Baton Rouge

I have a dream.

One in which no color or ethnicity is demonized, but all are given respect and considered equal.

One in which our elected officials are not beholden to special interest groups, but work with their brethren to move this country forward.

One in which facts reign and opinion is just that.

One in which every boy and girl is given opportunity and every man and woman goes to bed knowing they can find a job and if not they still have a roof over their head and can put bread on the table.

One in which the poor are not told to pull themselves up by their bootstraps but are lifted up by those who have more.

One in which sports and entertainment are not seen as the only way out of poverty.

One in which those doing the hard work of our society, the teachers and the police, who are on the front lines every day, are lionized, not demonized.

One in which a white man is not afraid when a black man steps into an elevator.

One in which white workers don’t think their jobs are stolen by brown workers.

One in which elites don’t think they’re better than the rest because they’re educated and rich.

One in which government is not demonized and taxes are used to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure.

One in which guns are used for hunting animals but not shooting people.

But right now this dream is shaky.

I’d hate to be a police officer right now. With a target on my back. As of this writing we still do not know exactly what happened, but we do know multiple officers are dead.

But I’d hate to be poor and black even more. Seen as second class before I’m even known. Branded by my skin. Shut out unless I’m the court jester, putting a ball into a hoop or rapping.

How did our society become so coarse? How did we go from togetherness to division? And who is responsible for this?

Let’s look at right wing talk radio and Fox News, which have been telling their constituents again and again that the government and the poor people have undermined the American way of life. It’s a disinformation campaign folks. Just because there are two sides that does not make them equal. Sure, Democrats get it wrong sometimes, but not as frequently as the right and certainly not with the same intentions.

But the Democrats in power have disconnected from the rank and file. They’ve blinked in the eye of right wing propaganda, stood by as unions and safety nets have been eviscerated. Afraid of offending the vocal right, they’ve been silent.

And both sides are beholden to the money. It’s fine to cut school programs and underfund the TSA when your kids are educated in private institutions and you fly NetJet, especially when that flight is paid for by a billionaire whose bill you support.

This is not about policemen.

This is about opportunity.

This is about the soul of America. A country built on freedom and upward mobility. The right keeps screaming about freedom being taken away yet they vote for surveillance, they’re the ones voting for guns which make our entire nation afraid. And the left pays lip service to the underclass but does little to lift it up.

And everybody’s afraid of having their chance stolen, they don’t want others to take their seat at the table and be left out.

The fact is upward mobility is worse in the United States than the European Union. And the safety net over there is much better than it is here. But ever since the Iranian conflict way back when it’s been USA!, USA!, all the damn time.

All I know is I’m sick and tired of people saying something and doing nothing.

I’m sick and tired of protections instituted for the rich while absent for the poor.

I’m sick and tired of white people demonizing blacks while their kids embrace African-American culture.

I’m sick and tired of drugs being criminalized when they’re a social issue which needs to be addressed via treatment.

I’m sick and tired of black men’s lives being sidetracked in prison, with their families forever fractured.

And I’m sick and tired of a political system where lies run rampant. They tell us to be honest while they’re not.

Ain’t that America, a two-tiered system.

Want to end violence?

Give people jobs. Give them upward mobility. Educate their young. Don’t spread hate, saying that one group or another is responsible for your fate.

And realize your well-being is dependent upon society. Your company is worthless without customers. That the rank and file prop up this great nation of ours and they need to be embraced, paid more than lip service, which they rarely get anyway.

I have a dream all this can come true. Or at least we can move forward.

But it would require you to weep for a deceased black man as much as a dead white.

It would require you to accept that the President was born in America and is still the head of the government, even if you didn’t vote for him.

It would require you to admit America’s a great country, but it still has problems, it still needs work.

And it would require you to acknowledge the future is here and we can’t go back to the past, that we can’t abandon the losers in the new economy but we must support them and find them a slot.

But these are just words.

The oppressed are waiting for action.

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