Issues such as race have various emotional responses due to one's experience, understanding and conditioning. We, in America, have the "ideal" that all are created equal and should be represented by "law". These are citizen rights.
But, with today's climate of radicalization of religion, race seems to matter more. Americans and others in the West have experienced, and seen what happens to those who dismiss the danger of radical religion. So, in today's climate, we not only divide ourselves along racial lines, but religious ones, as well.
Just yesterday, a Muslim prindipal dismissed a Christian teacher. My husband told me that it was due to his Christian faith. Because Americans are "taught" that toleration is the highest virtue, we tend not to try to distinguish when we need to. Just as the lady who called the police was "at fault", even though she did what was reasonable and upheld the standards of good citzenship, Islam has a "favored" status when it comes to discrimination. And African Americans have favored status as it concerns Affirmative Action.
Minority rights grants a prividledge to those on the basis of their skin color or their religion. Is this just? When we try to rectify the past, are we harming the future and inadvertedly hindering all of us in being Americans, first? Why are we identifying ourselves as "African-American", "American Indian", or "American caucasian"? We are divided by "racial" and "religious" histories, instead of owning our national history and its development into a nation of diverse peoples, where the individual is acknowledged and valued. The Founding Fathers made our nation a nation ruled by law, and no "special elite", whether religious or racial. This is the freedom and value of being "equal under law".
Instead of identifying along the lines of "group think" which distinguishes what is uneccesary, why not distinguish ourselves as individual Americans? With America's ideals, and progressiveness, do we doubt that we could find a better tomorrow? We need to get back to thinking responsibly about our country and its values, not taking them for granted, but upholding the value of citizenship. And we need to be thankful for the freedoms and all that it allows in our diverse and blessed country.
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