National Suicide: Global Implications
Today I’m grieving another suicide. It’s not a parent, a child, a sibling, or a friend this time. It’s the country I call home. It’s the suicide of morality, acceptance, and respect for humanity and the earth we share. The beautiful and inspiring progress we and our ancestors have made in regard to women’s rights, LGBT acceptance, religious freedom, and zero tolerance for bullying are at risk. The American public (though not the majority of voters, as it happens) have essentially voted to toss it all out the window.
What makes it even more horrific is that the 18-25 year olds voted against this disease. Those who will soon be inheriting this 150 year step backwards voted for progress, voted for acceptance and tolerance. For what it’s worth, I offer you, the future of our country, of our world, my deepest regrets for what the older generations have bequeathed to you.
If everyone voted their conscience, it makes me very afraid. Do that many people want oppression on their conscience? Do that many people think it’s all right to abuse and disrespect women? To judge people by the color of their skin, the country of their birth, their sexual orientation, or their religion? In fact, do they even understand what they just voted to uphold?
Beware Predictions Made in Jest
My daughter reminded me today that the writers of Back to the Future II created a world in which the Cubs won the World Series and Trump became president. I know they wrote those two events in because they seemed about as far-fetched as it could get. And yet, here we are now. The Cubs did win the Series, albeit a year later than they did in the film and we do have the most unlikeliest of men (and I use that term in the loosest possible sense) getting ready to lead our country…into what? How could they have known that Americans would sink low enough to allow this to happen? And yet…maybe they did.
Is This the Death Knell of Social Responsibility…Again?
Growing up in the 60’s and 70’s, I saw the nation go from people who cared deeply and expressed that caring in rallies, sit-ins, and at the polls to a nation filled with apathy. We became angry about things, yet did nothing to try to change them. We realized that bullying and animal abuse were wrong, but in the end, the few who worked hard to improve life for others are fighting an uphill battle which just became 1000 times steeper. And once again, it’s the youth who are the first to, as a group, begin caring again. Meanwhile, my peers have clearly forgotten our participation in the events of our own youth. So many have become selfish and self-serving, using blinders to keep them from seeing what they choose not to see.
As in 1930’s Germany, it is again about White Christian males believing they are more deserving, and that a predominantly peaceful religious group is the source of all their real and imagined ills. Can they really forget, or worse, ignore the millions who died as a result of that bigotry at the hands of a man who was clearly deranged? Do they fail to see the correlation, blinded as they are by the false promises of a man with his own personal agenda? A man who repeatedly contradicts himself or even denies words which were recorded and broadcast to the world?
I’m baffled even more by the expectations of a better, stronger America. Really? What we have instead is a country who is the laughing stock of the rest of the world. Enough of us actually went to the polls and chose a buffoon to lead us for the next 4 years. Worse, an alleged rapist, a man who bankrupted several companies despite the strong familial financial backing he was born into, a man with thousands of pending lawsuits resulting from his perpetually unethical and immoral behavior.
The Jews Tell Each Other, “Never Forget”
We may have forgotten the events leading up to Hitler’s regime and the wide swath he cut through Europe and Asia before being stopped, but I guarantee those who saw the war fought on their own soil, who still see some of the scars he left have not forgotten. Will they welcome American travelers now? It doesn’t matter if the traveler supported or opposed the greater insanity. Simply being American implicates us in this insanity.
For what it’s worth, I want to offer my apologies to Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther King, Jr., Susan B. Anthony and so many others who worked or are working tirelessly to improve the treatment of all who weren’t born into the myth, perception and entitlement of White Male Christianity. I’d also like to apologize to the majority of the members of our Muslim community who are a peaceful, loving people whose true nature is violated by the few who choose to twist their beliefs to justify murder.
Remaining Silent and Not Caring Enough Made Us What We Are Today
Although I’m sad that my outspokenness on this may threaten or damage some friendships beyond redemption, keeping silent about injustices does not make things better. I may not be a hero like those who suffered greatly for their convictions, but I cannot remain silent to keep the peace with others.
Prejudice, regardless of the reason or the target is not right. I raised my children to believe that, even in the face of the reverse discrimination perpetuated by attempts to fix things. Sure, the methods weren’t perfect, but like anything else, you have to start somewhere and tweak things as you go along. We were still in the tweaking stage on many things, but now, I just don’t know how much of the progress we made will be lost. And that terrifies me.
Two days later, it appears my thoughts are being echoed. Grieving seems to be widespread as in this article by Neal Gabler
Yet I Still Have Reason to Be Grateful
My gratitudes today are:
- I’m grateful for the right I still have to speak out against injustice, even if my opinions are unpopular.
- I am grateful for remembering the past and wanting to keep future generations from the evils of oppression and the suffering which accompanies it.
- I’m grateful that opinions are diverse and hope someday I’ll understand, at least a little why people choose oppression over acceptance.
- I’m grateful for those who work, so often thanklessly to make things better for others.
- I’m grateful the elections are over, despite my feelings about the results. Life may not go back to normal, but at least the mud slinging is over for now.
I invite you to visit my Facebook pages, Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author and HLWT Accounting. Please also drop by my website, www.shericonaway.com and check out my Hire Me Page. I’ve created these pages as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” them or leave a comment! Thank you!
Photo attribution courtesy of Rich Moore Via Flickr