July 4, 2007

The Legacy of The Fourth

Please go here and view the video for a moving demonstration of true leadership--in case you have, as I had, forgotten what it looks like.

And read the article. It brought a lump to my throat as I thought about all the people who know discrimination simply because their skin is a different color from mine; they speak with a different accent or in a different language than I do; because they're poor.

As we celebrate 'freedom' [though I think we actually celebrate smugness on this date more often than anything else] may we remember what our parents, grandparents, great grandparents -- whichever generation in our respective families made their ways to this country -- bequeathed to us. They were almost certainly poor. They came here with hope that their children could know better lives than they had known. We owe them more than smugness.
Addendum 7/5/07:
This morning I reread the article and had another thought about it:

I am reminded of another time - when McCarthy fanned the flames of panic and hatred of the ‘Red Menace.’
Today’s ‘Menace’ is a different color: brown.

Many of our politicians are taking a page from McCarthy’s book and using already inherent leanings among the people to point the finger at the Outsider, whether from the Middle East or Mexico, in order to push their own agendas and to get us to take our eyes away from the real threat: what they, themselves, are doing to the country.


Robert Rouse said...

Don't you know that according to most of our Right Wing "brethren" that anyone who is different is a menace. They tolerate Condi and Gonzo because it makes them look inclusive. Right now I wouldn't be included - not because I'm a different color, but because I let my hair grow - you see, they already have Ted Nugent as their token "long hair".

And I'm really getting sick of these people who say this is OUR country - no, we stole it from the natives and pushed them aside into poverty - don't forget that only a handful actually make money off those casinos. We stole black men and women from their homelands and deposited them here. California, Arizona, Texas, Nevada, New Mexico, etc. were filled with Mexicans long before they were filled with whites.

Sorry for the rant, but this crap makes me physically ill. Excuse me while I go throw up.

two crows said...

we not only pushed aside the natives of this country, we practiced conscious genocide against them.

not to mention the people we bought and dragged here in chains.
so, when people begin ranting about 'illegals', I ask em if they've booked their passage back to Europe, yet.

pissed off patricia said...

It seems we have hit our apex of trying to become more decent people and now we are free falling backward and down to what we used to be.

two crows said...

hey, PoP--
I often wonder whether my generation has really accomplished anything -- tho today it is held up as an example for good. [tho heaven knows everyone else ranted about our long hair, army fatigues and bell bottoms at the time.]

yes, many women are slightly better off. as are some people of races other than white. still-- there SO far still to go.

but, either I'm more aware or violence has increased. and prejudice always dies a hard death. we have to remain ever-vigilant against it. there will always be someone to point at as 'different' and to be guarded against.
to my way of thinking, that is the overriding shame of the human species.

Robert Rouse said...

I don't know if this will make you feel any better - probably not, it might even make it worse - but humans are not the only species - they have discovered that some chimps and even some porpoises kill or maim others in their own groups who are different. Of course human have "perfected" that trait.

TomCat said...

The right has always used hatred to keep us divided along color lines, to keep us from recognizing the only color line that matters: green.

Johnson displayed a true moment of greatness: Isn't it ironic that two years later, I stood outside his White House chanting well deserved insults.

two crows said...

hey, Robert--
I knew about chimps. I wasn't aware of that proclivity among dolphins.

I've read that wolves exile white or black wolves from their packs. presumably because they look different from the normal reddish to gray pelted ones.

and, I've personally witnessed an albino squirrel being tormented by others.

I know we're not alone-- but, I don't like the idea of comparing the behavior of my species to that of canines or rodents.