Open Letter /1/
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you’re a leader.” John Quincy Adams
I unequivocally stand up and speak out to recent egregious events, actions and words put forth by America’s leaders.
The United States of America, as an ideal, is greater than all Americans combined. However, our history is splattered with blood, violence and death. That history splattered, yet again, on the streets of Charlottesville most recently.
Throughout our history there have been lies, deceptions, cover-ups, atrocities in the name of “science”, lynchings, and slurs. The “rule of law” has become almost unrecognizable. Rampant, thinly-disguised discrimination from our “discovery”: based on race, sex, color, religion, sexual preference, income, education, place of residence, national origin, occupation, attire, hairstyle, etc., has been/continues to be the norm. The lists go on.
If we continue to make the choice to hate, demean, insult, disrespect and attack each other, at home and abroad, based on whatever characteristics we want to use for our own agendas, this is the America we’ll continue to create and this is the America from which others will move away, distrust and attack.
I’ll have none of it.
This is not my America. Hate is not my choice. The values of the present administration and other leaders are not my values.
Each morning I wake up grateful for another day. Nevertheless, when I look in the mirror of the America that’s been created today, much of what I see is self-serving hubris, pandering, hissy fits, policies inarticulately blurted out in 140 characters from a bogus Twitter account, some of the worst “positioning” to sustain and accrue more apparent and presumed “power” (while not offending too many people); and, making absolutely certain that “the base” is kept re-invigorated and juiced up with rallying cries of political promises that cannot be kept. Neither predominant political party is exempt.
This is not my America.
We can agree to disagree on many points, with respect. But, when our “leaders” persist in appealing to the basest human emotions of fear and hate, bullying anyone and everyone who disagrees or gets in their way, our American mirror must reflect what’s there, be seen clearly, no flinching and called out.
For my part, I re-affirm to treat others as I wish to be treated. I resolve to listen and respond with respect, even if we passionately disagree. I stand firm on the side of tolerance, understanding, empathy, compassion, social justice, non-violence, equality, ethical and individual responsibility, respecting our Constitution; and, my right to question authority.
Is this what we, the people, accept?
Jessan Dunn Otis|Writer
This is the first in a series of three (3) “Open Letter” posts.