The Pledge of Allegiance was written in August 1892 by the socialist minister Francis Bellamy (1855-1931). It was originally published in The Youth’s Companion on September 8, 1892. Bellamy had hoped that the pledge would be used by citizens in any country. In its original form it read:
“I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
On Friday, July 3rd, there were fireworks at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota and our President delivered yet another divisive speech.
Apparently, he has forgotten the words to the Pledge of Allegiance – one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. Most of us recognize that this narcissistic man knows only hate speech, knows only to call people names, knows only to fuel fires rather than work to put them out.
In the middle of a pandemic that is careening out of control in the United States, he put himself and attempts at reelection first and risked the many lives of his supporters who follow his inaction to respect CDC guidelines and recommendations. According to the New York Times, the President used this event to claim that we are in a battle against a “new far-left facism” seeking to wipe out the nation’s values and history.
Mr. Not-My-President, the definition of fascism is a form of far-right, authoritarian, ultra-nationalism characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition, as well as strong regimentation of society and of the economy.
Wow, that was a good deflection from reality. I think, however, you should open the dictionary and reflect.
He went on to state:
“Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values and indoctrinate our children.”
There he goes again about values. What are your values, sir? Bigotry? Racism? Hate? Letting people die because you can’t come to terms with a pandemic? Lifting up the Bible after tear-gassing a peaceful crowd when you are obviously far from being Christian? Disrespecting women and the LGBTQ community? Calling people names on Twitter? Creating a division in this country that may take decades to erase? Having past affairs and questionable dealings with a Russian leader?
The President depends on the fear of his constituents to create division and bring out the dark side of this America. He chooses political and financial gains over the well-being of the country he is supposed to keep safe.
His speech was about trying to make the #BlackLivesMatter movement, the removal/destruction of monuments and the call for police reform as horrible and evil.
“We will not be tyrannized, we will not be demeaned, and we will not be intimidated by bad, evil people.”
Too late. You are behind the last four years of demeaning, intimidating and bad behavior. You are the evil one. You are the one with hate rhetoric. Those who are protesting are African Americans. They were brought to this country as slaves beginning in 1619. These humans remained slaves in the U.S. until they were proclaimed free by Abraham Lincoln and a Civil War.
But not really.
After the War came Jim Crow laws that meant African American citizens wouldn’t be treated differently than when they were slaves. They would not be paid fairly for their work, they would not be able to walk on the same sidewalk as whites, they would be in a different train car than whites, they would be hanged for not saying “sir” to a white person, they could not shop in the same stores, and many were kept from leaving the towns and cities that continued to oppress them. In the book, “The Warmth of Other Suns,” which is an epic story of America’s Great Migration, one black woman was told by a police officer to take off the suit she was wearing because she had no business dressing like a white woman. The officer told her he’d arrest her if he ever caught her dressing like that again. The woman was basketball great Bill Russell’s mother. The Russell family left Monroe, Louisiana, soon after that incident and headed for Oakland, California, for a better chance at being treated fairly and living without fear.
Unfortunately, it is 2020 and our ethnic and marginalized populations are still fighting for equality, still fighting bigotry. They are angry and I understand their anger. I am angry too. I’ve heard far too much whining about wearing masks, social distancing and why-can’t-I-go-to-the-bar in this pandemic, from people who carry guns to their protests and yell about Constitutional rights and monuments that were erected during the Jim Crow era, not after the Civil War.
Constitutional rights do not cover stupidity. You have no concept of morality, ethics, following your God’s commandment to love others, and treating people as you want to be treated. You are privileged and your behavior is self-righteous, demeaning and hurtful. What about the rights of all people in this country? The rights that were not afforded to George Floyd and many others like him because of the color of his skin? The rights of anyone not like you who don’t agree with you, who have different opinions than you, who have different political, religious and sexual orientation than you? What about their rights?
The African American community tried to tell you about their lack of human rights by taking a knee four years ago, but all you could do was yell about your precious flag and that this wasn’t the right time or the right place. You should have listened then, instead of getting angry, and perhaps we could have started to work toward a country that embraces social change.
Law enforcement agencies have an obligation in this time period to examine who they are and how they can serve all U.S. citizens in the best possible light. That being said, the entirety of this country has the same obligation – to stop divisiveness, bigotry, racism and the hate speech that starts with our leaders. There is no longer room for this behavior and we, as a country, must become empathetic and kind to those around us, no matter who they are. We must treat people with respect and equality. We must have a President and political leaders who truly represent the diverse culture of this country rather than the small percentage of white wealth.
Our country is hurting right now and I fear it’s going to get worse before it gets better. I fear that far too many people will die from the pandemic and that rightful civil protests will be demonized due to a President who doesn’t know the meaning of indivisible. I fear that we will lose long-time allies for those who supposedly put a price on the heads of U.S. soldiers and interfere in our elections. I fear that we will be a country that is either hated or laughed at through the eyes of the rest of the world.
We are one nation, but we need to act like it. We need to have leadership that brings us together, not tears us apart. We need to save each other rather than harm or kill one another. We need to end the tyranny of a man who only has the concept of ego, and is willing to take this country and its people down for his own maniacal self-importance.
This country has a hard road ahead, but I truly believe that we can turn this divided, hateful ship around and be a people for which all of its citizens can live without fear or dangerous conflict.
In November, I hope that the majority of U.S. citizens will vote for indivisibility, inclusiveness, equality and justice for all. For the rest of the world, please send us your best wishes and prayers for a better tomorrow. We sorely need it.