The United States of America
The United States of America once again reverberates with sadness and fear, as Americans nationwide recently suffered pointless acts of violence. Angry, vengeful gunmen devastated countless lives these past weeks, when they sought to destroy people based on ethnic differences by using weapons of war; hunting down the innocent and ending their lives. Occurrences such as these in California, Texas and Ohio have occurred too many times before. However, at least one of these events can distinctively be tied to the hateful words and messaging of the infamous commander-in-chief, President Trump, who has not only denied any culpability, he generally refuses to acknowledge the severity of the circumstances therein. The families and friends of those killed in Gilroy, El Paso, then Dayton are predictably numb; mourning the losses of victims who did not deserve to have their lives ended in this manner. We who do not pander to the divisive words of the President of The United States and his factions must therefore support and mourn with our fellow Americans whose loved ones were struck down. Struck down as a result of the growing divisiveness being perpetrated upon anyone who happens to be different—anyone seen as less American as a result of the colour of his skin, or the country from which he originally came.
Waking up the morning after the first incident was awful in its familiarity; such carnage was hard to fathom. The country, as well as the world seemed to shudder in disbelief that a mass shooting, perpetrated by a lone, racist gunman had happened yet again. The shooting in Gilroy occurred at a food festival, filled with families enjoying a summer, Sunday afternoon. Another shooting occurred merely six days later in El Paso and created a conversation that President Trump’s words had influenced the perpetrator, as many of the victims were former immigrants and Latino. Just 13 hours later, a similar incident took place in Dayton, in which many of the victims were African American. These occurrences, in addition to Trump’s never-ending pomposity, are causing persons of colour to feel something less than welcome in their own country, as they are being hunted down and destroyed. The people of America deserve better, and Americans who continue to deny the problems at hand need to see beyond the bully using his bully pulpit to advance his one-sided, racist, vile agenda.
The United States of America is the home of the free; saith that famous, optimistic march just over a century ago. Those words were written at a time when many were still confidently traveling towards America’s shores; believing in the words of that grand lady that still stands in New York Harbor. She was a beacon of hope, offering comfort to all who passed—seeking tired, poor, huddled masses in search of freedom. Her words described what was to become the most independent, most inclusive, most revered country in the world. Today, America appears to be a cacophony of angry persons espousing hateful language; overly accepting of dangerous, perilous ideas. A house divided—not united—and as scripture implies, a house divided cannot stand. America is barely standing, as daily she becomes less and less of who she was to so many of her inhabitants, whose ancestors ventured to her shores. Those times were not ideal, however. America, like any other nation, had to find her way—find her footing through many a war, whilst establishing boundaries; tearing up earth as to thrive and flourish. Her guardians built boundlessly upon the land, subsequently tearing down their creations, only to build them up again. Ultimately extending her presence from one shore to another—stretching and pushing until she grew from one state to 50, including people from far and wide. That was America’s promise, and why she was so significant to all who ambled miles to reach her lands.
"America is barely standing, as daily she becomes less and less of who she was to so many of her inhabitants, whose ancestors ventured to her shores."
- Donna Taylor, Common Truth
Life within her was never easy, but the spirit of “ever forward” existed even when those most in need had no idea as to how they would survive. Tragedies, great tragedies have been suffered—inflicted by those outside America’s borders, and by those within. But the country has always found its way through sheer determination, willpower, and resolute strength. The one thing that its citizens came to depend on was leadership and guidance from its highest office, and while not all presidents were free of biases or representative of all citizens, progress was inevitably made. The current inhabitant of that once-revered office, however, has been stoking old fires of inequality, racism, sexism, and every other negative expression of humanity one can ponder. Writing about the state of American society today is not pleasant, as the politically-charged atmosphere feels tawdry and beneath us— forcing the unpleasant memories of the past into today’s caustic society.
Americans are killing Americans, repeatedly, and while heartbreaks such as these have occurred before, the words of an American leader, in modern society, have never been thought to be the singular cause. People of colour in America, and their fellow citizens who care for the advancement of all people, must protect and support one another—pushing forward until the next national election allows for this demagogue to be voted out of the office he has abused and twisted for the past few years. His supporters must finally see beyond his theatre—his perverse, performance art—and strive for something greater and more noble. Americans must once again reach for behaviours and beliefs befitting that great lady who stands in New York Harbor, and uphold the words that once represented America.
With over 15 years experience in communications, publishing, and policy, Donna’s past research, as well as her concentration on issues involving basic rights and inclusion for women, have caused her to work actively for the equality of women.