Yesterday I had prepared to make this post. Life as usual got in the way, but I think that it just as appropriate to post it today. What have we learned 50 years after President John F. Kennedy’s death? Many American’s that lived during that time remember where they were when Kennedy was shot. Many of the American people, like myself, remember where we were when we found out about the Oklahoma City Bombing, and many of us, remember where we were on 9/11. I was not around when Kennedy died. I was not alive during segregation. I did not experience what others experienced being told that they were not as valuable as the next man who may have a different skin color. I was born in 79 and I am a child of the 80’s and 90’s. I remember learning in school about segregation and the Jim Crow Era and being told that it was not right. Now I look around and see more and more American’s that apply the separate but equal thought process to their current lives and how some school districts have started busing students to schools based on the Free and Reduced lunch ratio. I will say though, economic status, food supply, and healthcare are not equal.
John F. Kennedy believed that we were all equal. He said “If we cannot now end our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity.” He believed that we were all brothers and sisters. I wonder what he would say about the America that we have now. I wonder what he would say about the Congress we have now. I wonder what Martin Luther King, Jr would say about the America that we have now. May people do not realize that those that came before you and I fought for their freedoms and mine. They fought for education to be an equal right. They fought for people to be able to live really without the threat of persecution. So we have to ask, where are we as a Nation 50 years later?
We still fight the same problems with racism. Now though, it’s not as open as it once was. Now, it’s remanded to individual Facebook Pages and groups. People hide behind religion and political parties in order to run over other people’s rights. Now, when you Tweet racial comments or behave in a particular manner, you lose your job and may not be able to get another. Some parts of social media is now the equivalent of being Black Listed once you post something inappropriate. For those of you that don’t know what it is, click this link (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blacklisting). Racial slurs are used as commonly as taking a breath and we are an over weight, privileged, and less social society. We live in a time where people are upset just because the President’s skin doesn’t match theirs but instead of saying what they feel, they attack based on their agenda to see failure. We are in a time where food deserts exist and American’s have to choose between food and electricity. We are in a time where instead of adults coming together to find the best fit for education, everyone has an idea, and no one bothers to ask a teacher what works in the classroom. We are in an opinionated society that thinks that one person, group, or individual has all the answers and when they don’t, they shame them into silence.
We are in a time where rape victims are shamed and attackers are painted as perfect citizens that are taunted into attacking women. We are in a time where we tell our girls to protect themselves from rape, but we do not tell our boys to not rape the girls. We are in a time where social media is the socialization that we get instead of going out and meeting and greeting those that we know and love. We are in a time where instead of embracing the fact that our children need to get up and get out and move, we would rather buck the good programs that are created and say “Let them eat ALL the cake.” forgetting that these kids are our future and that we are giving them heart disease and countless other diseases that they should not grow up with. We are lastly in a time where gerrymandering is used to win elections and election laws are changed to prevent minorities from voting under the guise of preventing voter fraud and illegal immigrants from voting.
Where are we 50 years later? I think that we are in time where our grandparents and great-grandparents would embarrassed at the state of the Nation. I know that people feel that they are doing what is best and they feel that they want things to go back to the way that they were back in the 1950’s and 1960’s, but I feel that if you did not live during that era, if you do not have first hand experience with that era, why would you want to return to that time. I understand wanting to have the morals that existed then. I feel that respect was a big thing in those days. I feel that there was a greater sense of community in those days that does not exist now.
So I started this post about the 50th Anniversary of the death of an American President. Where are now 50 years after his death and the Civil Rights movement? We have advanced in some areas, but we have regressed in others. We are still fighting Civil Rights issues, but in different areas. We are still fighting for the rights of human beings based on their skin color, but now we are fighting for rights based on sexual orientation. Are we better off? In some areas we are, in others, there is plenty of room for improvement in our leaders, in tax reform, healthcare, and food supply where GMOs no longer crowd our shelves. There’s so much that we as American people can change to make our Nation as great as it once was instead of being listed as number 12 in college graduation and for my state, number 48 in Public education because people focus on sending their children to schools that are not proven effective.
We have gained so much over the years, yet I feel like with the society that we have now, the self-preserving society, we have lost so much.