Fuel for Thought
Recent events may lead many to believe that Americans just cannot get along with one another. After hearing about the rallies, riots, protests and general hatred spewed from news media sources, a good number of people tend to think we are in very turbulent times.Overall, if you look around, you will see that these groups are very small percentage of Americans. Getting all of your information from the news media will give you a distorted view of our country and the world. “If it bleeds, it leads” has been a common phrase used by media outlets for a long time. But if you get out and actually meet and talk with people, you will find things are not nearly as bad as the news media portrays it.
Along with the protests came the call for the removal of historical monuments. Monuments. Does anyone remember why we erect monuments? It is to mark a monumental point in time, to remember our history, whether that reminder is to never repeat it or to remember how we got to where we are today. Monuments do not encourage hatred, bigotry or racism, they simply mark a place in our history. Because monuments can instill different feelings in different people, they had to be protected by laws, to protect some people from themselves.
Confederate monuments are not in place to encourage racism and taking them down will do NOTHING to erase the hatred someone may have in their heart for another group of people. Does the Vietnam War Memorial upset Vietnamese-Americans? I haven’t heard of any protests against it from Vietnamese- Americans. And while on the subject, can we drop the hyphenated phrase now? (Wherever your family is from)-American is a way to separate you from other Americans. Unless you are Native American, everyone’s family originated from another country at some point in time, but now that you are here, no matter how many generations ago, you should be American, NO hyphen. No one says you shouldn’t be proud or honor your ancestors, but Americans are Americans and no country of origin qualifier is needed.
Our country has a diverse history and there is not a single country on this planet that has started without getting a few things wrong, America included, but removing the historical monuments and rewriting the historical texts will not erase it. Learn from it and help make future generations understand the shortcomings of the past so as not to repeat them.
There is never going to be a 100% agreement among a large group of diverse people on ANY subject. If you want people to understand and empathize with you, you have to reciprocate, not turn to violence.
This is 2017, a lot has changed in the past 100 years in this country. There is no perfect society. There have been significant changes to our laws, our freedoms and our attitudes towards each other as Americans, and there are many more changes on the way, what they are though only time will tell. A little understanding and tolerance goes a long way to solving issues the violence never does.
Something's about to happen that hasn’t happened in 99 years. When the moon eclipses the sun on August 21, 2017, let that be a monument in time to make a change. The universal marking of time to make a clean sweep and come together as Americans and understand that everything is not just about you. There is a much larger world than just the little corner you live in.
See you down the road,