I tend to avoid politically charged issues in my blog, but the current climate has me quite disturbed. In light of recent comments attributed to the President and the ensuing days of talking heads commentary on those remarks and their meaning, we have had a few discussions here at home.
I am a senior citizen, I lived through the period of segregated everything, the marches and riots. In high school, as a senior, I was part of a group of students who were taken to the segregated black high school to a symposium as the schools were to be integrated the next year. I was graduated by the time it happened and had gone on to college. I guess even then I stood out as seeing people as people, not as people who were different by color or religion. My friends as I transitioned into adulthood and employment were diverse, we went out together, ate at each other’s homes, were in each other’s weddings and celebrated baptisms of our children in each other’s churches. Those people were and many still are my friends.
The civil rights movement at least on the surface seemed to improve race relations, but in light of recent events, I think that maybe it just drove those who were racists, bigots, and intolerant of others of different skin color or beliefs to become silent and less visible.
There have been a lot of changes in our society very quickly. Changes that are good for the country, good for the people. Changes that allow people to express their sexuality openly, changes that allow same sex marriage, changes that are supposed to make all people equal, give all people equal rights without regard to gender, color, race, or religion.
We are a country founded by immigrants. There are few in this country that are true pure Native Americans. Our country has embraced a statue in the harbor of New York with this quote based on the sonnet by Emma Lazarus,
“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
It does not say to welcome only white, Christians. It does not say to suppress the rights of those whose belief or color are different than yours
I fear that the current climate, though not a majority, just a very vocal minority, emboldened by our leader has determined that it is okay to be openly racists and bigoted. This saddens me, I had hoped that we had grown as a nation but fear that we are becoming a hated nation, a laughing stock.