America’s racist core continues to shine with the intensity of a star going supernova. I am embarrassed to admit this, but like many of my fellow Americans, I was blind to the true extent of the problem. Perhaps that is because many of the worst offenders and most ignorant kept their true nature hidden from their more civilized and advanced neighbors. Or perhaps, I was simply enjoying my rose colored glasses. Regardless of the reason I was blissfully unaware of the problem, it is now impossible to hide the truth, and continue to pretend America is the greatest nation on Earth.
Like most Americans, I was raised to have a deep devotion to my country. National pride begins to be instilled in all Americans at a very early age. For me, it was intensified because I was also a military brat. I learned the Pledge of Allegiance before I knew the alphabet. I learned my lessons well, and was your typical proud American. I would stand firm and fight with anyone who questioned America’s greatness. But things have changed and America is no longer true to her roots. She has fallen, and been replaced by a dark entity that shows no semblance of what the USA actually stands for, and the core beliefs that our forefathers fought for.
The headlines that fill the news-feeds and airwaves these days revolve around immigration and the vile way they are treated in this nation. There is a lot of rage when it comes to the Nazi style tactics being deployed against people crossing our border, seeking asylum. To add fuel to the fire, Trump’s Muslim ban was narrowly passed by the Supreme Court thanks to a stolen judicial seat. The Muslim ban, in and of itself, is a ludicrous and bigoted farce. None of the nations that are a genuine threat are included, due to the fact that Trump has business ties to nations such as Saudi Arabia et al. But I digress. The focal point here is about the true racist nature of the ban, along with the demonic treatment of immigrants. None of this is truly American, and anyone who disagrees would benefit from reading a history book.
As the onslaught continues, it seems like we are inundated with new videos daily, depicting the treatment of immigrants and their young children, as well as verbal and physical attacks on citizens in this nation who are not white enough or “real Americans”. It is hard to accept what is happening here, as bigotry and racism reign supreme in every facet of our culture.
Even a casual user of social media must have seen the debates about Roseanne Barr, and her show being cancelled due to her viral racist tweet several weeks ago. Trump supporters are angry and upset that Roseanne was canceled because of a simple tweet. They saw nothing wrong with what she said, and screamed that people were being too sensitive, and the “snowflake” moniker was being thrown at everyone. In the misguided belief that they were proving their point about how overly sensitive people have become, they started sharing memes and statements that were using old sitcoms like Archie Bunker and The Jeffersons as good examples as to why Roseanne should not have been cancelled. After all, those shows were once very popular and no one was complaining about the racist content back then. I shake my head at the sheer idiocy of the comparison. Aside from the fact that we should be evolving rather than remaining stagnant, or reversing our trajectory, those sitcoms were fictional creations that made fun of the attitudes they portrayed, which is why they were so over the top. Roseanne’s tweet was an honest one that depicted her inner darkness. One is fiction, the other is not.
What if the shows mentioned above had been about rape, domestic abuse, pedophilia, or some other social issue? Would the attitudes be the same? This has led me to analyze why this is happening, and how it has been allowed to go on unchecked for so long. How did racism and bigotry become the only social injustices that are an acceptable societal norm in the US? Perhaps we were too complacent after the Civil War, and allowed the wounds to fester in silence rather than exposing them to the light; encouraging them to heal. After the war, focus shifted toward reunifying the nation rather than first dealing with the scourge that brought us to that moment. One of our biggest mistakes was allowing the Confederacy to hold onto their idolatry, in order to save their wounded pride, thus allowing the hate to continue and the wound to fester, as it slowly spread the putrid infection.
Even though it has been 153 years since the end of the Civil War, the symbol of the rebellion still flies proudly. Confederate Flags adorn homes, trucks, et al in many towns across the nation. Infamous with white supremacy groups, the real meaning of these flags is traitorous. That is why the term “Confederate Flag Flying Patriot” is an oxymoron. The flag is a traitor’s flag, a symbol of a battle lost. But the modern Confederacy seems to be ignorant of that fact.
Perhaps this ignorance is because the South also paid homage to the leaders of the Confederacy, calling them heroes. They named public buildings and schools after the infamous generals and Confederate leaders, and started erecting monuments to these men around the same time the Civil Rights movement was beginning. Much of this can be attributed to the Confederate reinterpretation of the Civil War, trying to claim or believe they actually won, or in the very least that they fought for a noble cause. They spread misinformation, and continue to indoctrinate children with the ignorance they were raised in. Children look at monuments like that with awe and admiration, which was the intended purpose from the beginning. They do not tell the truth about who those men truly were, namely that they fought against the United States in a futile attempt to maintain their slave owning status quo. These men were American traitors, yet in the South they are revered as heroes. That is a big part of the problem.
When America finally started facing her social illness, in many ways it was too late because it had been allowed to fester in darkness. These monuments which never should have been erected, were coming down one by one, and the extremist groups were in a tumultuous uproar. Their very ideology and way of life was once again being threatened, and they were angry. They spread the propaganda that history was being erased. Most of the civilized world simply shook our heads at the sheer ignorance of their argument.
This uproar, and the fact that even some seemingly decent people were buying into the “erasing history” malarkey, was merely indicative of how complacent we had become to our racist underbelly. We accept or ignore the problem, hiding our heads in the sand and continuing with our everyday lives as long as this ideology doesn’t affect us personally. But as the hate spreads, and the violence is starting to become the norm, we must finally rise up and do what should have been done years ago. We must face this problem head on, and let the bigoted factions know their ideas are not welcomed here. It is time to finally evolve and move forward as a nation.
The current administration has allowed this darkness to emerge from the shadows, revealing the true depth of the problem. We must now purge this darkness before it drains the life from this nation. We cannot continue to allow this attitude to plague and define us. America cannot and should not be defined by her racist and ignorant citizens. It is time for the intelligent, and evolved citizens to come together and take charge. It is time to finally say ENOUGH and take America back from the precipice of destruction. It is time for us to finally move forward, and become the great nation we purport to be.