Paul Elisha: A World Made Safe For Differences
We have come to that point in our nationhood, where our cohesion is at serious risk. To paraphrase John Dunne, no one of us is an island, entire to itself; everyone is a part of the main, because we are all involved in humankind. He was right, because in Latin, ‘homo’ translates as a male or female person or fellow creature. Yet, despite all of our inclusive rhetoric, there are still those among us, who would reverse the democratic process in this fragile democracy to the most despicable meaning of “State’s Rights,” in which those of color are excluded and denied inclusion, except as sub-human members of the work-herd, as the ‘State’s-Right’ politicos once considered them.
To undo the hindrance to which they would condemn us, we should recall that its founder also believed, as he stated in 1774, that: “The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time.” He proved the theory, that our future depended on all of us, by including former slaves in his own family, with the inheritance of all rights and rewards.
As Ruth Fulton Benedict noted in her research, part of which was included in a speech to the New York State Legislature, “Those who helped to build our culture are not of one race. The tough-minded respect difference; their goal is a world made safe for differences.” Our cohesion now rests on resolving differences that are far greater than skin-deep. We need to rescue this republic from the reckless leadership of illiterates, who are only conversant with such three-letter words as ‘gas,’ ‘oil’ and ‘war’ and have sent too many of our most productive citizenry to corner the market on them. The best thing such self-serving profiteers could do for this country, now, is to die for it. Alas, they only know how to send others to do this, so they can amass still greater power and profit.
In his recent prize-winning biography of George Washington, the nation’s first Chief-Executive and Jefferson’s opposite, as the proponent of a “strong central government,” Historian Harlow Giles Unger notes that after days of debate, even Washington agreed that in this democratic republic, his appropriate title should be merely: “Mr. President” and with that, both sides in the continuing ferment that divided them, got on with the many bedeviling differences that confronted them. What confronts us now is still what awaits resolution and it still needs all of us together to solve it. A world of many colors, languages and beliefs is watching and awaiting our answer. Some pray that we’ll fail. Most want and need for us to succeed. Whether it’s with a ‘Mr.’ or ‘Madam’ President, of what ever color, we must show them that we can.
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