STARK AND SAD EVIDENCE THAT AMERICA
HAS NOT CHANGED AND NEVER WILL.
By Jay Arrington January 25 , 2019
In an image from a video, a teenager wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat, center left, stands in front of an elderly Native American singing and playing a drum in Washington. (Survival Media Agency via Associated
The above image of one of many white teenagers wearing “Make America Great Again” caps during a school field trip to the Lincoln Memorial confronting an elderly Native American singing and playing a drum is just another stark and sad reminder that at its core America has not changed and most likely never
For all its (America’s) bluster and bravado about being a beacon of hope and a shining city on a hill, events such as the one played out in real time in Washington in addition to Charlottesville where young white males marched in solidarity and support of Nazism spewing hateful rhetoric paint a not so rosy and much darker portrait. There have always been pockets of so-called decent whites who have been “good to coloreds”. That has not changed and most likely never will. But it is also true that there have always been pockets of hateful whites who have always gone out
of their way to make the lives of the so-called ‘others’ miserable. That also has not changed and most likely never will.
For the past fifty or so years America has flaunted the progress of blacks to support claims that America possesses a moral high ground upon which it stands when calling out other countries over human rights violations. However, there have been two seminal events over the past decade that blow the cover off that facade.
First the election of Barack Obama and secondly, the election of Donald Trump. Obama’s election emboldened the racist parents/adults and Trump’s election emboldened both the racist parents and their children. Who then when faced with hate that is planted and nurtured in the home expects that America will
ever change? The Dreamer and the Visionary do.
The dreamer, MLK, Jr. stood in front of the very same Lincoln Memorial more than fifty years ago and gave his signature address, the “I Have a Dream” speech. The speech, which outlined the dreamer’s hope that one-day the country’s racial tension would disappear, was delivered to a crowd of mostly
blacks and whites. Obama the visionary, during his second inauguration on MLK, Jr’s birthday in 2013 fixed his gaze over the National Mall inhabited by a much more diverse crowd.The dreamer spoke of his desire for Americans to hold hands as Americans. The visionary realizing that while we are a more diverse nation that, “we have always understood that when times change, so must we; that fidelity to our founding principles requires new responses to new challenges; that preserving
our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action.”
The visionary understands that in order to keep the dream alive we must look for more hands to hold- not look for more hands to reject. There is not much difference between the dreamer and the visionary. The dreamer knows where he/she wants to go, and the visionary knows what he/she needs to do to get there. Ultimately, however, both dreamer and visionary understand that someone needs to remain awake and vigilant to the cause.
Moreover, while the dreamer sleeps the sleep of eternity, the visionary guards the dream, stands watch, remains vigilant and passes the torch for generations to come. And while we celebrate the dreamer and applaud the visionary, we must be
mindful that there are others who believe that America can and has changed. The ones who don’t want it too.