The Dream of America

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” ~ Dr Martin Luther King Jr

I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, especially when it comes to my writing topics. While scrolling thru social media posts the other day, I came across one of those aps that describes you somehow. This one was about a song that describes me. The song that popped up for me was “Imagine” by John Lennon. Today’s writing is a culmination of those results, stumbling across my past writings about peace and feeling sad when I see the unrest in our country.

As another day winds down, yet another protest turned violent is plastered in the news and on social media. The reason for the protest is of no significance, neither are any of the other protests that have happened over the last few months and years. What is important is what we are doing to each other. We are tearing each other and our country apart. Discrimination and bigotry have pitted brother against brother and sister against sister.

  • “This is a great opportunity for us to ask ourselves: What are we teaching our children? Tolerance has to overcome this kind of hatred, this kind of hatred that is grounded, really, in ignorance, ignorance of our values and what makes us unique as Americans.”.” HR McMaster, US National Security Advisor.

Well, what are we teaching them?l

In times like these I am reminded of our great leaders of the past. There have been a many great leaders who have spoke about the need for peace whether it be within a country or throughout the world. Today I decided to highlight some of them. In an effort to write more of their visions of the future I am foregoing the vocabulary lesson today. I will let you look up the words; protest, identity politics, nationalism, white privilege, tolerance, hate, bigotry and probably a few others..

The above quote by Dr Martin Luther King Jr. has been said countless times. In an effort to accurately define what Dr King meant all those decades ago, I came across an article on a CBS news site titled “MLK’s ‘Content of Character’ Quote Inspires Debate” dated January 20, 2013. The following is excerpts from the article

  • “King would ask people of all backgrounds – not just whites, [blacks, this political party, that religious faith, etc] – need to deepen their patriotism by leaving their comfort zones. We need to reach across the barriers that divide us and learn about different people. He tells us to remember that we all have…to build the ties that bind a democracy, which really is the source of our strength…[King want us] to create the climate where every American can realize his or her
  • “…he talked about everyone bringing their gifts, their talents, their cultural experiences…We live in a society where we may have differences, of course, but we learn to celebrate these differences.
  • “Fifty years ago, bigotry was widely accepted…Special consideration for one racial or ethnic group is a violation of the dream.Considering race as a factor in affirmative action keeps the wounds of slavery and Jim Crow sore and festering. It encourages beneficiaries to rely on ethnicity rather than self-improvement to get ahead.”

Somewhere along the way we, as American citizens, have forgotten this. Something called identity politics has made its way thru the country. At its core it means that there are some people who believe they are more important than others. They think they know what’s best for America and her people and they are found in both left and right side of the political aisle.

Ronald Reagan(1911 – 2004), our 40th President from 1981 – 1989 said it best in his 1981 inaugural speech,

  • “How can we love our country and not love our countrymen; and loving them, reach out a hand when they fall, heal them when they’re sick, and provide opportunity to make them self-sufficient so they will be equal in fact and not just in theory?”

I am also reminded of my history lessons in school. The first one being the name of our country – the UNITED States of America. “In 1776, the Second Continental Congress declared that there was a new, independent nation, the United States of America. We were no longer just a collection of separate colonies.”(Wikipedia)  We, with our diverse backgrounds, were united. Take a moment and reread that last sentence.

Another lesson i remember was that when our Founding Fathers created this democratic-republic they dreaded a two party political system. They warned us of the dangers of it. John Adams said:

  • “There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and…in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.”

George Washington agreed, saying in his farewell presidential speech:

  • He said that having two opposing parties has, in the past in other countries, created dissention thereby creating enemies between and within the factions. That “…sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of Public Liberty…It serves…to distract the Public Councils, and enfeeble the Public Administration. It agitates the Community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one part against another, (instigates) occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which find a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.”

Thought for the day: I close this with the song “Image” by John Lennon

***Please be sure to read more of my posts

“Imagine” by John Lennon in 1971

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people living for today

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people living life in peace, you

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope some day you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people sharing all the world, you

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope some day you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

***Please be sure to read more of my posts

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