Adolph Hitler taught me that governments can be bent to the will of one man through intimidation, fear, propaganda, brutality, and insistence on conformity. So, I am wary of leaders who behave the way Hitler did.
Joseph McCarthy taught me that it is dangerous to question the patriotism of a fellow citizen simply because their beliefs or thinking is different than mine. So I recognize the ease with which my fellow citizens can be manipulated this way and I speak out against it.
Mahatma Gandhi taught me that non-violent protest may be offensive to people who are tolerant of oppression, but it is necessary to prick their conscience from its slumber. So I choose to use the power of words to make oppression apparent.
Susan Anthony taught me that causes for social justice are present in every era. Through her, I have come to realize that bigotry always masquerades as divine will.
Martin Luther King taught me that Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. So, I seek to expose injustice and act against it wherever it exists in the world.
Benito Mussolini taught me that Fascism embraces violence as positive and views political violence, war, and imperialism as beneficial to the rejuvenation of nations. I condemn violence in all its forms, and reject the notion that might makes right.
I may not agree with you, but I honor your right to your beliefs. I may detest your hate-filled speech, but I will oppose anyone who denies you the freedom to speak it. I will always assume that you do not wish me harm because of my beliefs, and that you will extend that dignity to me. If you suffer an injustice, I will take your grievance seriously, and will do everything I can to right the wrong done to you.
I bow to no human being, nor to anything conceived of by another that infringes on my rights. I am free. I recognize no compulsory allegiance to any symbol, cause, or person (living or dead). I believe in the inherent worth and dignity of every person. I believe that all people are created equal and I vigorously reject racism, bigotry, hatred, prejudice, and all injustice that springs from those evils.
I am an American. What are you?
If you are not angered by white supremacists, nazis, and the KKK using our national anthem and flag as symbols of hatred and supremacy, but you are angered by black athletes using the anthem and flag as symbols of distress and oppression, you may not be a racist... but you are a hypocrite.
As I understand it, the demonstrations by NFL players originated with former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. He began to kneel during the national anthem at games as a way of drawing attention to the well documented fact that black Americans are targeted and sometimes killed by law enforcement officials. The intention of the protest by NFL players is to highlight the systemic problem of how police officers treat black suspects. These players are, of course, exercising their rights to protest in a way that spreads their message as far and wide as possible. So, are people upset with the NFL players:
I imagine I’ve missed a few points, and some overarching, compelling reason for people to support Trump in this matter. Here are a few things I do know:
I've been working hard this morning. I just stepped out of my front door to take a break and was immediately overwhelmed by the beauty of our walnut orchard and the blessings of my exquisite life here!
It is precisely because this action is contrary to our spirit, and to common sense, that business leaders, faith leaders, economists, and Americans of all political stripes called on the administration not to do what it did today. And now that the White House has shifted its responsibility for these young people to Congress, it’s up to Members of Congress to protect these young people and our future. I’m heartened by those who’ve suggested that they should. And I join my voice with the majority of Americans who hope they step up and do it with a sense of moral urgency that matches the urgency these young people feel.
Ultimately, this is about basic decency. This is about whether we are a people who kick hopeful young strivers out of America, or whether we treat them the way we’d want our own kids to be treated. It’s about who we are as a people – and who we want to be.
What makes us American is not a question of what we look like, or where our names come from, or the way we pray. What makes us American is our fidelity to a set of ideals – that all of us are created equal; that all of us deserve the chance to make of our lives what we will; that all of us share an obligation to stand up, speak out, and secure our most cherished values for the next generation. That’s how America has traveled this far. That’s how, if we keep at it, we will ultimately reach that more perfect union.
About this blog.
This blog is a place where many of the confluences of my life can be shared. I am, at the core, a creative person. I approach everything from that basis... whether composing symphonies, playing the cello, being a serial entrepreneur, writing sermons and essays, flying airplanes, or creating software apps. I am deeply passionate about creativity, issues of social justice, and spiritual enrichment. These are fundamental to everything I do. Welcome to my journey!