“THAT’S NOT WHO WE ARE”

Lest we forget, this is a flashback to January 20, 2021.

Every person who gets interviewed on television says the same thing. It’s the current mantra about “the U.S.A.” The hooligans who rioted in our Capitol are not really who we are.

Not really. Just, well, maybe sometimes.

I think this is exactly who we are. We’ve stood in front of the world and told them WE are the TRUE protectors of liberty — despite being the last people to deliver real liberty (will we ever?). Jim Crow was officially “gone” just 55 years ago. Although it’s not legal these days, it lingers and everyone knows it. Black parents still need to warn their children to be cautious because the police don’t seem worried about shooting them. In the attempted coup in Michigan, people carrying swords, crowbars and lead pipes were deemed “okay” while, Black protesters carrying cell phones or nothing at all were shot in the back.

Being Black is dangerous. In many ways, the current climate is worse than Jim Crow because there are no rules. At least back then, you knew what you were “allowed” to do and what would get you killed. Now? It’s a crap shoot.

As someone who isn’t Black, I can’t see any other reason why so many Black men get shot other than their being Black. My husband is Black (or, as our granddaughter says, dark beige). He’s never been shot, but he has been roughed up. All the excuses I’ve heard about how they thought that can of Fresca or a cell phone was a weapon ring hollow. Increasingly hollow each time it happens.

Americans scream about liberty for two reasons: (1) Because someone suggested controlling guns, or (2) they’ve been asked  to do something inconvenient which doesn’t directly benefit them, even if it will  benefit everyone else.

The above photograph was something we never saw until Jan. 6, 2021. The Confederate flag, inside the United States US Capitol. Even during the Civil War, this never occurred. Shame, shame, shame on anyone who cheered this. The  comment I keep hearing about how “we come together in times of danger” has been clearly disproved. Not only don’t we come together, we attack anyone who doesn’t agree with us. Just a note: The guy in the photo is in prison where he belongs.

Where was everyone while we’ve been heading towards a million dead from COVID? Which citizens were protecting us? Not our so-called president or congress. Not even the police or military. Say what you want, but this is a country largely comprised of self-centered, greedy people whose only interest is their own welfare and bank accounts.

When and how did greed become the overwhelming issue for so many people? How did so many Americans — who claim some version of Christianity as their religious base — act so completely antithetically to what they (supposedly) believe? What happened to conscience? What happened to a basic understanding of right and wrong? Where did compassion go?

When did we become such awful people? Is it our failure to educate our young? Is it the long term result of allowing slavery in the first place — and continuing to allow it long after every other “modern” country had banned it?

If you think I have an answer, you’re wrong. I was raised by liberal parents. I was taught that all people of every religion and any color were equal. No one ever used bigoted words in my home. Never. I was raised to believe that we’re obligated to pay a little more so everyone can benefit and have a better life. That’s how Garry was raised. That’s how I was raised. That’s what we believed growing up and that’s what we believe now.

I thought everyone believed this. I thought everyone who had passed the age of five had an intrinsic understanding of right and wrong and this knowledge is embedded in our DNA. But because I see so many people for whom the concept of “fairness” is meaningless, I have to acknowledge I was wrong. They don’t care whether it’s fair or not. All they want to know is if it’s good for them and if it isn’t? Screw you. Screw the world.

I’m embarrassed at how we’ve rejected the norms by which other nations function. Yet we still claim to be “the greatest nation on earth.” I’m not sure that was ever true for any country, but now we aren’t even close to great. Maybe there isn’t a “greatest” country, but there are many countries who treat their citizens a lot better than America does.

So much of our power and wealth happened because both world wars were fought in Europe and Asia, not here. Europe and Asia were bombed until entire cities vanished, but we got to keep all our stuff. When the war was over, they had nothing, but we had our factories, businesses, and homes. Europe and Asia had to dig their way out of heaps of rubble. Maybe if those wars were fought here, we’d have a different attitude. We would certainly have a different economy.

At the very least, I would like to be able to feel pride in my country again. I would like to be able to respect my government, not cower in shame. Wouldn’t you like to feel the same?



Categories: #American-history, #gallery, #Photography, Civil unrest, Death and Dying, evil, right and wrong

Tags: , , , , ,

22 replies

  1. A lot of people don’t believe in Reincarnation and Karma.
    You will.
    See that guy with the Confederate Flag?
    All the same players from the American Civil War are back on the stage.
    That Karma has not been resolved.
    And their policy and plan of Hatred.
    And when Hate takes to the field, rational thought and discussion are irrelevant.
    And they won’t stop until they have destroyed their perceived enemies.

    Like

  2. I’m not a political person because I basically feel they all run for the individual power, but I watch and read and don’t even recognize the country any more. I think of how we all banded ‘together’ after 9/11 and wonder where we all went wrong after that. Most days it is just embarrassing to watch the news.

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  3. Unfortunately it’s who we have become. The Far right has brainwashed a majority into thinking that what is good for the top one percent is good for all. If you can not buy a Congressman, you are not worth much here.
    Racial prejudice is more insidious because the haters have no rules as you have said. Many claim to be Christian and that is embarrassing to real Christians.

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    • I still don’t think it’s the majority, but it’s a pretty damned big minority who make a lot of noise and since they don’t seem to have any limits or rules, they play dirty — and we don’t. Or at least not as dirty as they play. I feel like we are living in the middle of an actual tragedy. In progress.

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  4. Marilyn thank you for shedding more light on the racial issues in USA. It really helps.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Marilyn, your words brought tears to my eyes. I want the same as you and Garry. I’ll never understand why so many people unite on a front of hate, bigotry, and greed. It’s not who I am. I don’t expect others to believe the way I do. I’m not religious, although parts of my family are conservative. My parents and I are not. I’ll NEVER use religion to defend such hatred and ostracism (and murder!). Shame shame! My neck hearts from nodding my way through this post 😉. I became physically ill the day of the insurrection; much like I did the day Trump became president. Thank you for sharing. The pictures accompany your words perfectly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have never thought religion had much to do with understanding right and wrong. You can understand it if you are a believer or if you aren’t. That belief is supposed to be part of your core understanding of the world. It certainly OUGHT to be and if it isn’t, why not?

      I rarely write about this stuff anymore. It’s depressing and I’ve probably said everything I can think of at one time or another. but sometimes, like now when the so-called “republican” party is trying to hold the U.S. economy hostage so they can take away our social security and medicare — things that we PAID FOR while we were working. They aren’t gifts. We earned them.

      How cruel can they get? How ruthless will they become? At what point does compassion, commonsense, right and wrong enter their thinking? Ever? It’s demoralizing. I do know should they actually try to get rid of these things, the number of people who will wind up dead or dying as a result are beyond measure. It’s a horror story in progress.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I feel you Marilyn, I can hear the frustration and anger in your words. It is a sad world we are living in now. I mean even here in Australia we are finding many of the same things. Like during the pandemic, the one we are still going through but everyone is pretending it is gone, how dare our state government do things to keep everyone alive, that was most definitely sarcasm. I can’t help wondering if religion has a lot to do with it as well, maybe not all, but ones that teach hate and not thinking everyone is equal are so bad. If god is all about love, then why are so many religious people the most hateful people on the planet? I don’t understand it. We really have become that selfish. Maybe not all of us, but many are. It is so sad, with climate change happening, how the hell are we going to save ourselves if we couldn’t pull together during COVID. I don’t have high hopes.
    Great post Marilyn.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anyone who thinks any form of any known religion would support this behavior knows nothing about their own, much less anyone else’s religion. I’m pretty sure Christ, Buddha, Mohammed, Moses, Confucius — name any religion’s founder — would have ever approved this behavior. This behavior is so reprehensible I’m not sure anyone with a working brain would approve it.

      And just when I think it can’t get any worse, it gets WORSE. I really thought we’d bottomed out. Obviously not.

      I don’t know how we got to this point in our national lives and world. I don’t understand it. I thought normal people were better than this. I thought only psychopaths behaved like this. I was so WRONG.

      I’m sorry that the awfulness has actually gone international. But why not? That’s what technology has done to us. Rather than spreading the good, it just spreads lies and evil. Depressing and personally frightening. Because this time, they really ARE coming for us.

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      • Sadly there are religions that really support, look at people who don’t support LGBTQ+ people. I don’t get it.
        I can’t help thinking that while the internet has been amazing, it has also allowed the crazies to meet up and band together.
        While there is some of it here, it isn’t too bad, one thing about Australians we are pretty lazy.
        I hope it gets better Marilyn, we can only hope.

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  7. I was raised same as you with no ethnic slurs in our home. This was in New York and New Jersey. Even in a smaller town in NJ, I didn’t hear racial epithets. It was a shock when we moved to a small town in Illinois and white teens regularly used the N-word. Even in Chicago, there was quite a bit of that, but not so much here in California. Later on, with social media, it became obvious that so much of the US is still horribly racist and, well, just horrible…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes. Just plain horrible. And it isn’t due to religion or lack of religion. There was no religious “founder” who ever suggested the kind of hatred and cruelty we are witnessing. I actually thought only psychotic people behaved like this. But this psychosis is spreading. Maybe it never went away and we thought it did because we weren’t raised that way. I just know that I hate what the world has become and how dreadful “the people” have become.

      Who ARE those people??

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Marilyn, your racial issues seem fairly unique to the USA. We still have some issues here, but it is isolated small groups of people of both white and black ethnicity who are involved and not most people. In my life, my work place is very cosmopolitan and everyone rubs shoulders together. That being said, your overarching issue about the greed and selfishness of leadership in the US, is the same everywhere. I do believe I’ve said this before but it is the people among us with an abundance of the worst of human characteristics of greed and selfishness that rise in political arenas everywhere.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s the way it is in some places, especially larger cities on both coasts and in Chicago — another big city. It’s also pretty civilized in most liberal states — but — there’s still a lot of ugly hatred even where you’d think there’d be none. There’s also a HUGE difference in attitudes between the well-educated and the uneducated and between white and blue collar workers.

      I think So. Africa is unique in having somehow managed to break out of some of the worst racism to something different. I don’t know any other country where that has happened.

      Liked by 2 people

      • HI Marilyn, yes, South Africa is not that bad a place to live. We do have a lot of government corruption but I doubt its worse than elsewhere in this odd world of ours. The differences in attitudes towards diversity and the levels of acceptance of difference among people form different backgrounds and educations you mention, is definitely international. Our issues are usually with less educated and more rural pockets of the population.

        Liked by 1 person

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