The Trayvon Martin killing has sparked conversations all across the country and one conversation I have had with myself is the question “What kind of America do I want to live in?” Do I want to live in a country where a 28-year-old, 250 lb man, armed with a semi-automatic hand gun, can track down and murder a 140 lb seventeen year old, armed with a bag of Skittles and an Arizona Iced Tea, and whose only crime was “Walking While Black”?
The 21 century has not been good for America. First, it started off with a hyper partisan presidential election, which was decided by a partisan Supreme Court. Next, America was attacked on 9/11, setting off a fire storm of wars, a whittling of the Constitution by the Patriot Act and the repeal of Glass–Steagall which, along with a good case of greed, lead to the greatest financial meltdown since the Great Depression. Ideology-driven State politics, much of which was based on old an States Rights mentality, nationalism and strict religious fundamentalism have caused old hatreds to lower the level of civil discourse to the point of collapse.
Here we are, 2012 and the conversation in the political sphere is whether or not the first African-American President is a citizen, a Christian, a Communist or the anti-Christ. Politicians from the Religious Right have ideas that most Americans thought were left to vaporize in the last century.
State after state has enacted anti-immigrant laws, voter photo ID laws and “Stand your Ground” Laws all because of ideology and desperation by Conservative White Americans. As Tim Wise states in “An Open Letter to the White Right, On the Occasion of Your Recent, Successful Temper Tantrum,” Conservative White Americans are going out of business, their time is up — and they know it. You can feel the desperation in their voices. You can read it in their writings. Religious Nationalism will not be enough to stop the waves of multi-cultural and multi-ethnic citizens, to be born in an ever-growing diverse America.
Religious fundamentalist threaten the Civil Rights of all women and GLBT citizens both politically, intellectually and medically, from Personhood legislation, invasive medical rape, and DOMA the Religious Right uses religious ideology to control, marginalize and demean women and gay Americans.
Just like Ellen Foley sang in Meat Loaf’s Paradise by the Dashboard Light, “What’s it going to be boy, will you love me forever….”
What’s it going to be America? Are we going to have a country that is truly exhibits the words of our forefathers “That all men are created equal” or are we going to continue down this path of political and social stagnation?
Discrimination, Racism, and Bigotry are not just incongruent with Liberty and Justice for All they stand diametrically opposed to the Judaic / Christian beliefs this country was founded on and which are expressed by members of the Right repeatedly. To be a racist, is to be un-American, to be a bigot is un-Christian; there are no two ways about it. The evidence is there — a country born from the premise that all men are created equal has no place for racism, bigotry or hatred in the 21st century.
Mike Scourby is pretty normal for a guy who grew up in Brooklyn. Well, it’s true, and that’s also the name of his blog. He’s a Yellow Dog Democrat currently living deep in a Red State but, as he told his kids, he’s moving back to Brooklyn at the first sign of a twang. Mike spends his time educating young minds to a Bluer state of mind.