"We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike." ~Maya Angelou

Saturday, July 23, 2016

That Was An Eye Opening Week

    When the bombing in OKC happened, in 1995, I felt that it brought Oklahomans together and made us collectively stronger as we helped each other through our grief and towards healing.  We were shocked that such a violent act could happen here.  I understand that innocents are always victims in wars, but we weren't at war. We were enjoying the blessings of peace here on the prairie in the middle of America. The media helped pull us together by speaking of the courage and selflessness of those from ours and other states who worked together to save lives and comfort families of the lost.
      After the September attacks in 2001, for a brief time, we felt the same way on a national level.  We were all Americans and most of us knew someone, or of someone, who was lost in the attacks of that day. We were infuriated that anyone would even try, let alone pull off such an attack on us here, in the most well defended country in the world. But they did, and that is when things started to change. We were kept aware of the threat level of the day; yellow? orange? the dreaded red? No details or even generalities were ever attached to those levels, no information, just hot colors that had the effect of stirring up fear, building hatred against 'the other' foe, a foe who has taken on many names.
        Fifteen years have passed since September 11th. Much has happened across the seas, and many lives have been lost on all sides.  I can not speak for those in other countries, on other continents, for I do not live their lives.  I can speak only of this, my home state and what I have seen happen here.  We have become a divided people here. There are those who urge violence and retribution and those who seek peace, dialogue and understanding.
      But there is more than that happening.  We have become used to living with fear, and the media seems to focus on whipping people up into a froth about all the things we have to be afraid of.  The result is that we have become suspicious of 'others', those who look and act and believe differently than we do. We know where that leads.  That leads to injustice and looking the other way instead of standing up for justice and the rights of a free people. The rights and freedoms granted to citizens of the United States should apply to all people who are citizens of this country, not just the ones who look and act and believe like you do.
     This is dangerous ground. It has only been 75 years since a world war was fought over this kind of thing. Someone stirring up fear and outrage with screamed lies and misrepresentations of the actions and words of others.  There have been thousands of books written about the horrors of WWII, both on the battlefields and in the streets, ghettos and camps in Europe and Asia.  Surely we have not forgotten. How then can people in this day and time be excited and in support a man, seeking the office of president, who stands before them spewing words of anger, hatred, arrogance, 'us versus them', demanding that they alone can fix the problems of America?  My God. This man does not know the difference between truth and a lie. He continually denigrates others with his words, actions and disrespect for basic manners. He demeans women and minorities, casting them (us) in the light of unworthiness, disgust, something less than he. 
     You know what happens when you begin sorting things. There is no where to stop. That applies to variations in the size of cattle as well as the size of breasts, the color of skin, the type of hair, health in general, gender, ethnicity, religion, mental wholeness.
      This narcissistic and impolite man must not be given the power of the presidency. He will not make America great again. AMERICA IS ALREADY GREAT. It has been for over two hundred years because of our beliefs in tolerance and the rights of free people under the law of the land. But the attitudes of hatred and dualism which this man promotes will take this country to its ruin.
    I beg you to step away and refuse him the power he craves.


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