In today’s world many would consider this great United States of America a social experiment. The results of the experiment at times are wildly successful while at other times a dismal failure. How long we can continue in the experiment has yet to be seen.
Perhaps the goals of the Founding Fathers were a tad on the lofty side. Or maybe they truly believed these things true. Unfortunately, time and time again we the people prove we cannot accept these self-evident truths as a part of our being.
Immigrants flocked to this country searching for civil, religious, and personal freedoms; crammed in ships not near large enough for their passenger load. Once in the land of dreams, many immigrants found those dreams just as hard to attain as anywhere else. Today, immigrants find this country increasingly difficult to enter. So much for “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…”
For hundreds of years this nation from north to south enslaved men and women. Some were actually called ‘slave’ while others found themselves under the much prettier name of ‘indentured servant.’ Both equally enslaved, they struggled for personal freedoms. They endured, holding fast to their American Dreams. From east to west we drove the Native Americans, those we erroneously dubbed ‘Indians’, from their homes and across a continent causing their death. Once we found land we did not care to cultivate we left the Native Americans there, a once proud and strong nation now tattered and distraught.
Today we still glory in the inequality of an “equal” system. Men vs Women, Black vs White, Religion vs Religion, Native-born vs Immigrant. Each side of these coins feel they are better than the other, each find ways to make the other feel inferior. The calendar might read 2008, but we find ourselves embroiled as much in a society of in-equals as ever.
Oh we stab at making amends to those previously wronged. To the Indians we give reservations that see their boundaries drawing ever inward as the people race told eventual extinction. The Japanese-Americans forced into internment camps, relocated, receive chintzy reparation cheques that were more offensive than a sign of repentance. After we freed the slaves in a brutal war pitting brother against brother we forced a segregation between the races that lasted for over 100 years.
Some men and women come forward, people well before their time. Those precious few that could see the world in a new light of no class, no race, no religious bickering. These men and women discover only scorn or disinterest their closest confidants.
How do we get away from the example of our predecessors? Can we escape the mire that entraps those around us? Maybe we need to recognize the true minorities out there that receive absolutely no benefits while the rising majority still receive plentiful aid. Perhaps we should learn enough about this nation that we can fully understand the intricate way in which the legal and political system functions and cease the inane backbiting and complaining about those who have no control over the things you wish to hoist upon them.
I hope with all my being that someday we can see an end to the inequality and the prejudice that runs rampant in our nation as well as across the globe. Learn to see potential leaders for what they mean politically regardless of race, religion, or gender. Become united in spirit with those around us with no thought of their birthplace. Live the way our Founding Fathers envisioned when first they penned the documents we hold most dear.
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