Divided We Stand

Lately I have been thinking about the current divisions within our country that are constantly being reported by the news. And, how the past and present issues of racism, social injustices, and differences of opinions on governmental practices are being brought to the forefront.

In the last few years, what was often hidden under rugs and rarely publicized has now been brought to light. Things such as: open dislike of immigrants or illegal aliens, police killing unarmed black men, racial profiling, mass incarceration, white radical supremacists, and even various white-collar crimes by corporate executives.

“For all that is secret will eventually be brought into the open, and everything that is concealed will be brought to light and made known to all.” – Luke 8:17 (a parable of Jesus)

The war of racism and social injustice, which I thought was won over 50 years ago, is still burning bright and alive. This war within our country has taken the lives of so many people. A generation of people, of all shades and colors, fought and died to eradicate these issues.

As a black man in America… my perspective is that prejudices towards me will always exist. I can’t beat it… And children, of all races, will probably continue to learn it from their parents. The only thing I can do is recognize it and #moveforward.

The current status of our country is seemingly without any middle ground. You’re either on the far right or far left. Nevertheless, I suppose we can only go up from here 🙂 #staypositive. And, just to be honest… though I’m not in love with President Trump, I can’t help to say that I honestly would rather him in the White House over Hillary Clinton.

I remember as a child, standing up to say the pledge of allegiance every morning at my school. I respect the flag, but I also respect myself. And, since I love others as I love myself… I may not agree with how NFL players are protesting to fight for equal rights, but I respect it. I just wish people loved each other as much as they seemingly love their nation.

Though I do not feel President Trump is to blame for the present divisions within our nation, I do feel his lack of accountability, openly racist comments against people of color, and poor character further perpetuates any and all divisions that existed prior to his election.

Life story:  This past weekend I went to a nursing home, as my mom leads a nursing home ministry. After I parked my car I walk towards the entrance, to see two elderly people in wheelchairs sitting outside in the entrance pathway of the building. They both staring at me seemingly in confusion, or with eyes that showed mixed feelings and a mouth open with saliva dripping. They were totally silent as they probably rarely speak… or maybe they couldn’t speak, who knows. I felt so sorry for them. My spirit sunk in my heart.

After I left, 3 things really stood out in my mind:

  1. GRATEFUL – I am soooo grateful that I was not in their situation… alone, disabled, doped up on medication, caged up in a nursing home, and surrounded by strangers.
  2. THANKFUL FOR MY FRIENDS & FAMILY – I couldn’t help but think, “Where are their family members? Do these people even have friends or family?” So many people don’t have anyone to call for help, or anyone that loves them enough to make sacrifices for them. I can’t imagine putting my parents in a nursing home.
  3. HOW DIFFERENT WE ALL ARE – It caused me to open my eyes to really see the vast differences between people. As I never think about people who are spending their life in agony. These people are literally suffering and dying every single day. Some people’s biggest daily concern is deciding what they’re going to eat for lunch, while there are others who struggle to feed themselves and are just trying to stay alive.

The things that makes America the greatest country on earth is first our nation honors the one and only God. Secondly… our diversity. America is the most diverse nation on the planet. We will have problems. People are not going to agree and they will be offended. But, whenever America doesn’t show justice to all… when leaders lie and dishonor the position they are in… when we become disunited… and the things that separate us become greater than those that bring us together… we have a problem.

So… what is the solution? I don’t have one. Though I’m proud to be an American, I just can’t seem to understand how people (who I consider friends) can stand up for someone who says they want to bring jobs to America, but openly hires people in other countries to manufacture products. Someone who used their upper class privilege to defer deployment in the military when drafted, but openly disrespects those who did risk their lives. Someone who openly curses those he dislikes and wants to unlawfully fire people who lawfully use their constitutional right to protest injustices and advocate for equal rights for all. Someone who openly criticized a former president by calling them a Muslim immigrant, when it was public knowledge of his citizenship and religious beliefs.

No one is perfect… but wrong is wrong.

“Too often, we judge other groups by their worst examples while judging ourselves by our best intentions – forgetting the image of God we should see in each other.” – quote from former President George Bush in a recent speech in New York.

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