I have spent a lot of time thinking about our country lately. As we approach the birth of our nation – 241 years ago, I am inclined to take stock of concepts like the “American Dream”, “American Ideals” and who we are as a nation. I look around at the state of our nation and have begun to take stock. Seriously contemplating our future. I wonder now, more than I ever have in our past, what our future holds. I will be honest, I am frightened. I am concerned about the partisan nature of our politics and our society. It seems that we have come to a cross roads, where we are forced to choose an irrevocable course that will either redeem us, or lead us to a fall not seen since the Roman Empire’s collapse. I am frightened for my children and the world we are leaving them.
I constantly ask myself, is this who we really are? I can’t believe that we, as a nation, cannot come to a point where we can collectively take a step back and work together to begin healing. We are in an unprecedented era in my lifetime. I see absurdly vocal white supremacists, empowered by our sitting president, spewing hate and bigotry. I find myself watching the news with a pained heart as I watch children ripped from the arms of their mothers. As a mother, I cannot abide that inhumane and cruel treatment of anyone, immigrant, citizen or Martian. I am pained to see the apathy of our leadership, the incomprehensible befriending of tyrants. Is this who we are? Not since the days of slavery have children been so callously ripped from the arms of their families and sent to all ends of the country. Where are our family values? Why do we not value the children and families that are seeking asylum? I realize there is a legal and illegal way to enter the country, but who among us wouldn’t do anything necessary, by any means necessary to protect our children from harm? Who among us wouldn’t risk everything, leaving all that is familiar, to protect the lives of our children. I would. Where are our family values and compassion? Are they reserved for those of us who are in the majority? Are they not extended to families in the most critical and dire circumstances of their lives?
Have we become a nation that treats political parties and decisions like sporting events? Blindly cheering on our favorite team with no regard for human rights, suffering, or the consequences of our actions. We are a nation of brave, compassionate individuals. We are a nation built on the backs of immigrants. We are stronger together than we ever will be as partisan entities.
As I reflect on our freedoms, nearing the Fourth of July, I reflect on the courage it took for our forefathers to write what is akin to Colonial hate mail to their King objecting the harsh and unfair treatment of the Colonists. I think about the sobriety that must have entered into that undertaking with, knowing that when they signed the letter that we could come to know as the Declaration of Independence, they were signing their own death warrants – becoming traitors to the Crown. Where is our pluck? Where is that resolve in our current generation? This is not who we are.
We are a nation of immigrants, bound together by both our common history and our wonderfully diverse lineages. We are a nation of justice seekers. We are a nation of compassionate and unfailingly courageous people. We are a nation of brothers and sisters who have lost our way. In this era, one of nuclear weapons, media that is more concerned about advertisers than truth, spin and bias, we must ban together to transcend the superficial distractions and get back to the root of who we are as a people. We must reevaluate who we are as a nation and accept no less than leadership who will lead us in that direction.
My friends, the time is now to evaluate your core values and beliefs and determine who you are as a person, and what that makes us as a nation. The time is now to ban together to use our voices to change the wrongs that we see in this nation and in the world. We must become active in our political process to express our voices, regardless of what those are. We are more than a group of people divided by party line. We are a nation, we are a society built on the premise of justice for all. We are not a group of individuals living in the same country, we are more. We are much, much more.