I’ve been mulling over this post for months now. MONTHS! I’m not sure why though because the topics of choice have been in the news since the Ferguson Riots; which was in 2014! And yet every time I start this post my fingers and brain stop communicating. I can’t seem to formulate a clear and understandable thought. I can’t figure out how to sound intelligent and well versed in the fundamentals of linguistics and language but nobody got time fa that shit.
Let’s just get right down to it…
Post-racial Amurica don’t exist. For those that think it does exist, I feel you may be blinded by a false sense of the “cultural” make up of the United States. This country has more issues with the standard list of -isms than most other countries. Only in the United States can you be made to feel like your life doesn’t matter because you look, talk, live, love and believe differently.
Does anyone see the irony in the above statement? Certainly you have to see it. Amurica is a cultural melting pot of many languages, religions, ethnicities and sexual orientation; yet, there is an overwhelming sense of discrimination everywhere. That is not to say that every nook and cranny of the U.S. is racist, sexist, homophobic or agnostic. It also means that not every damn stereotype is true for EVERYONE in a particular socioeconomic group.
Not all black folks are loud, uneducated, hood rats. Not all white people are carrying around the Confederate Flag and threatening to kill “all the n*****s.” No LGBT person is out to turn the children of straight religious conservatives gay. Not all devout Catholics or Protestants are out to condemn LGBT people or even atheists to a life of purgatory. even though that ain’t they job no way
Yet, here we are talking about church fires and shootings, black women dying while incarcerated, gay bashings, hate crimes against anything different from someone else’s norm and the presence of a flag that does not convey the same emotional sentiment that it once did when it was first flown a century and a half ago. In the two years alone, President Obama has had to make more emotionally charged “We the people of the United States have suffered a great loss” speeches than any other president in my life time. Within the last fucking year. And for what?
Why has this president had to deal with so much strife? Why has this president been more scrutinized and criticized than any other president in my lifetime? Is it because he’s half black? yep I played the race card
I’m just trying to understand the mentality of Americans and the freedoms that we all seem to have as citizens but are not granted if we’re not heterosexual religiously conservative white males. Having graduated with a degree in journalism, I understand and applaud active use of free speech. I do. Buuuuuuuuuut you knew this was coming at what point, did the freedom of speech become the right to publicly preach messages of hate?
At what point, did the freedom to assemble become the right to converge on the privately owned property of a person of color to burn crosses or yell racial obscenities at a child’s birthday party as a few hateful bastards some months ago. At what point, do we stop hating and loathing our neighbors and start loving them as we would love ourselves?
I’m fearful of the present and the future of the the country we call home. The country that often on paper prides itself on being a cultural melting pot. A country that is the epitome of the land of milk, honey and opportunity. Yet we don’t have free healthcare like some European countries and Canada does.
A country that was founded on the understanding that all persons should be granted the basic freedoms of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Yet there was slavery. There are religious persecutions of Muslims. LGBTiQ persons have to fight for the right to be married and miserable. There is literally a notion of “existing while brown!” Don’t act like there isn’t when we all know this is true.
What I’m saying is it’s hard to be and feel like a proud citizen when you’re part of the minority; in terms of race, sexuality and religion. It’s difficult to understand how a country that grants perhaps more civil liberties than other countries still does not recognize that each individual person in the United States deserves to live his or her life as he or she sees fit without governmental, religious or conservative influence.
Every year we “celebrate” Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream for every one to be and exist as one country. We “celebrate” his and many others’ efforts to gain basic civil and equal rights for all. To bring to light the obvious and apparent prejudices against people of color. Yet in the midst of the “celebration,” we’re still to this day in 2016 fighting for the right to be ourselves without question. This is America. The land of opportunity and freedom. The land of milk and honey even. Yet not everyone born here is afforded the basic freedoms that are laid out in the Declaration of Independence. We are not viewed as equal under the law.
At what point in history will everyone in America finally be equal and free under the law?
At what point will individual races not only help their own but others as well? A few people helping is great but it takes a village to be great! It takes more than a girl with a laptop writing about peace, love and the pursuit of happiness.
We have to stop taking for granted the little shit.
We have to stop believing the notion that not everything affects me, myself and I because it actually does affect all of us.
The idea of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness isn’t just for Donald Trump and his constinuents. It isn’t just for those who can afford to have multiple cars, homes and boats.
The average American citizen is not rich beyond comprehension.
The average American citizen is a dreamer praying for something more than what he or she is accustomed to seeing, doing and being everyday.
The average American citizen is not the person I see in the Stepford Starbucks in the mornings.
The average American is not Donald Trump, Hollywood movie star or Texas oil and gas tycoon rich.
The average American is not always college education or can even afford college.
The average American does NOT drive a Beemer, Benz or Bentley.
The average American citizen is me. The hard working trying to make ends meet while not getting caught driving while ________ (insert your truth here).
Thanks for reading….
the southern yankee