Yes, I’m one of those psychos… I decorated my entire house with American Flags, along with a couple of “God bless this country” angels thrown in. My children’s friends enjoyed teasing them about our “Bearmerican” banner. I just laughed it off since in my mind the décor was fitting for a patriot (and bear lover). I believed in the USA. The land of the free and home of the brave, where everyone can pursue happiness. My country welcomed souls from perilous journeys and offered them liberty, opportunity and a safe place to lie their heads. U.S.A. was synonymous with Freedom in my mind. We were people that stood up for each other. The beautiful melting pot. Was I a victim of propaganda or was I an optimist trying to see the good around me? It was both. The country I believed so fervently in never actually existed.
Constitutions, laws, policies, declarations are meaningless without societal buy in. Powers that be ask their people to wear rose-colored glasses and defend their way of life. See the good, ignore the bad. Occasionally stand up for a cause (but don’t get too passionate).
It’s not a bad life, but it’s not real. Hate has become the name of the game in this great country and discrimination its calling card.
I am a person of faith who understands that historically religion and religious people have caused the greatest death and misery that this world has ever known. Religious insanity pokes up its nasty head every century along with the beliefs; my god is better than your god, my body is better than your body, my family is better than your family, my sex is better than your sex, my skin color is better than your skin color, my gender is better than your gender, my views are better than your views and my life is more valuable than your life. Granted, not every judgmental person is religious, but a majority of U.S. Christian fundamentalists have embraced bigotry on a new level and worked to dissolve our first amendment directive to separate church and state. This has brought hatred to our cities and brutality to our streets that has the ability to destroy this nation. God hasn’t forsaken us, but I have a hard time believing that he isn’t saddened and disgusted by us.
I was a fly on the wall in a conversation that defended a slave class. I watched a political convention that applauded decreased rights for women and minorities. I watched a church service that encouraged murder. I have watched us assault our Earth to a point that scientists aren’t sure that we can sustain life into the next century. Innocent until proven guilty has been replaced with street justice and heavily armed local militias are teaming with militarized police forces to quash the idea that all people are created equal and endowed with unalienable rights.
This nation was born out of slavery and subjugation and that seed comes from a tree that cannot bear fruit, so until we create justice for all then there will be peace for none. Not because anyone wants unrest but because freedom is not sustainable in its current state. Yes, I was naïve, but The American Experiment doesn’t have to be over. We have to be willing to fight for it.