A Plea for Redress and Respect

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

~First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution~

Much has been debated this year regarding freedom of speech, freedom of the press and freedom to peaceably assemble.

From Civil War statues, to the media, to football players, to many other issues in our society, we’ve taken a turn for the worse when it comes to honoring our Bill of Rights and loving our fellow citizens.

From Roger Ebert:

“I begin to feel like most Americans don’t understand the First Amendment, don’t understand the idea of freedom of speech, and don’t understand that it’s the responsibility of the citizen to speak out.”

I agree. The First Amendment allows us to speak out, to voice our opinions, to call for action when it seems that the government or country is headed in the wrong direction. That is why we have elections, rallies, peaceful protests and personal opinions. That is also why we live in a democracy.

And I have something to say about this.

There is nothing in the First Amendment that address statues, football fields or men kneeling on the ground.

It’s about having the right, within our laws, to have freedom of speech and freedom of action.

Without name-calling, finger-pointing, and all of the negativity that appears on Facebook, in blog posts, and on the TV screen.

And without harming others.

It’s about living together as one people, one country.

Without prejudice of race, color or religion.

It’s about respecting and accepting those who don’t look like you, think like you or agree with you.

Without judgment and hate.

It’s about having a society that is open for all to speak their minds and hearts and ask for redress.

Without pushing important issues aside or ignoring same.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. What this country (and the world) needs right now is love and respect for their fellow human.

Human rights. Freedom. Light and peace.

Life is too short to take our rights for granted. So many people in the world live in poverty and despair. They live without homes and running water. They live in countries where there is no freedom of speech or religion or they flee from a country that inflicts pain and suffering on their citizens.

And here we are, worried about football players that kneel.

And statues that offend.

Yes, I watched football on Sunday, because I believe in free speech. It’s not a threat to our flag, it’s a reminder of our democracy, the fact that we can make a peaceful public statement and not be thrown in jail or have our heads cut off. This is no different than those that believe the Civil War statues should remain standing. It’s our right to these opinions and beliefs.

Doesn’t mean I have to agree with you or you have to agree with me. It’s that we respect each other and work toward a peaceful, caring, loving resolution. We have to get off our self-righteous high horses, people, and start taking care of each other. We have to stop the hate and vitriol now or I fear this state we are in is going to get uglier.

I beg you.

I plead with you.

Learn to love, to not judge, to take care of your neighbor, and to respect others’ First Amendment rights. So we don’t have to worry about kneeling and statues ever again.

This post has been brought to you by the U.S. Constitution and peace dammit! It has also been brought to you by Linda G. Hill’s “One-Liner Wednesday.” All you need to play along every week is an awesome one-liner and follow a few rules. Birds on a wire are not required, but make sure you link back today’s post to HERE so the rest of us #1linerweds peeps can read it.


42 responses to A Plea for Redress and Respect

  1. dweezer19 says:

    Yep. In the history of this country politics has always been nasty. At least they aren’t allowed to duel in the streets anymore. Yet. Well, maybe in Texas. 😏 Well said Mary. People, however, will always be people and I fear for the stability, as a whole, of humanity. Yet I continue to put it ou to the universe and to do my part as do you and so many others. Thanks.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Thanks for doing your part, Cheryl. If people honor our flag by honoring The First Amendment, there could be some change. I’ve just gown weary of the hyprocrisy and self-righteousness when it comes to matters of the flag and how our fellow citizens are treated. It’s embarrassing.

  2. Well written post about a very polarizing topic and time because I think people come from different points of view about interpretation. Then you add in what part of the country you live in, your family upbringing, and whether you or someone you loved served or made the ultimate sacrifice in serving in one of the Armed Forces, and it contributes to the challenge we face now. I wish everyone in every corner of the earth peace – life is short.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      True, Judy. Life is very short. Too short to be wasting time on arguing about kneeling and statutes. We have more important matters to tend to, like hurricane relief and taking care of the homeless. I will continue to hope and pray that this country changes into a peace-loving community rather than the angry one I see now.

  3. Dan Antion says:

    I wish there were a “I really like this post!” button to go with: “This post has been brought to you by the U.S. Constitution and peace dammit!”

    People jump to conclusions about what “those other people” are complaining about, or calling attention to, or hoping we would understand – we don’t listen. We don’t step out of our narrowly-framed context to understand the other person – what they’re going through, what they’ve been through, what they hope for.

    You are so right, Mary – you couldn’t be more right. I only wish people would listen.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Thanks, Dan. I really wish people would stop for a minute and think about this. The Constitution and First Amendment are for everyone, not just self. Some are so sure that kneeling on a football field desecrates the flag and yet they want to keep the Civil War Statue of someone who fought against the flag. That is what you call “narrowly-framed context.” For me, the flag is a symbol of the First Amendment right of free speech, for freedom and liberty, and peaceful protest. For ALL, dammit.

  4. Judy L. Brekke says:

    I agree completely, Mary! You have said so eloquently what my mind and heart believes.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Judy, thanks for supporting and respecting the First Amendment as a right for everyone. Because it is! ❤

  5. Norm 2.0 says:

    Excellent post. It seems that everyone wants to be heard but so few are actually willing to listen. I fear that the social media echo chamber is only making this worse.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Oh Norm, that echo chamber is too damn loud. The community chorus is also adding to the din. I just don’t get how people don’t get that we live in a democracy where there is freedom of speech for all. I only want the rest of my countrymen and women to understand and respect that. This loud whining is so petty and continues to throw the very important issues of this country aside. Makes me crazy some days…so I have to write about it!

  6. joey says:

    I’m in full agreement with you and so is my husband, who served 14 years in two branches of service. Peaceful protest, including any involving our flag, is one of the very principles and rights that flag represents.
    Also, I always choose people over things.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Please thank the Mister for his service and his understanding of what the flag means, what he went into service for. I’ve been wondering how most veterans feel about this and I’d like to think it’s the same as your husband.

      I choose people too, Joey. They are the most cherished thing in my life right now and I would kneel for each and every one of them.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Thanks Katie. I really want people to read and understand rather than continuing to sit on their high horse. It’s important.

  7. This whole thing about the flag and kneeling has really gotten to me. As opposed to running over a protestor with a car. Or blowing up a building, taking hostages, macing and fighting in the streets. It is, whether I agree with any of it or not, a PEACEFUL protest. Symbols, however near and dear, are symbols….

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Right Katie. I’m not sure how kneeling in a peaceful protest for human rights is akin to defaming the flag and dishonoring veterans. It makes no sense to me. It feels so foolish.

  8. As someone who doesn’t live in the USA, (I’m British, born and bred), I don’t feel I have the required ‘remit’ to comment at all on this post … so I’m taking my on-line life in my hands and saying this ….

    I agree with every word Mary.

    I’ve watched with a sinking feeling deep within me, at what is now occuring in the USA, and have an over-whelming feeling of wanting to weep tears of desperation for its people.

    It’s time for those who are (possibly) over educated and/or under informed, to stop. To listen. To hear. To understand.

    Stop the double talk and making speeches which actually, when studied, show that they are actually saying nothing with regard to the issue.
    I think more education is needed by those who are in positions of representing the nation, and I also feel that those same people must be made fully aware that they aren’t in that position to do whatever THEY want and wish, but to listen to the people of the nation and do what is required – not to listen to those who necessarily shout the loudest, but to listen to those who’s needs aren’t being met.

    EVERYONE matters. Not just the majority. Not just section A, B, D or F. All the letters of the alphabet are important, and all the colours are required to make a rainbow. It doesn’t matter what type of personal relationship ‘box’ they fit, it’s them as people. It’s not their age, eye colour, skin colour, size, job, house value, or any other ‘thing’ – because that’s all those things are. ‘THINGS’.

    Those in the places of representing the people need to actually listen to what the people are saying in order for them to represent and do what is required.

    Hmm.. I’m getting on a role here and I’m trying not to because in the small details, and I’m not in a position to comment in a public way really.

    Mary …. I agree with you. Maybe I should leave it right there.
    Sending my love ~ Cobs. x

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Cobs, you are so right in all of it. I’m so sick of the hateful blathering and hypocrisy when we should be coming together as a country and people. I have never been more fearful for the state of this nation than I am right now and our President and his comrades are not helping the situation. He should be bringing us all together, not making angry tweets or ignoring the plight of the poor and oppressed. You are correct in that our politicians need to be educated, but they also need to have an open mind and listen to their constituents instead of those who put money in their pockets. I’m very sick of it all and not sure how we can change the attitude of the country from angry to loving. Thanks for your comments, Cobs. It’s good to hear from people outside the U.S. and their perspective on this situation.
      Hugs, M-J

  9. datmama4 says:

    As a white woman who has always been a white woman, I can not begin to understand what my friends have gone through and continue to go through. I’m currently working on a blog post that addresses these very issues. At a time when our country needs unity, people are protesting injustices peacefully, without violence, and others are saying that’s still “not enough.” Respecting our country is one thing, and I love the country I have always lived in, along with the freedom here; forcing people to stand for a symbol is dangerously close to fascism. If we won’t allow free speech, then the flag means nothing anyway. Thank you for your post!

  10. OK we all have freedom of speech and that is why these football players and a few others kneel. In my opinion, You can protest peacefully but doing it through the National Anthem is just not the place for protesting.

  11. LB says:

    And kneeling seems so unimportant after the death of 59 innocents today.
    Thank you for your respectfully written post

  12. Aunt Beulah says:

    Thank you for so succinctly expressing what I feel. I agree with every word you wrote; I think so much of today’s strife could be avoided if we all honored our country’s constitution above all else. You write so well and so passionately on an important topic. Again, thank you.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Thank you for your thoughts and kind words. I hate to think of how off track our country has become in the way we are supposed to honor and respect one another. That needs to turn around…soon.

  13. Autumn Cote says:

    Would it be OK if I cross-posted this article to WriterBeat.com? There is no fee, I’m simply trying to add more content diversity for our comzmunity and I liked what you wrote. I’ll be sure to give you complete credit as the author. If “OK” please let me know via email.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.