September 11, 2011

9/11: We Will Never Forget. Let Freedom Ring!



September 11th is a day that will forever be etched in the conscience of our nation, and the world. I truly hope that no matter where you live on our planet, that you will take the time to think about what this day means to you. How did the the terrorist attack on 9/11 affect your life?
Whether you’re a kid in Kenya, or a university student in Udaipur, a Dad in Dar es Salaam, or a Grandmother in Geneva, September 11th has affected you, and every living human being on this planet.
While the terrorists attacked 3 iconic buildings that they believed were representations of American hubris, we know their real target that day was our liberty and freedom. As Americans, we are free to speak our mind in any forum we choose. Whether we are Muslim, Christian, Atheist, or Jew, we are free to worship and believe in any God or deity we wish. We are free to express our opinions about faith, politics, and religion, without fear of reprisals - whether we're an active participant in our democracy - or merely an apathetic observer.
Anyone educated in these United States, has studied the history of our great and proud country. It’s my humble opinion, that the words that largely fuel the American Dream, and ignites the resentment of our enemies, is a very simple phrase. In 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence that “All Men Are Created Equal.”
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.
Thomas Jefferson

It’s these words that we remember from the Declaration of Independence, that gives our people faith in fellow man, and confidence that with hard work and a good education, we can all achieve the American dream. It’s a strong belief in these principles, that assure us as a nation, that as bad as today might be, tomorrow is going to be a glorious day.
Every American knows the “all men are created equal" phrase by heart. We know that women are equal too, and those words inspire us to try to be the best, however imperfect we are, at nearly everything we try to do.
The belief in that basic tenet inspired President Abraham Lincoln to travel to the Civil War battlefield at Gettysburg, where he uttered the following words.
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Abraham Lincoln

We’ve been talking and thinking about equality in this country for a long time. There was Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln, and Frederick Douglas, and Susan B. Anthony, and Rosa Parks, and Lyndon Baines Johnson. And we can’t forget that John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King tragically lost their lives due to gun violence, while fighting for racial equality.
Dr. Martin Luther King’s life inspired millions of civil rights activists around the world in the 1950’s and 1960’s, just as he inspires many of us today.
The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King stood in the shadow of our country’s great monument to Abraham Lincoln, in 1963, where the patron Saint of equality, non-violence, and civil rights, famously confessed his dreams.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.'
Dr. Martin Luther King

I have the same dream today that Dr. King spoke about 48 years ago, and I think about it every day, because inequality has tortured my soul for years.
After the attack on our soil ten years ago, the 9/12/01 headline in the French newspaper Le Monde  announced “Nous sommes tous des Américains” -  "We are all Americans” -  which was a sentiment that was echoed by countries throughout the world. You’d be hard pressed to hear those same countries echo those same words today.
These United States of America, the USA, is a young 235 years old. While our government and institutions slowly move in the direction of equality, we know that all men and women are NOT created equally. Politicians and religious leaders continually fight to abridge the rights of LGBT citizens. They think that “all men and women are created equal,” except for anyone who is Lesbian Gay Bisexual or Transgender (LGBT), or undocumented, or has a different skin color, or is perceived to be different.
In spite of these misguided and discriminatory positions, I continue to have a strong faith in our principles. I still believe that in my lifetime, I will see a day when our Courts and citizen Legislatures, recognize what the majority of Americans support today. And that's full equality for every American, including every LGBT individual living in this great country of ours.
As a nation, we can NEVER reach our full potential, as long as we discriminate against our own citizens.
Remember that the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness, is what informs the American spirit, and defines the American dream. If discriminatory laws are keeping a large segment of the population away from realizing their American dream - the match that ignites new ideas, progress, and innovation, which fuels our economic security and prosperity - is greatly diminished.
Since 9/11/01, we’ve heard constant cries from Republicans in Congress that we need to increase defense spending, keep troops in Iraq, send troops to Libya, send the Air Force to enforce a no-fly zone in Syria, stay engaged in Afghanistan, and watch out for Iran because we might invade their country to destroy their nuclear reactors.
If you think about it, the foreign terrorists we’re warned about in the name of national security, and the GOP’s home grown domestic peddlers of false propaganda (i.e., Republicans and the Tea Party), are both holding freedom and equality hostage, which destroys  our country’s ideals, and forces our whole nation to suffer.
When politicians require military and law enforcement personnel to profile it’s citizens, and examine people’s skin color, listening for funny accents, investigating our reading habits, monitoring our phone calls, and looking over our shoulder at the websites we visit, while snooping at where we choose to worship, and speculating about our sexual orientation, our liberty and freedoms are further eroded, and you can bet that the implementation of thought police, and thought monitors, are not far behind.
When white male politicians make decisions and enact laws to regulate women’s health, while they publicly and privately scheme to limit debate and keep the public in the dark, that’s not American, and it’s not a democracy, and these men are waging a war on women, equality, justice and freedom.
What right does any legislator have to decide what a woman can and cannot do with her reproductive organs? They want to prescribe behavior, and act as a gatekeeper and a God over our sisters, our daughters, and our mother’s bodies, and take away individual freedom which is an outrage!
Republicans in Congress, and Republican state legislators across the country, are hell-bent on controlling a woman's body and her reproductive organs. They’re acting with reckless abandon, passing laws that are unconstitutional and ignore the principle of stare decisis, and have no rational basis in science or medicine. This is an all-out assault on women and equality, and the principle that we all have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. There is nothing equal about old white Republican men controlling women.
On the 10 year anniversary of 9/11, I think of our friends and neighbors, nieces and nephews, fathers, brothers, sisters, cousins, sons, mothers, daughters, aunts and uncles - and think about the impact that this tragedy has had on those we love and care about, as well as ourselves. The tragedy altered our psyche, and destroyed much of our collective idealism, and my great wish is that we could restore that as soon as possible.
Is it ironic or lost on you that the GOP and right-wing extremists who are  obsessed with conspiracy theories, and guns, and school prayer, are endlessly hawking the notion that government is the bad guy, as they scheme to capture and take over the very political institutions they claim to despise.
We have to remember where we've been, so we learn from the mistakes of our past history, and make the changes in tenor, tone, and attitudes, that will heal our nation's wounds, and reignite the American dream, and place it within reach of everyone.
Building a great wall or a high fence, on our Southern border, will not fertilize our dreams. Racial profiling and ethnic profiling, of US citizens breeds resentment among minority communities. The current Arizona Governor, and current Alabama Governor, have signed immigration enforcement legislation, that mandates profiling.



Underfunded public schools, colleges and universities, creates less learning, and a generation of under-educated or uneducated students. With funding challenges at community colleges, and state colleges and universities, and no real increase in disposable income, what dreams are we left with, to motivate our future, and the future of our kids? Federal Financial Aid programs have been decimated by GOP and Tea Party led budget cuts. They want to make substantial cuts to attack the lifeblood of senior citizens next, via Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security reform. I’m sorry - but this is NOT the America that we know we are meant to be.

Generations of immigrants, and nonimmigrants, our parents, and their forebears, instilled this ethos in all of us, and on this September 11th anniversary, the Tea Party political movement has obstructed any forward progress our nation, and her economy, might have enjoyed. They have soured the public appetite for the rhetoric of politics and politicians, and destroyed the bond rating and credit worthiness that has sustained us for centuries.

Please join me and be an active member of your community, and give a voice to how you and your family feel. Our freedoms are under attack within the country, by sitting state legislators , and the people are largely silent.

In memory of 9/11/01 please stand up and be counted. The next time you are groped at a security checkpoint, or informed what you can and cannot do with your own body, or you’re asked for an identity card because of your accent, or the color of your skin, remember that freedom has lost and the terrorists have won. It's time we take back our government by the people, and for the people, and rid ourselves of the Republicans and Tea Party individuals who are assaulting our principles.

We cannot be stagnant, nor linger long in our grief. Let's celebrate the lives of those we lost, and love fully with our gladdened heart, those who are still near and dear.

We Remember. We will always remember and honor the victims of 9/11, and the first responder heroes. And we will never forget this act of aggression that took place 10 years ago today. Terrorists will never defeat us, our ideals, or our nation.

We will mark this day for eternity, to remember those who are gone, and  show reverence and appreciation to those who assisted and offered a helping hand, and to honor the brave young men and women who still fight in the name of freedom, in Iraq and Afghanistan.

And the fight to reclaim our country must begin today.

straight talk in a queer world.         jiveinthe415.com              
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