Dearest Fellow American,
Let me preface this by saying right up front that I was born in the good ole USA. My personal beliefs are colorfully Liberal. I was born with no Religious affiliation but completely support Religious freedoms of all peoples. My political views are Left but closer to the middle. I was raised in Conservative rural America and respect it greatly but I live in the Open Liberal Bay Area of California and have equal respect for it. I consider myself to be a child of the world that has had an unique opportunity to glimpse through multiple cultural lens’s . I have a problem.
Everyday I wake up and read. Most of the material comes from the internet machine and lately most of it is forwarded garbage, shared crap. I would watch the news but Dan Rather, Ted Koppel and Peter Jennings are no more. ALL media formats now have ONE agenda and it has been successfully carrying out it’s elaborate operation: Tear America In Half. It’s filtered into every walk of our lives. Starting at the top; our bipartisan “balanced” government has turned into TWO extremist Kindergarten organizations that would rather throw finger paint at one another than run our country. It’s shit has been rolled down the Capital Hill to us and is poisoning our “water.” I once had a teacher that taught us about both parties with equal exuberance. He now screams through his keyboard about the “demon Democrats.” I once had a very Conservative friend that I could have rational conversations with about anything/everything and now he/she openly (figuratively) murders Liberals with forked tongued social media posts. If your a responsible gun owner, chances are you have posted something about anti gun folks being “against the constitution.” If you are anti gun, you’ve called NRA members “wack jobs.” This isn’t a one sided issue. The Atheist at home ripping Christians is just as much at fault as the Sunday Parishioner at your local Church praying for your non-existence. We are losing a battle. The terrorists are winning but it’s not with bombs or bullets; it’s with a growing fissure, a crack that is separating Americans into camps.
I know what some of you are saying, “the country has always been this way.” During the Vietnam War you were a card carrying member of a group. You were either flag flying “support our troops” or hippy loving “anti war” and the others were wrong; completely. By the end of that “Conflict,” everyone was just tired. Even before that, during the great World Wars there were factions of people that were against it, just not heard. What’s the difference today? Everyone has a voice now, a keyboard and nobody hesitates to use it. Even if it causes pain, anxiety; even if it promotes hate and violence, nothing is off limits. We’ve let fear own us and rape our trust with one another. We’ve lost our ability to share ideas and ideals. America was once called the “melting pot” of the world. It still is, only now you might be the wrong ingredient in a botched Pinterest recipe.
I’m just a husband, father and friend. This isn’t an attack on freedom of speech. I just worry about the social narrative we are creating. I know there are level headed thinkers of my generation, of every generation, I’ve communicated with a lot of you recently. I don’t know what the answer is and not even sure what the question might be. I do know that we are pulling apart at the seams. It clutters my brain and interferes with my creativity. Am I just being sensitive or have we completely lost Respect for one another? Are the terrorist organizations infecting us with there disease called intolerance? Is there hope? Can we change without WW3 or a pandemic? Or is this just an empty post, a waste of your time?
I go to a community college. It is the most diverse place I’ve ever been. I recently noticed something. I always said that this generation, the 20 somethings, has gotten right. They intertwine with one another despite cultural differences. They respect each other beyond politics. However, lately in every class when we are asked to split ourselves into groups, the mixing separates. The groups become obvious. Are they learning this behavior based from, well…us? Yes, yes and yes. Cultural behavior is learned. It’s taught by Parents, Colleagues, Friends and MEDIA. So, I plead. Let’s be better.
This holiday season, let’s change the color of the clouds. Let’s respect one another. Let’s celebrate our differences. Let’s be people first and political pundits second. Let’s honor every faith. Put your ax down for a moment and feel truly free. Don’t let fear of a life ending rule yours. Live. Last night my family went at looked at Christmas lights. There were hundreds of people walking the sidewalks, taking in the creativity of an entire neighborhood. People of different looks, thoughts, ideals but no one cared; why can’t it be this way more often?
Billy Grant -Concerned Citizen
PS. My audience is small, a few hundred, but I encourage you to share. I am trying to make a difference in my own way. I want to encourage respectful communication with one another. It’s a pretty simple Idea. It might be the only way we come together and not apart forever.
For my “other” followers that enjoy the lighter side. That will continue. I just had to get this off my chest and see if it does anything at all.