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We Are Called

My husband is googling “The Declaration of Independence”.

I am just trying to breathe: a tempest of emotions, thoughts, and fears attacking rationality.

I try to think back to another time when I felt such terror…to reassure myself that this will all pass…but I think about my son who recently converted to Muslim for the love of a woman, and her family (Canadian citizens) whose origins trace back to Somali…my kin now.  Will the hatred being propagated next door, spill over to them, to my future grandchildren?

Prejudice is ever-present; I get that.  I learned it from my father, who would come home after a long day of selling cars to rail against “those” people:  who I won’t list here, but who also included Rambler drivers.  Rambler drivers were the worst, according to Father. Once he didn’t speak to me for a whole week, just because I dated a man whose mother tongue was not English.

“Prejudice,” I learned in the eleventh grade, “is based in ignorance.  We fear what we don’t understand.”

It was a revolutionary moment for me: the realization that knowledge and investigation could transform hatred.  I felt relieved to know to that I was not called upon to take sides with one people against another, and, in fact, had the opportunity to grow through exploring differences.  My world opened up.

As did my recognition of the enormity of work that needed to be done to eradicate ignorance – within my family, my community, and beyond.

Discrimination based on race, sexual orientation, gender, social standing, ability, religion, age, or anything else is not acceptable, and we are all called to be warriors in the fight for rights.

The words are there in The Declaration of Independence, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and so on.

It remains to us to act upon such wisdom.

 

 

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Categories: education family nonfiction opinion passion

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V.J. Knutson

Writer, avid reader, former educator, and proud grandmother, currently experiencing life through the lens of ME/CFS. Words are, and always have been, a lifeline. Some of the best adventures, I'm discovering, take place in the imagination.

5 replies

  1. just found this. this blog will probably reveal more to you about the reality of american politics than anything else i could show you: http://leastdangerousblog.com/2017/01/29/gross-presidential-action-grotesque-hypocrisy/

    just as trumps wall was voted for by hillary in 2006, trumps ban (or something very similar) was voted for by obama in 2011 (and also 2015.)

    theres nothing new under the sun; and theres nothing new under the “orange menace.” weve been restricting travel with the no-fly list for 4 terms– we didnt close gitmo (and thats ok?) but pause immigration for 7 countries– exactly like we already did for iraqis in 2011…

    theres a reason i keep saying, no one cares about this stuff unless the “other” party is doing it. if you consider why people suddenly care now, you can easily make an argument that they dont really care *at all.* a nation full of people that only care about blaming everything on someone elses party (and never taking responsibility for their own choice of elected officials) is a nation shirking *everything.* is that going to change anything? it really cant, can it? its a stalemate with “unlimited” moves.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. most human rights efforts are now tied to the opposite of independence– global government. if we went to all this trouble to avoid getting oppressed by england, just imagine how much fun it will be having to cater to the whims of all participant nations.

    not that im isolationist per se. i mean we have too much trade and global communication to go back to that. but sometimes you have to pull away in order to be able to stand for anything except what youre told. just imagine if you had to be married to every man on earth– that doesnt sound like my cup of tea.

    i realize that many things are excuses and signals to other causes. theres a reason football merchandise is banned in the workplace in some countries. but even if “independence” is impossible in this day and age, negotiating how interdependence works is vital or we are all victims.

    again, im not defending the personal conviction or motives of anyone currently giving the usa an opportunity to “pull back” on globalization. im simply pointing out that it may be necessary at times– for us, and for other countries that wish to have any freedom by their own definition, rather than someone elses. we are for years now, too mired in “petty agreements.” lets hope absence makes the heart grow fonder. you need the freedom to be you, and so do nations– lets not be too, too collectivist. its bad for posture.

    Like

      1. interdependence is a reality. some independence is necessary to be able to make your own choices.

        full independence is a pipe dream. full interdependence is a nightmare. im not a globalist or an isolationist. sanity has to go somewhere between those, not because compromise is the answer to everything, but because both of those options are terrible and too costly.

        Liked by 1 person

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