God bless America At the point of my life where I’m becoming an adult and learning that this country is failing is disappointing, but it also means it is up to me and those in my generation to leave our world better than we found it and the first step is admitting our country is not so star-spangled awesome as we would like to believe. In 2014, in a study conducted by University of California, Davis, there were approximately 46.7 million people living in poverty in America. As of today, according to Officer Down Memorial Page’s website, 33 police officers have been killed by gunfire as of July 31, 2016. Last year, in 2015, a total of 39 police officers were killed in total. We have roughly 4 months to go, and, with tensions running very high, it is very likely 33 will grow to well over 39. I will not say I condone the actions of Black Lives Matter protesters who resort to violence but I do support their cause. People commonly say, “All lives matter”, and to them I say this you are sadly misunderstanding the reason the Black Lives Matter movement was even started. They are feeling oppressed and there is a true belief in the African-American community that cops are out to get them and that no one will stop them. That is a true fear most of us fail to even acknowledge. Why is that so hard? Why do we all simply blow off someone else’s opinion without even actually listening to what they are saying? The minority communities are actually suffering from a false belief that they are not equal to whites, but we even fail to show them how wrong they actually are. Now, there are some who will use the “race card” to gain an advantage but that is such a small percentage of people compared to the greater percentage of people who, or the ancestors, arrived here in hope of a better life. When my great-grandfather arrived here from Italy, towards the end of the Great Depression, he faced mass discrimination but persevered to eventually become a successful lawyer in the United States. That is what our country is about isn’t? We persevere in the face of discrimination and injustice. We have a dream across the country that you can be a kid from a poverty who never had anything and still become a person who is wealthy and well educated. The dream does not change because you have a “white privilege” or because you’re from “the hood.” The American Dream is for everyone who not only wants a better life for his or her family, but also for all who wants to leave the world better than they found it. We are not White, Black, Hispanic, Asian, or Native. We are all Americans. We have so much diversity in ancestry but isn’t that what is supposed to unite us not divide us? Whether it was you or your ancestors from 200 years ago, you are here today to make not only this country, but also the world a better place. This is a call to not only my generation but to all generations: Step up and be Americans. Be united. Be the land of the free and the home of the brave. In the words of Pastor Mark Burns, “Stop focusing on the colors that divide us and focus on the ones that unite us!” We are Americans. We should listen to each other and try and at least understand why people are screaming out and rioting just to be heard. America is ours to mold, will we make it strong and beautiful because of our similarities or let it collapse due to our differences?
A Call to America
August 1, 2016