Friday, February 26, 2016

America: One Nation, Clearly Divisible

The nation scares me right now.

I find myself in shock a lot these days…shocked at what people say,
shocked at what people do, shocked at what people wear or don’t wear, shocked at what is considered acceptable. Just shocked!

It’s as if I am living in the Twilight Zone.

Everywhere I turn, there seems to be a great divide. And the racial divide is what’s most disheartening. Things that I thought would have only been said or done during the height of the Civil Rights Movement are happening today… and within “popular” culture. When is it acceptable in the U.S. to shoot unarmed African-American men? When is it acceptable for the presidential candidate to promote banning a group of people from the U.S. or tweeting derogatory statements about colleagues?When is it acceptable to have little or no disregard for common decency or courtesy? 

Today, that’s when. I almost wish for the Civil Rights era. The 60’s look like a keg party compared to today’s climate. Bigotry, hatred, degradation…and that’s just on a Tuesday.

And I’m not frightened for me, but my children. How am I supposed to preach to them to not judge a book by its cover when I know they will be judge that way? How do I encourage them to speak their truths and not be afraid to let their little African- American lights shine when I know they will be ridiculed for it? I can’t let them walk down the streets with hoodies. They can’t sit in bible study without having the doors locked for safety. Hell, I took my daughter to see The Sound of Music not too long and made sure to take note of the emergency exits should anything go down. Did you hear that? Should anything go down? At the Sound of Music?!

There is certainly a climate change issue going on, but it has nothing to do with weather. It’s the climate of intolerance in our country. I sometimes feel as if the people in this country hate people of color. I know that’s a very broad stroke, but I see it everywhere I turn. Police beatings, and that’s if you’re lucky, disproportionate incarceration and economic disparity run rampant in minority communities. And who calls the president a liar in the middle of a televised speech? Seems perfectly acceptable when the President is African American, right? Honestly, it makes me look at people a little differently. Political affiliation has never really bothered me. To each his own. Now I think, “If you can support him, what must you think of me?”

I hope for our country’s sake, our children’s sake, the waves of discord and hate soon calm. If not, we may tip over and find ourselves unable to right the ship.