Marching Toward the Light

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic

As a result of a deliberate and measured abhorrent campaign not long ago, and one continuing still, of division and distrust, we have begun to accept the normalcy of a new wave of resurrected bigotry, prejudice and bias, as part of our national character and value. When once we extended our hand to our neighbors and the world, we how shun them, berate them, and demean them. When once we opened our door to those seeking refuge from the cruelty of intolerance, war, starvation and pestilence – we now plan to build a wall to keep them separate and away from the American experience

MARCHING TOWARD THE LIGHT

By Al Garcia

As a result of a deliberate and measured abhorrent campaign not long ago, and one continuing still, of division and distrust, we have begun to accept the normalcy of a new wave of resurrected bigotry, prejudice and bias, as part of our national character and value.  When once we extended our hand to our neighbors and the world, we how shun them, berate them, and demean them.  When once we opened our door to those seeking refuge from the cruelty of intolerance, war, starvation and pestilence – we now plan to build a wall to keep them separate and away from the American experience. 

We have all seen and felt our new America.  We saw the images of women and children along our southern border, shackled and chained, one to the other, and marched into cages.  And we heard their cries and saw their tears, as they gave thanks for having made it to the border’s edge along the Rio Grande, despite the humiliation and indignity.

I have learned, through the trials and tribulations of our history and our rich legacy, that the American experience is nothing more than a mixture of immigrants from around the world who came together, with different ethnicities, religions, skin colors and languages.  We are a hotchpotch of humanity with one commonality – to live free, to breath free, and to dream the impossible, and achieve the improbable.

So, as protests fill our streets, and an untamed virus assaults our bodies and our minds, I ask myself, how did we get to this place and to this time in our America?  Why the greed and need to divide, separate and demean?  Why the dislike, loathing and disgust for those who only seek what the pilgrims we celebrate sought and found?  Why the silence, when the world waits to hear the outcry of the brave and of the free?  Why have we abandoned our destiny as a nation of hope, decency and truth? 

The answer is too simple to contemplate or understand – arrogance and the inaptness of our leadership.  The answer is also in our blatant national apathy and indifference to the plight of the innocent and their flight and fight for life and liberty, for justice, for equality, for fairness. 

For far too long, and especially in the last four years, we have kept our eyes and minds closed, and accepted the normalcy of the times -- the normalcy of greed, deceit and the concept of America First, at whatever cost to the ideas and ideals upon which this great nation was built. 

We are now being indoctrinated into rethinking and remaking the American dream in the image of our worst days, and our vilest times.  To a time when separation by race and creed, affluence and influence, divided our nation.  No more sharing or caring.  No more selflessness or empathy.  No more heart.  No more soul.  We are being told that the only thing that makes America great is money and unquestioned allegiance.  We can be bought, we can be manipulated at the drop of a coin (30 if you’ve read your Bible).  We have been told that the only way to keep America great is to place American soldiers along our border with orders to shoot, in order to keep the weak and meek away.  Law and order at whatever cost, at whatever loss.

We are becoming a silent and blinded nation, willing to be led and lied to by those who profess to know what is best and just and profitable for America, regardless of truth, legitimacy or accuracy.  It is America at its worst and at its lowest. 

I remember when we were America, and we as a people collectively decided what was best for us and for our nation.  I remember when we spoke up and even fought for our right to thrive and to perfect and correct the imperfections in our governance and in our search for truth and justice.  We always knew we were an imperfect nation, but nonetheless, a nation with courage, strength and the tenacity to persevere and overcome. 

I remember the men and women of substance and judgment who guided us through peacetimes and wartimes.  These were men and women who placed the life of the nation before their self-interest, self-promotion, self-flattery or self-glorification.  Those were truly times when we reflected together as a nation and shared the blessings of our greatness, our humanity and our humility.

America has wandered from its destined path of righteousness, and we find ourselves hostages within a hemorrhaging democracy, weak and dazed.  We watch and listen in awe as the power and strength of centuries of cultivated wisdom, understanding, tact and maturity slowly drains from the vessels that have sustained and nurtured the American experience – the Presidency, the Judiciary and the Legislative branches that once guided the institutions that endured the winds of change and the sounds of discontent. 

The disharmony and discontent in our streets and in our hearts has become a reflection of the great melting pot that is America.  There is a cry for the return of the radiance that has been dimmed by inaptitude and corruption at every level of our government.  There is a longing for truth, justice and hope, which used to radiate from within the core of our now scorched and torched morality and humanity. 

We seek to celebrate as one united nation, the invincible and impregnable human psyche that began with dreamers seeking a world devoid of autocratic rule and despotic allegiances.  A nation devoid of images and pictures of camouflaged soldiers guarding against an attack by unarmed men, women and children charging our bridges and our borders from across the Rio Grande, or marching toward the light of justice and truth in our streets across America.  We want to hear words of support, comfort and solace, instead of distortions and contortions depicting illegal immigrants as rapists, killers and drug smugglers, disguised as weak, helpless and dejected women and children.  We want to hear that Black Lives Matter, and that we have learned from our mistakes and our past missteps. 

Together, we must continue marching toward the light, and toward the promises and possibilities that tomorrow brings. We must attempt to right the inequities and injustices of our past.  We must speak truth to power, and have the courage to defend our power. 

In that vein, we must not give in to the notion being championed by some of our leaders who ask that we ignore Russia’s help in electing our President, or thankful to the North Koreans for not launching an atomic missile at our shores, and promising to be good and true and honest, if we bow and toady to their demands.  And, why should we not question why we must give thanks to the Saudi Arabians for giving us oil and billions of dollars for the sale of armaments and for over-paying for hotel rooms and services at the First Family property, and for making the world a better place by killing and dismembering an Enemy of the People, and helping to rid the world of “fake news.”  We were better than that at one time.  We had courage and dignity at one time.  We had common sense at one time.

And so, as protesters march on our streets with passion and rage, maybe, just maybe, some of us will start to open our eyes and our minds.  Maybe the legacy of hope will enlighten and enrich our hearts and our souls with the true meaning of our democracy, and with the true reason of why we are America, and why the world once looked upon us in awe and envy as the cradle of human dignity and pride in an ever-changing world.

We must seize the moment and the passion, and help reignite the flame that once helped light our way from an empire ruled by privilege and an addiction to power -- to a land of spacious skies, amber waves of grain, and purple mountain majesties above the fruited plain. 

We must hear the voices of the brave, of every color and every creed, who dare to speak the truths stifled by long-concealed hatred, bigotry and prejudice, til selfish gain no longer stains the banner of the free. 

Patriots will keep marching toward the light, until the rays of hope douse the flames of arrogance and greed, and breath new life to patriot dreams.

America must keep marching.  America must keep the flame alive.  We must let the radiance of our rainbow coalition of hearts and minds shine from sea to shinning sea.  And it is then, that the healing will begin, and we can begin to start coping with the pain and the unhealed scars of our history.


Submitted: May 30, 2021

© Copyright 2021 A.Garcia. All rights reserved.

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