On January 21, 2013 the Nation celebrated the inauguration of second-term elected President, Barack Obama. He is the first black man elected to the office of the presidency, and is a statement of the progressiveness of the United States from the days of Slavery until the present day. His second inaugural celebration consisted of him being sworn in on two bibles, those of Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth president of the United States, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., human rights activist and civil rights leader during the movement of the 1960s. The celebration also included a poetry reading and the singing of the Nations’ anthem. Both men are prominent in history because of their contributions to changing the way the country treated people of African descent (African-American people). Abraham Lincoln has since been criticized for truly not being anti-slavery, in fact, he was quite indifferent to the end of slavery. That bit of information aside, it was historical. Martin Luther King was a very prominent man in the civil rights community and he was smart enough to surround himself with very educated and determined women, and men to carry on his vision for equality.
America has long been the country people from all nations of the world flocked to seeking a better opportunity: the American Dream. The vision of American success for many generations was that of the hard working individual who climbed the ladder in whatever their choice career was only to reach the pinnacle of success and reap the benefits of their hard work, whatever those rewards may have been. That has always been the appeal of America. Success. Wealth. Comfortability. In 2013, amongst all of the struggles the American economy has faced over the last 4 years, it is hard to see how dreams can be achieved in a land that is selling itself to corporate greed and interests. It is also difficult to see amongst the growing class and racial division, though racial division has received the blind eye as of late because no one wants to admit to being intolerable of race. As a black woman and avid user of social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), I have grown annoyed with seeing the comments on black news websites that spew hatred for those who are non-black. I understand that our race has received extensive oppression at the hands of those intolerant, but to “return the favor” does not serve the purpose of Dr. King’s advocacy for equality, or President Obama in office.
Race and tolerance in American is a bit strange in that we see those of oppressed nations and we sympathize with them and say “[that country] doesn’t treat their citizens as people,” yet because of the first Amendment, those who are intolerant and have the media prowess in our nation are able to spew their hatred without much scrutiny. Their respective media outlets allow them to say what they want, but I digress. This country in my eyes is fighting the winds of change that is calling her to progress with the times, and to stop hanging on to things that have systematically held peoples back. My country is still the land of opportunity in many ways, but she has to changing some of the old ways of dealing economically, socially, and educationally with her citizens. People want to explore themselves here with the opportunity that that exploration will end with them fulfilling their lifelong dreams,which really isn’t possible if opportunities are being taken away and sent to other lands. My America has also stopped valuing education. It seems as though her media is much more concern with the popularity and drama of Hollywood stars than they do about the steady decline of intellectual children and teens. Things that were once valuable, like science, technology, family are all on declining and becoming of less importance.
My America must move back to priorities: education, social well being, faith in one another and this land, and acceptance of anyone regardless of their differences (a new direction). Muslim must not be seen as animalistic and inhumane, or childish and unable to make decisions for them surrounding their own countries. Moreover, those Muslims that live here in American need to be treating with dignity and respect. Gays, Lesbians and Transgender must not be viewed as problematic to society. They are people, and they have a voice. Sixty years ago black people were not even seen as biologically similar to those of the white race, it was not determined that black people were of the same human species until the 1950s or 60s, that was American then. Let us not carry on that type of thinking let us think progressively, and honestly. Let’s move on, and forward!