It is nearly another anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on New York City. As is always the case as this day comes around and is commemorated I am overcome with sadness.
Some six months ago, I shut down one of my many blogs, Observations: Lest I Forget and transferred much of its content to this one. I fully intended to put new content here and leave the …Lest I Forget site to history.
If we equate patriotism with not working, our nation is very patriotic. Not much, from the government to laborers who feel doing a sloppy job is sufficient, seems to be working these days.
Voting with your wallet seems like a great idea. Boycotting companies whose line of politics does not meet with your own certainly can send a message.
Until that message leads to censorships, and companies fight back by withdrawing financial support from controversial speech and actions.
Unpopular opinion tends to go underground only to resurface when least expected. Sometimes it’s progressive, but most often it’s regressive. The Klan, for instance, already cowardly behind its white masks of sheets, emerges at political moments such as the one in which we find ourselves. Moments that lend just enough support to the uglier impulses in society, and give credence to troubling ideas, generally based on untruths.
What is the idea behind the District of Columbia? Was it meant to be an enclave populated by citizens from other parts of the country? Politicians, for instance, who would reside in Washington and vote at home?
Why are so many Americans deprived of their right to a voice in our elections?
Hamilton and Jefferson a love-hate story? Lin-Manuel help us make sense of all this?
That whole nativist thing doesn’t really fly in a country that started with a group of British subjects, not native to America, rebelling against their King and country across the seas.
They came as colonists to this land, as all immigrants do, to seek a better life. Economic and religious freedom, and opportunities are common denominators; this is what we all commonly seek for ourselves when we emigrate from one place to another.
Who needs civil liberties? The rights of our citizens were hard-won. Freedom did not just emerge from the blood and sweat of the Revolutionary War in documents of federation and constitutional laws. Some Americans had many more years to struggle to see their rights recognized. Many of our privileges evolved in the amendments to our Bill of Rights over the 3 centuries since that war established a United States.
The simple single answer is we all do. Remembering, as always, that with rights come responsibilities.
Sometimes it is not possible to quell the anger, fear and hatred of a policeman who stops a citizen for a tail-light violation. Situations get out of hand. The driver is arrested.
Many of the folks incarcerated have committed only the crime of “driving while black.” Responsible parents in the Afro-American community teach their children how to mitigate the outcomes of this very serious circumstance. It is one which affects the statistic in which 14% of a county’s population are prosecuted or jailed for more than 50% of the crimes committed there.
When 14% of a county’s population in places like Mississippi, for instance, are prosecuted for more than half the crimes committed in that county, it looks like that 14% are the bad seed. Looks can be deceiving. Statistics like these are clearly skewed. They are also deceiving.
Reconstruction was the period in American history when the country sought to heal the wounds of a civil war. “Civil” war is such a deceptive phrase, really. Really? It is probably the very definition of an oxymoron.
Our Pledge of Allegiance was one of the products of reconstruction. It was used as a symbol of the nation’s unity.
During that war from 1860 to 1864, the country was divided, fighting under two separate flags, not for liberty or justice, but for the sovereign right of one part of this nation to earn its living by enslaving human beings. Since that project, slavery, slipped away, Americans turned to “taming” the west, which turned out to be a project in which it was necessary to kill off as many Indians as possible. Native American tribes stood in the way of our country’s westward progress. We couldn’t have that, and fighting them off their lands became an all-American enterprise.
The wild west was so called not because of all the nightclubbing and disco parties, but because of the untempered vunityiolence it allowed, even encouraged.