I’m not going to sugar coat it: it’s hard to be an American.
Sure, we have it “easier” than people in other countries, but do we really?
Does it really matter how much “access” we have when certain people are systematically excluded from it?
Does it really matter how much money we “have” when the national deficit is $22 trillion & with us owing China $1.1 Trillion?
As a child, American history is all I wanted to learn about. I begged to go on weekend trips to see historical monuments. My parents are working class & divorced, so weekend trips to DC was never an option, but I’ve seen every “insignificant” site in New Jersey that we could find. I wanted to stand where they stood & just feel how much history was there.
The more I learned the more I wanted to. The more I questioned it. The more sad I became.
The history of the United States of America is nothing is than colorful. We are a nation of rejects & refugees.
“We’re all very different people. We’re not Watusi. We’re not Spartans. We’re Americans, with a capital ‘A’, huh? You know what that means? Do ya? That means that our forefathers were kicked out of every decent country in the world. We are the wretched refuse. We’re the underdog. We’re mutts!” -John Winger, Stripes (1981)
It’s hard to live in a country seemingly in fear of it’s own truths, past & present.
It’s hard to get up everyday & be proud of where I live, when I live in a house of ignorant racists.
It’s hard to go to work everyday, when my jobs are finished by outsiders who don’t understand the importance of it, but unknowingly depend upon it.
It’s hard to keep myself up-to-date on politics, when watching presidential candidate debates is worse than watching reality television, on both sides — because there are sides.
As an educator of special needs, when my school district has certain employees underpaid & many classrooms completely under budgeted for no good reason.
As a public servant, when I know but can’t say parents are neglecting their child’s needs.
As an ally of the entire LGBTQIA+ community, when so many people are afraid to be who they are or ask for what they need without getting unnecessarily persecuted in some form.
As an atheist & religious scholar, when so many immoral people hide behind the premise of religion as a defense for hate.
As a voting, taxpaying citizen who has the right to say, “you really suck right now & you need to change because things will only get worse otherwise.”
As an American, who loves America & hates what it’s becoming. Is not that we came from something amazing & flawless, but we have the resources & capability to learn from & move past the mistakes we so frequently make. As someone who knows we can (& have the legal & moral obligation) to do better for ALL Americans.
Regardless of whatever “protected class” they belong to.
“Protected Class” as defined by the federal government are: race, color, nationality, religion, sex, age, or disability. However, certain states have taken it upon themselves to expand this clarification to protect more people from discrimination.
Oregon: “Race, religion, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, marital and familial status, age 18 and above, disability, expunged juvenile record, pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions, injured workers, retaliation, requiring submission to breathalyzer test, lie detector, genetic testing, psychological stress test, use of legal tobacco during non-working hours, person with a degree in theology or religious occupations, victims of domestic violence or sexual crimes, credit history, testifying at unemployment compensation hearings, leave to attend a criminal proceeding, military service.
Does not include illegal drug use.”
Colorado: “Race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age 40 and over, disability, religion, national origin, ancestry, engaging in any lawful activity off the premises of the employer during nonworking hours, victims of domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault.”
New Jersey: “Race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, civil union status, domestic partnership status, affectional or sexual orientation, genetic information, pregnancy, sex, gender identity or expression, disability or atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait of any individual, nationality, military service, genetic testing, retaliation.”
Puerto Rico: “Age from which minors can work, race, color, sex, social or national origin or social condition, political affiliation, political or religious ideology, or for being a victim or perceived as a victim of domestic violence, sexual aggression or stalking, sexual orientation, gender identity, retaliation, military status.“
As a human being who is guilty of doing the same on a personal level.
We live in “the greatest country on Earth” & our President is a sexist, racist moron (far before he was ever nominated & he was “elected” anyway). Let’s do better next election & every election after.
Are we the greatest country on Earth anymore? Were we ever?
Hindsight is 2020.
The United States of America is the second oldest fully developed federal government on the planet today. All other countries you think are older than us have fully replaced their federal government since 1776. This year we turn 243 as a nation. According to the Human Development Index, we ranked 13th in 2018 & 12th in 2017.