As a child, I used to think of America as an eclectic mixture of cultures and individuals who came to the United States to make something of themselves and to do something constructive with their lives. I believed we were accepting of each other and treated everyone with respect. I thought every American was equal. When I look around now, as an adult, things are far from what I thought was reality and it is just getting worse with each day that passes.
No matter what your size, shape, color, background or culture, if you were born in the United States, you were an American. If you came to America, with the hope of becoming a proud American citizen, existing Americans would welcome you with open arms and embrace you as an American. We are all Americans. That is not the question. The question is, why is equality for all Americans so unattainable? If you live one side of the tracks, you are better than the people who live on the other side of the tracks. If you have a Porsche, you are better than the person who owns a Honda. If you have stars on thars, then you are better than the other Sneetches..Wait..Sorry…Back to reality. When did we as Americans decide to draw lines in the sand between one another?
Americans didn’t draw the line. “Terrorism” did. Since that fateful day in September, Americans turned their fear into hatred and directed it towards anything different from their own known world. If you are Christian, you hate Muslims. If you are white, you hate African-Americans. If you are straight, you are against homosexuality. If someone has a different view from your own, they are immediately inferior and a second class citizen. When those small-minded individuals attacked a nation over petty differences, they brought us together as Americans in the beginning, but ultimately won in the end, for they took our ability to trust one another as Americans and replaced it with hatred and fear of individuals who have different walks of life.
America used to be a melting pot of colors and individuals from red, to pink, to brown, to coffee, to mocha to yellow to orange! All of those different colors and cultures painted the picture of what we called America. When I look at the painting of the United States now, all I see is the color of Green. It’s all about the Benjamins. Who cares about your eclectic and individual personality and life. If you have money on your side, race and prejudice seem to disappear. People do not see you for your looks or your customs, but they see you for what is flowing out of your pockets. If you have misfortune with money, the only thing individuals see is your lack of money and then turn on your culture and upbringing, blaming your heritage for the lack of green. The melting pot was a beautiful rainbow. Now it is just a bubbling pot of greedy money grubbers.
Equality is based on trust. All relationships are built on trust and in order for us Americans to come together once again, we need to stop listening to what is being fed to us by our parents, teachers and news-outlets, and go out and experience it ourselves…first hand. Instead of trusting talking heads on the news, turn off the tv and go down to the park just to meet people. Hit up a new restaurant of a different culture. Try a new club that has a different style of music that you aren’t used to. Experiencing a different culture & lifestyle will open our eyes to trust & friendship again, which will bring all of us Americans together.
“All people are equal, it is not birth, it is virtue alone that makes the difference.” ~ Voltaire
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