Saturday, June 3, 2017

Keeping America Real

My Friends, I love the United States of America.  I believe in the American Way.  My family has either fought for America or donned a uniform and stood ready to do so in every generation of our family dating back to the Civil War.  My family has been tremendously blessed by America, in America, and we are forever grateful for the blessings of America that are ours.

Some recent Facebook exchanges I have observed and in which I have taken part, lead me to explain that when I address a tough American issue like the painting of the "n-word" on LeBron James' gate, or share my disgust at having been called that same word, yet again, I address it because I know America can do better. Please don't dismiss me, LeBron, or others who share with candor by spouting black crime statistics at us, telling us that we're lucky that we're not sitting in abject poverty or some other deflection of the issue of racial prejudice. Suffering around the world must be addressed, but that suffering does not make the racial belittling of others, regardless of well off they may be, anywhere acceptable.

America can be great even as its problems are brought to the light. When Americans discuss these problems, especially the ones dealing with race,it is not whining or playing the race card, or being a perpetual victim. Such discussion is an attempt to expose the truth so that we might together face the truth and overcome evil with good. I believe this is a good and helpful effort. Nevertheless, if such an effort is unacceptable, tell me. Then, the next time there's a high profile racial incident and you ask how I'm doing, I'll smile and say, "Fine, thank you!" Just know that if it comes to that, I'm being totally phony, completely spurious and absolutely insincere.

I believe we as Americans are better than safe superficiality, and I believe we have the ability to engage in respectful and meaningful dialogue that can encourage, heal and inspire.  I believe that sharing the personal impact of one of the most harmful, insulting, and degrading words in the English language can help to stem the casual use of that word and help to quench the stubborn resilience of the hate behind it. Of course, I've been wrong before.  Only time will tell.

Pressing on still with hope for a better day,

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