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April 22, 2012

America, The Nation Of Two Faces, Full Of Hollow Places

April 1861, Abraham Lincoln said "One section of our country believes slavery is right and ought to be extended, while the other believes it is wrong and ought not to be extended. This is the only substantial dispute." Consequently 2012 resembles 1861. Who would have imagined the election of a Black President would expose such divisiveness and hate talk among our citizens? The recent inflammatory comments by Ted Nugent are shameful. It dangles on the tail of calling our President a liar in the chambers of congress by demanding he prove his citizenship. Caricatures of him as a watermelon eating monkey demeans America. We grapple with politically correct words to excuse our shameful behavior as the world watches in amazement. November 4, 2008 the world thought, and America hoped, that the greatest nation would once again take its rightful position. America the beautiful, honorable, brave, compassionate, just and beloved.

Local and national media's cowardice in refusing to protect and respect the office of President Obama is neglect, and they should be held accountable. We can no longer hide behind the premise that the news reports the truth. That premise questions our intelligence and should make us all wonder if journalists and journalism have been tainted by everything but the truth. If America was a book, what would our title be? LOST, Three Blind Mice? I am sure you have titles of your own please share them with me.

The worst kept open secret stifling our country is race. Denying it doesn't hide it. The rationale that black on black crime as the cause is a smoke screen. America's unwillingness to discuss "Racism; a belief that some races are by nature superior to others." is shared by many Americans. Any race can be racist therefore skin color isn't the clue. Words such as; they, divide, kill, take our jobs, food stamps, lazy, trifling, them, uppity, too smart for their own good, they don't know their place, n-word, wet back, cracker, and so on are masked clues. The issue of race concerns me because it is escalating. Militia groups are increasing, crimes against people of color especially black men are increasing, and threats against President Obama has increased over 300%.

Consider the race debate prior to Trayvon Martin's death. Racism is a moral blot on the soul of our country that makes pledging our flag dishonest at the least. The recent death of Trayvon Martin has given me another opportunity to engage in a conversation that could start healing our nation. President Obama attempted to bring us together when he gave his race speech (click here to watch) after the firestorm over Jeremiah Wright, his former pastor.

The outrage over Trayvon's death has been misconstrued, misrepresented and used as a pawn to continue to divide America about race. Bill Cosby was partially right when he said the issue was guns not race. Unfortunately I believe Mr. Cosby is one step short of truth. The issue is guns AND race. The two go hand in hand, especially when you factor in the nationwide legislation of "stand your ground". The legislation is not only a license to kill anyone, anywhere, at anytime, it is heavily supported by The National Gun Association. NRA lobbyists are flush with cash and influence legislators that condone personal armories and enact stand your ground laws. The NRA is distorting murder as self defense. Race is an American, problem not a black one. I stand my ground for Trayvon Martin, and all men of color who are wrongfully killed. We snivel about leaving debt to future generations while we sanction hate, injustice, gutted education, lack of adequate health care, corrupt penal systems and allow greedy corporations to induce the 1% to disregard the 99%. Is this the legacy we are squabbling about? Trayvon's death is America's watershed moment and a tragedy that is not as simple and distant as most of us would like to believe.

I remember when Michelle Obama said that for the first time she was proud of her country. She was attacked, criticized, and pummeled for speaking the truth. She spoke what every Black person, women and most people of color have experienced. I will not be politically correct by pretending America's world wide quest to bring democracy to countries around the world is OK when it doesn't even exist in America. The very idea is offensive to me and a bold face lie. Until we clean up the issue of racism and white Americans admit that it has affected them as deeply as it has the people oppressed by it, it taints us all.

I grew up with the stories that no white parent has to tell their children. Imagine explaining to your 5 year old child, or younger, that you had to treat all people equally but you wouldn't be treated that way. Imagine the fear people of color live with, just as Trayvon Martin's parents did and do, when your son, or spouse is a little bit late from work or school. Imagine being told you are young, gifted and black, but if you stand your ground there is a possibility you will be imprisoned or killed. Hard to imagine isnĘžt it?

The next time you look at your face imagine it being brown, black, yellow or red and that you were born this way. Imagine you are proud but reminded daily that you are worthless. Imagine that, and everything I have said in this blog, then get off your butt, get on your knees, pick up a phone, send out an email and let your family, neighbors, friends, congress people and anyone you know, that if something doesn't change, we all lose. We don't just lose our country, but every ideal it is supposedly built on. Is it worth that?

Comments and thoughts ... Email PatriciaStatue of Liberty


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