In every regional idiom of our American English language, we have many ways to say, “I hate that.” It’s as simple as a sound and a face, “Ugh,” with our mouth and eyes and nose looking as though we have just smelled something phenomenally foul. Why are we surprised when our government says the same thing to us? Our elected officials are selected by us and reflect our values.
“You may not marry.”
“You may not serve your country with pride.”
“You may not receive adequate health care or education.”
“You may not be considered beautiful.”
Those who have had to live with the impact of these messages are all being told that we have no value in segments of society and that our needs and dreams are unnecessary to the overall happiness of our country.
Why does this disregard, discrimination, and distrust come so easily to us as a nation? At this point, with the media having such a rich influence in our lives and policies, we cannot claim ignorance any longer. We are making these choices consciously and with the full understanding of how our fellow citizens are being affected by these choices. We are fully responsible legislatively, culturally, and personally.
And, yes, it is personal.
To someone I love very much, when she is told by a physician that he doesn’t have time to discuss why he is making the determination he is on her health, he is saying that because she is brown and poor, she doesn’t deserve compliance with the hypocratic oath he took when he became a physician. This person is going to be allowed to continue his practice for many years to come, I’m sure, because who is going to listen to his painfully neglected patient?
When only twelve percent of our nation’s states have acknowledged the love and commitment between two gay people, we are saying that a large majority, 78%, of our people feel that our lives together as a couple have no meaning. These 78% of states are being supported by the United States Supreme Court when they said that the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” policy was not unconstitutional at the national level, and when the California Supreme Court did not overturn Proposition 8.
It’s as simple as not receiving an e-mail from a teacher. When a parent writes and asks for information that will assist her in supporting the assignments the instructor gives, and all she receives is silence, the teacher is saying, “Your child has no value to me. His education doesn’t count and what happens to him at the end of the year is of no consequence.”
Here in Sacramento, there was a shock jock who stated that if his son ever wore high heels, he, as a father, would beat that child with a shoe. This was not something he said in the privacy of his home. This person said this statement on the air and laughed about it.
Now, we must face the truth that one of our citizens has walked into a museum honoring the memory of those who lost their lives during World War II and shot someone to make the statement that the shooter believes that there was no holocaust.
When does it click, my friends? When do we get that we cannot allow this to continue? When does everyone in our country become full Americans to everyone else? We have waited for 232 years. Isn’t that long enough?
It’s time we decide, consciously and lovingly, that we will only tolerate respect in our homes and on our streets. We will only permit those who understand the genuine value of every single person in our country to be elected to our legislative and judicial offices. Only those who recognize the critical need for an exceptional education for every child, even when it’s difficult to accomplish, will be allowed to receive a teaching credential. Every physician will be personally held accountable for ensuring that each of their patients understands his or her medical situation.
Simply put, we must only allow love to guide us. Everywhere. Always.