That is, to not remember that this country was founded on principles (ideals) for a very narrowly defined group of White male Anglo-Saxon Protestants (WmASPs), who, despite their remaining minute numbers, are still protesting.
Here’s a brief backward view: The United States of America is a federation of republics that have pledged allegiance to a Constitution that we commonly refer to in matters regarding war, election of national leaders, appointment of national legal justices, voting rights and equal treatment under some laws, and very few other matters.
The individual states have retained the bulk of authority over their citizens, who are free to move between them at will, and these rights differ between and among them, making some places better to live, work and play in, depending on one’s age, race, gender, state of health, driving record, etc.
It is too bad for a person – the matter of guilt or innocence is irrelevant here – to be sentenced to death in Texas versus California; if you are gay in America – some places are just more civil – extending rights and access; and if you choose to commit medically assisted suicide, Oregon is the place to be. Black in America? Well, just keep reading.
The Constitution is constantly being fixed; the last count is 27 amendments. The reason is that it was constructed – nice words and all – in the beginning to benefit the WmASPs.
The remaining number of WmASPs in 2011 is relatively small – the 2010 census is an interesting story about the browning of America – and yet their fight is in direct disproportion to their dwindling and declining measure.
Picture this: You know that it matters less about the “dog (size) in the fight but the fight (heart) in the dog” so consider the Tea Partiers, birthers and other fringe groups; look out for a bucket of blood-letting.
Now that that little history lesson is out of the way, please consider: Red, Blue, Red, Brown, Black, White or blank State? How do you know where you actually live, since it is no longer about political orientation anymore? It used to be I could stand, with pride and absolute certainty, to declare my political affiliation. Nowadays, there is too much to be upset about within all the leading, emerging, revived and revised parties, etc., or even the very notion of political parties.
At least the founding fathers were seeking the new promised land that fulfilled their search for the prophetic promises of getting heavenly rewards for being good on earth. I encourage you all to read the real history of these Untied States and learn what propelled the founders to come here in the first instance.
When I look at what has happened during the “Arab Spring” — the struggle facing many of those North African nations to write and organize constitutions, to form political parties, some for the first time, it will be interesting to see how many of their choices are patterned after the American constitutional model and states’ rights. Woe if they don’t include all their people as viable entities and then constantly amend their constitutions or, at best, abandon them.
Any questions so far? If so, just consider at the current American political landscape and the recent brouhaha over the sitting President of the United States’ birth place.
Barack Obama’s birth certificate has been published on line and (some of) the nation collectively breathed a sigh of relief: He really is American-born! Now, I’m learning that the real problem is whether his grades at Occidental University were high enough to get into Harvard.
No, wait! Did he really go to Harvard? No, wait! Did he…….?
Actually, I am learning that the real problem is that he is a black man.
No, wait! He is a black man who is the President of these United States.
No, wait! He is a black man who is President of these United States who was voted for by the majority of the people.
No, wait! Is this America? Do you now remember what you have forgotten?
Lest we forget. Lest we forget. We must not fail to remember where we live; to understand that the ideal place is still being created, by us, when we vote, when we take political positions; when we protest, if only with words, especially with words; when we assert our rights to be here, in this place of united states, where each state actually offers the same opportunity to pursue our individual inalienable rights to life, liberty and happiness.
Antonia Williams-Gary is a consultant with Miami-based Savings and Grace Enterprise. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.