The problem with hyperbole is that it diminishes the impact of genuinely dire circumstances. Those who constantly spout apocalyptic rhetoric become easy to ignore. Even necessary to ignore. Like the boy who cried, “Wolf.”
But the danger that faces us as a republic is not a figment of imagination. It is not some unfounded doomsday prophecy to move those who require drama to respond. The situation that we face today contains unprecedented threats.
Most of the safeguards of the Constitution and even the law fall short in an era in which despotic leadership is placed above principles of civility. We are confronted with a real-time test of the supposition that no one is above the law. This autocrat is striving to be the exception.
Many things divide us ideologically. Some embrace “choice” philosophy, while others cling to the concepts of “right to life.” Some feel America should remain a melting pot of immigration, while others deplore their perception as a threat to our borders. Some insist on progressive liberalism, while others identified as moderate to conservative.
Differences of opinions and even ideals are as American as apple pie. That is one reason the more recent constraints and division become increasingly unsettling. Over the years, the bitter divide between warring factions from Congress to small town America has often been vitriolic but seldom lethal.
The intensity of our differences these days has become suffocating. Intolerance has reached a whole new level of animus.
Lines of civility have been not merely blurred but obscured in incendiary bombast from the highest levels of our government to the most inarticulate everyday people. We have a problem in the United States of America in 2020.
Convoluted as the details and events may be that brought us to this point, there remains a route to escape what cynics project as an irreparable chasm between the races. Those skeptics hope Black and white people will function at a surface level, viewing reality through their respective myopic lens, rather than focusing on commonality.
They are simply wrong. Yes, things have strayed far afield, and it will be a challenge to pull it back together much less sustain it. But it can be done.
In your hearts you know that the anarchy and chaos on the streets described by the President as being indigenous to urban life and, more specifically, African Americans who threaten your own way of life. You know too many Black and brown people personally fall for such babble, no matter how enthusiastically that message is conveyed.
Likewise, people who are disenfranchised recognize that the source of oppression is not the average white person encountered on the job or in the streets; that there is much more deeply-rooted racism and bigotry designed not to provide an advantage of one every day man or woman over another, but rather to propagate institutions unkind to both.
The greatest single threat for tyranny is for common people with differences to unite. Black, brown and white Americans share too many similar dreams and aspirations to allow policies of division to prevent both from reaching the peak of their possibilities while the one percent flourish; quintessential divide and conquer.
Our coming together requires neither your appropriation nor our assimilation.
We can maintain our uniqueness without doting on differences. Whether cultural, philosophical or logistical, no matter what contrasting positions we may embrace, we have the capacity to stand alongside one another when it comes to upholding the higher application of principled society. We all deplore suppression and deserve justice. Our bond must be more pronounced and amplified to drown out those wallowing in the mire.
There are more Black and white people than not who detest police brutality, injustices targeting Black and brown people, discrimination based on race, hate crimes, systemic racism, anarchy in the streets, abhorrent rates of murder and violent crimes, and bigotry in all aspects of life.
It is time for an evolution in addition to a revolution. Revolution suggests destruction of oppression, but evolution requires a greater, sustainable reality. Conversely, the lack of our strategic reaction to those in high places challenging the fabric in which democracy is woven – even with all of its shortfalls – threaten an autocracy responsible solely to the whims of tyrannical leadership.
If we don’t come together, how do you think we will be judged by our grandchildren; how can we ever explain our allowing diabolic plans envisioned by a narcissistic incumbent to come to fruition? The debt of our lethargy or indifference will be paid by generations long after we are gone. Those who bear that burden will be unforgiving.
Denounce hatred being used as a tool to divide us. Too much is at stake. Let your conscience be your guide, as we rise above it all and shock the world with the awesome transitional capacity of change. Strength returns to America in the form of a balm derived from emerging voices of kindred spirits with the capacity to heal a nation in November.