This is not my America.
This America where narrowness of vision and xenophobia, misinformation and a blatant disregard for the well-being of other people allow for the rampant spread of a deadly virus throughout vulnerable populations.
This America where instead a inspiring to work together toward the common goal, we are pitted against one another as states compete for life-saving resources while the elderly struggle for breath.
This America where the closure of schools means the loss of meals for hungry children.
This America where two men in a truck can shoot down another man for no reason. Except the color of his skin.
This America where families are torn apart for believing in the vision that coming here might offer a more fruitful life.
This America where those sworn to protect us can kneel on a man’s neck without the any heeding of his death throes.
This America where mounted police surround a group of citizens expressing their outrage with words and disperse them with violence.
The America that thinks all of this is a part of making us great again.
I want this not to be my America, but it is. It’s the America we’ve been and continue to be, I just haven’t been paying as much attention lately. I’m white and middle class and middle aged, healthy, comfortable, safe. It wasn’t so long ago, however, that I lived on the edge of homelessness, suffered violence and fear, distrusted the powerful, and knew how easily I could die.
Life is fragile. Life in America even more so these days. Where is the awe in our miraculous uniqueness? Why do we not hold that life in a sacred trust? We have to come together so that not one more person dies a needless death. So that those who have died will not have done so in vain. We the people can make their legacy one of unity, justice, and peace. We the people can make America, our America, great again.