What Are We Marching For?

What in the hell is happening to America? Somewhere along the way, we stepped off the path of righteousness and just keep using our machetes to make a path to wherever the hell we’re heading. Lots of people including myself have problems with the direction that this country is heading. Some feel that we should have never left the 50′s (or maybe that’s the 30s onward), and they have made themselves known in politics around the world and now on our very streets.

A Nazi March in 2017 at UVA (courtesy: Hatewatch)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The war of words is loud, strong, and relentless online and off, with either side calling each other names for not agreeing with them. But lately the words have gained slicing edges that are doing real damage. Our politics is no longer about right or wrong, but about for and against. The words of our forefathers no longer mean anything in our souls, because our hearts don’t beat for the same reasons that our forefathers fought for. I guess that’s what happens when you only care about who wins with no thought about what you’re losing.

A big part of the problem is that this country will not have a public discourse on how we got here. Just like we never did when we were first setting this country up. I’ve been reading excerpts from the Radical Reader by Timothy Patrick McCarthy and John Campbell McMillan. It’s a valuable collection of personal writings from the leaders who made their marks upon this country from its birth to current times. I wish that this book had been available when I was in school as it is critical reading. The words of the original writers ring through with their hearts vibrating loudly for their causes, so that we understand the circumstances that drove them to action. And in the process we get a truer image of our country’s history from all perspectives, and not just for the call of patriotism.

No country has a clean history. Every country has sides that are fighting to be heard. We like to use the term “radical” as a slur, but fail to realize that those who accept this label wear it with pride for their cause. Perhaps if we looked at our leaps in advances in history, then we would realize that radical thoughts and acts are what pushed us forward into the great unknown. Much of what we enjoy today is directly responsible by radical thoughts and acts of our predecessors throughout history.

But as much as we gain, there is also so much to lose when we refuse to engage with thoughts and acts that endanger the greater good. I’ve supported a lot of organizations like the ACLU who stand up for free speech, but somewhere along the way we’ve lost sight of what that exactly means. The world is not just black or white.

It is critical that we be allowed to speak what’s in our hearts, but we also need to take responsibility when those words and actions cause a great harm. We need to talk about the dangers involved with free speech when it is not assisted with the lessons learned from all sides. ┬áThe legal world likes to claim that it is truly a blind and fair system, but so many cases over the years have little to do with fairness and more to do with cost. When does the true cost override the calculated costs that drive our current capitalistic world? When does the rule of law admit that is does not have all of the answers because so many participants are left out of the proceedings?

Here's one way to start the conversation (courtesy: teamreboot)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some things cannot and should not be accepted. Like the first image above which depicts the latest Nazi march in Charlottesville by those who sympathize with white supremacy and all that it stands for. We fought a global war to stop this violent rhetoric, and yet America did not remember the incalculable lesson. Equality does not mean much when there are tiers on which groups must stand that places everyone at different levels. Each new level added means that equality gets further and further away.

If we want to have this conversation, then we need to talk about both sides of the equation and why they are right and wrong. This violence is occurring because someone feels disrespected. But each someone also needs to realize that there are others who experience the disrespect in very divergent ways. Physical and verbal violence leave their marks on everyone, but most especially the victim who receives them. We’ve gone way past saying that everyone deserves a say when someone dies because of the altercation. Death is never the final solution. We should have learned this over and over again in wars at home and abroad. What is it going to take to wake up?

Anyone who advocates hate does so at their own risk. Because whatever you put out there will come back to you, and sometimes it will come back in volumes you never expected. Our leaders of our coumtry, both locally and nationally, have abdicated their positions as representatives for the people.  The conversation cannot be about making a law and expecting others to follow it without finding all risks involved . Each law you make negates the opportunity to fix the problem by applying bandages and tourniquets, but never healing the root cause.

Instead of expecting political and legal solutions, we need to deal with this on a national level with every person involved in the repair. We’ve run out of time to save democracy, because the image above and the actions of all those involved prove that democracy is gone (if it was ever really here). Political participants don’t want to see change, so long as they can beat the drum of their ideology.

But our country and every country out there is about more than ideology. They are about ALL living things, great and small, successfully co-existing and prospering equally. Anything else you hear from the system is just empty words as long as they are not paired with true action that tries to fix each and every problem our society faces.

What are we marching for? I guess it depends on how you see the images above in your own heart and soul.

I know that my soul has been crying out for answers that are nowhere to be seen or heard. Even those people who are fighting for change aren’t engaged as our world needs them to be. Forget about picking a side. The boat is flooding in on both sides and no one seems to be carrying a bucket.

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