Umair Haque over at Medium.com certainly gives me much to think about lately. His recent blog post about the myths Americans need to unlearn will be the centerpiece in coming posts here are RJsCorner. I want to start out this series with the end of his post.
Source: Eight Myths Americans Need to Unlearn About America
I certainly get my share of those screamers who call me names and tell me if I don’t love this country then I should GET OUT!!! Some think I am a bleeding heart liberal and others, believe it or not, think I am a Trumpster? They evidently feel so threatened by what I have to say to get them to attack me for one reason or another. I, like Umair, want to pronounce here that I am no threat to them. I am just an old guy who is primarily an observer of life with no power whatsoever to change what I am observing other than my single vote at the ballot box. Yeah, I have some loyal readers who might be swayed to a very small degree but that is about it. You don’t need to feel that I am threatening to you. Now on to the topic at hand.
“We don’t need to listen to people who are critical of America! They’ll never help us!!” Some people consider progress and particularly the change almost always associated with it to be a bad thing. I do believe that the last couple of years are the most tumultuous of my life as far as social things are concerned. We seem to have lost our ability to tolerate anyone with different views than ours. The second most agonizing period that I have lived through was the 1960s but I was much younger then so I could tolerate it better than I do now. More than 50,000 of my generation lost their lives in a seemingly meaningless war. There were riots in many major cities, soldiers killing kids on a college campus, African-Americans being attacked by police dogs and high power fire hoses. Some were dragged through the streets by white supremacists all because they were demanding their civil rights. If ever there were a period where people were critical of America, it was during those years.
But look what came out of that same period and see many great accomplishments. More on that in a near future post.
5 thoughts on “Myths Americans Need to Unlearn…”
Yes, look what good came out of it, but the irony is many of those very things are now under attack by the right and the even odder thing is so much of the support for the right is from those folks from the 60s (where I fit into) that now being old, are the very ones driving the push to the right away from what they stood for when they were younger. The bulk of trump supporters are in that group. Tell me how that happened!
Mary, just like now, the people actually accomplishing all the change were a distinct minority of the total generation. The radical right seniors now were proabably conservatives even then. The problem with all of this sort of thing is when the majority so easily turn over the bull horn to the loudest screamers. That is what we do when we don’t exercise our right to vote. Too many people just sticking their head in the sand…
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Yes apathy is huge and Pew Research has some interesting data on who votes etc. worth looking up.
Whenever I get too discouraged, thinking our country can never recover civil discourse or the ability for each of us to hear the other side, I remember that time in the late 60’s when my parents were so unhappy with me that I took two jobs my 19th summer so I would never be home during waking hours. I was and always have been a rule-following, good-grade-making nerdy sort of person but one who believed that I was supposed to value all people. They were extremely racist and determined to prove to me that I was wrong. I had never dared argue with them, but I could never tolerate unfairness. Somehow our country pulled out of that time, and I hope we can again. I’m saddened to find us where we are right now, but I also am immensely cheered to see young people engage again. Those contacting me each week for the postcard-writing campaign for which I volunteered are young adults barely older than my grandchildren. Here in Texas, the news is that young voters who voted early are up by huge percentages over previous elections. I’m not a Pollyanna about the work still ahead of us, but I’m willing to put in the work to the best of my reduced abilities, and I bet these young people have got the stamina to keep working toward something better, too.
Thanks for sharing your story Linda, it was very similar to mine and probably many of my readers. We have a lot of work to do to bring our country back from these dark years. Like you, I hope the young people stay engaged to make it happen.
Thanks for writing.