#StayWoke Who are we, America?

We're reaching a critical point in the run-up to the 2020 elections. Thanks to Donald J. Trump and Mitch McConnell, we must choose who we are as a nation.

As l see it, bit by bit, piece by piece, our United States is being torn apart. I can't stand by and watch this happen to this country that l love. The land that has, through federal legislation, given me the life l have been privileged to live.

I can vote (1919). I have equal access to educational facilities (1972). Someday, l WILL have equal pay.

My great-grandfather and grandmother had a dream, too. Descended from Swedish royalty, they still didn't have the opportunities they saw in America. Their daughter...my grandmother...was born on a ship coming to America in 1906. Ironically, the Naturalization Act was passed that same year.

As recorded by Wikipedia, the Naturalization Act, an act of the United States Congress signed into law by Theodore Roosevelt that revised the Naturalization Act of 1870 and required immigrants to learn English in order to become naturalized citizens. The bill was passed on June 29, 1906, and took effect September 27, 1906.

My grandmother embraced being an American by naturalization. Being a third-generation immigrant, l grieve for the current group of would-be Americans who sit in cages at the border... unwashed, unfed and sitting in the broiling sun of Texas. What a price to pay for a dream!

I know she'd be horrified by what's going on today. She believed in the Beatitudes, the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, malice toward none, and charity for all. And refused to 'otherize' her rapidly-changing neighborhood.

Who are we, America? Are we a united people, embracing each other and our differences? Or are we something else?

Here's where we are today. I don't know about you, but l want no more than for decency, fairness, and equality to rule our world.

THE FOLLOWING AREN'T MY WORDS. But they need to be shared. Over and over again. Thanks to David Rothkopf for sharing these words on Threader, and my high school compadre Nathan Dudley for sharing them on Facebook.

Credit @djrothkopf: "Yes, It's the racism. But it's not just the racism. It's sex crimes. But it's not just the sex crimes. It's the concentration camps. But it's not just the concentration camps. It's the corruption. But it's not just the corruption. It's being a traitor. But it's not just being a traitor. It's the obstruction of justice, but its not just the obstruction of justice. It's the attacks on rule of law. But it's not just the attacks on the rule of law. It's the assault on freedom of the press. But it's not just the assault on freedom of the press. It's the pathological lying. But it's not just the pathological lying. It's the unfitness for office. But it's not just the unfitness for office. It's the incompetence. But it's not just the incompetence. It's the attacks on our most important allies and alliances. But it's not just the attacks on most important allies and alliances. It's the systematic destruction of our environment. But it's not just the systematic destruction of our environment. It's the violation of international treaties and agreements. But it is not just the violation of international treaties and agreements. It's the embrace of our enemies. But it is not just the embrace of our enemies. It's the defense of murdering dictators but it is not just the defense of murdering dictators. It is the serial undermining of our national security. But it is not just the serial undermining of our national security. It is the nepotism. But it's not just the nepotism. It's the attacks on our federal law enforcement and intelligence communities. But it is not just the attacks on our federal law enforcement and intelligence communities. It's the fiscal recklessness. But it's not just the fiscal recklessness. It's the degradation of the office and of public discourse in America. But it's not just the degradation of the office and of public discourse in America. It's the support of Nazis and white supremacists. But it's not just the support of Nazis and white supremacists. It's the dead in Puerto Rico and the at the border. But it's not just the dead in Puerto Rico and at the border. It's turning the US government into a criminal conspiracy to empower and enrich the president and his supporters. But it's not just the turning the US government into a criminal conspiracy to empower and enrich the president and his supporters. It's weaponization of politics in America to attack the weak. But it's not just the weaponization of American politics to attack the weak.

It's all these things together and the threat of worse to come. It is the damage that can not be undone. It is pathology that has overtaken our politics and our society, the revelation that 40 percent of the population and an entire political party are profoundly immoral. It is a disease that has infected our system and is killing it. At the moment, we still have the wherewithal to fight back. But even those who recognize the dangers of this litany of crimes are proving too complacent, too inert in the face of this threat. It is one of those moments in the history of a country when there is a choice to be made, a choice between having a future and not, between growth and decay, between democracy and oligarchy, between what we dreamt of being and what even our founders feared we might become. The litany of crises and crimes is so long that we are becoming numb. You have heard of the fog of war. This is the fog of Trump. The volume of wrongs becomes its own defense. Is the president accused of being a rapist? Well, then remind them he is a racist and they'll forget.

This is a moment for leaders to step up. To challenge each of these abuses via every legal means available. To organize and draw attention to them. To blow the whistle if you are in government and you are being asked to violate your oath. To resist and refuse to be complicit. If you can't do those things that make your voice heard and join a movement, support a political candidate, donate money, register voters, fight voter suppression. But whatever you do, resist becoming numb. Resist the temptation to let the recitation of old crimes and new……become a deadening drone. Every one matters in times like these. Every one must stand up for what is right. In their homes. In their schools. In the workplace. In their churches and synagogues and mosques.

We are approaching a great national decision about whether the American experiment will succeed or fail, whether this moment does what two world wars, a civil war and countless past misjudgments and missteps could not.

We will make it together, resist, offer a better alternative, to embrace that alternative and the best leaders we can find…or succumb, let the inertia of some among us mark the end of what for two and half centuries was an idea so compelling it inspired the world. (Credit David Rothkopf) #StayWoke"

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