Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Dear PS writes:

The Politics of WORDS


Since the 2008 Presidential election, many of us have watched and listened with increasing incredulity to the vitriolic communication capturing the nation’s headlines. Much of the communication sounds and feels reminiscent of pre/post reconstruction and civil rights era rhetoric as factions divided and closed ranks around their individual interests. “Why can’t we all just get along” is still the cry of peace in 2009. I have been shocked and highly concerned about the manner in which some have decided to use their 2nd Amendment rights to vilify the current President of the United States and reconstruct change into fear, fright and the will to fight!

Maybe you missed some of the most controversial statements:
(The names have been left out to protect the not so innocent)
“President Barak HUSSEIN Obama is a racist. He hates white people.”

“You lie!”

“President Obama is a socialist, commie!”

“Yes, I meant what I said, I hope he fails!”

“Well, I think white men were 100 percent of the people that wrote the Constitution, 100 percent of the people that signed the Declaration of Independence, 100 percent of people who died at Gettysburg and Vicksburg. Probably close to 100 percent of the people who died at Normandy. This has been a country built basically by white folks in this country who are 90 percent of the entire nation-in 1960…”

Add to these words the thousands of news photos showing signs and pictures of the President with the recognizable Hitler mustache, devil horns, and a bone through his nose, as well as individuals attending his rallies toting guns…it’s a little more than out of control wouldn’t you say? And to add hurt to injury, many of these individuals purport to be devoutly religious.


So where are the voices of reason, sanity and civility? I have always been taught “out of the heart, the mouth speaks”. Well, my heart as well as my passion for communication that heals, tells me that I must write and speak out against this revisionist, anarchist and racist hate mongering SPEECH! It’s time to have a dialogue about the importance and effects of communication on our collective lives…one long over due in the American psyche. We are and will continue to be a nation divided by the color line until a critical number of us care more for the future of our children and our nation than we care about protecting our personal past or our particular present!

A large majority of American people elected a President of impeccable character, ability and compassion who brings with him the distinctive characteristic of being of mixed race, though having always self-identified as African American. In my lifetime, I have lived through Jim-crow (as a young child growing up in the south) and the civil rights movement. I have been labeled the “N” word, colored, Negro, black, African American and a person of color. The “labels” that have often eluded me and my ancestors have been those of: pioneer, scientist, city planner, clock maker, revolutionary, doctor, nurse, scholar, pastor, poet, abolitionist, soldier, astronomer, botanist, politician, inventor, etc., etc., etc....and all these BEFORE the end of slavery.

Fast forward 146 years later and the President of the United States is labeled an “illegal alien” by the crazed “birther movement” as well as the other dreaded “N” word - Nazi. Yes, it is enough to make you cry…and I have. I have cried for the millions of young American boys and girls who have to keep reliving a horrible past that refuses to be healed. If we do not use our voices to silence the forces of hate and fear, we are indeed conspirators to their misguided deeds! Our children deserve much better and so does the legacy of millions of Blacks, Whites, Hispanics, Asians, Native Americans and other ethnic groups who have TOGETHER built America.

In spite of the refusal of some to acknowledge the contributions of all the cultures that have made this great nation, we have: the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice, the first Black Attorney General of the United States, the 2nd female Secretary of State, and the first African American President! There is a lot to celebrate, reflect upon and be thankful for, but let us not forget – there is work to do before we can proudly pass onto our children a nation that truly practices its declaration “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men {people} are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…” These are WORDS that act as the true moral compass of our nation. Are your words meant to heal or to kill? Are you speaking your truth? Let’s hear it; I am silent and ready to listen. There is no coincidence that both words have the exact same letters. You must be silent, inside and out, long enough to listen. Let the communication begin!