leave them a piece of the American Dream, we left them with a crumbling government, no industry, no decent paying blue collar jobs, and no paths to pave to greatness. They face a country that is forcing them into suffocating amounts of debt, into purchasing health care that they will never benefit from, all so those that refuse to work can have complete health care coverage at no cost to them.  They know that working hard doesn’t mean rising up. They know a system that rewards the lazy and punishes the self-sufficient. They are facing neighbors that recite hate on a daily basis, they can’t escape the constant machine of the 24 hour news cycle. As they sit in a classroom trying to learn, they are made to practice drills in case of a shooter. They know more than any other generation how quickly things can change, how swiftly their lives can be over. They have no idea why things are like this, but I’m sure there is a political party they can ask.
I grew up shooting guns, working hard, making sacrifices.  I have many life experiences with which I can learn from. I have never believed America owes me a thing. I have watched this country go from great respect around the world to a laughing stock, and I don’t believe a single President caused that. A country is made up of millions of people, each of us representing what it stands for, and more importantly what it stands against.  No President has ever taken my guns, nor threatened too. I have never lost a job I wanted to an immigrant, legal or otherwise. My life has never been minimized because of someone else’s marriage, or choice in life partner. I have never been denied the right to have children or not, nor have I been forced to worship a particular god or sect. I have never raised my voice in hate toward my fellow man , while standing behind religion to justify my own failings. Everyday it seems the relentless back and forth of blame, discontent and loathing need only a shot of whiskey to be the next hit country song. I don’t know why people are proclaiming the things that make us different, will be the downfall of America, but I’m sure there is a songwriter I can ask.

You need only turn on the television, open your laptop or tap your phone to know that America is in trouble; and its not going to be saved by dividing it further. Building walls and dictating change won’t make it happen. Greatness has never been built when hate is your foundation. I can only deeply hope and pray that when this upheaval is over, we all awaken along this winding road with freedom still at our front doors.

No comments: