I believe that America and many of her people are close-minded.
To be candid, close-mindedness is a disease that large quantities of people in our country are suffering from. The disease is a hereditary one, seeing as people develop most of their views of the world from family and other relatives, and it can come from the mother, father, or both. The disease starts to show itself during adolescents but sometimes it can even show itself during childhood. There are no physical symptoms of this disease; however, researchers are able to recognize several behavioral symptoms. The main symptom appears to be obstinately intolerant to new ideas or beliefs. There have been numerous deaths related to the disease and the number of deaths due to close-mindedness is rising dangerously.
Lady America is a beautifully ugly female. On the outside, she is a tall, eloquent woman with doe eyes and an innocence that could put the Virgin Mary to shame. Nevertheless, on the inside she is one of the most grotesque creatures that you will have ever had the displeasure of seeing. She is twisted and mutilated and intolerant of the differences that exist in the world; even though, she should be trying to embrace them since she is the “Great Melting Pot.”
Lady America places her slender hands to her cheeks and puts on this look of despair and feigns ignorance at the thought of her people ever committing “hate crimes.” She selectively closes her ears when offensive terms to homosexuals, transgender, and transvestites are shouted in schools. She selectively closes her eyes when a noose is hung from a tree in a successful attempt to send a warning message to African Americans. She dare not speak a word when a person is brutally murdered because their religion is different.
As I walk through my high school and hear the seemingly joking words of “white supremacy,” jokes about illegals, and horrible words aimed at people who “play for the other team.” I can not help but shake my head with shame and disgust. My generation is giving Lady America everything she needs to continue on her destructive path of close-mindedness. The same way the mother and father of drug addict may slip their son or daughter a few bucks so that he or she can get high. The same way the friend of an alcoholic may buy said alcoholic a few drinks but not too many. The same way bullies continue to antagonize a peer until the point of suicide or a shooting.
Yet, I believe that Lady America can remove her blindfold and throw it away because it will become a thing of the past. I believe that Lady America will no longer allow people to be killed because of their sexual orientation. I believe that Lady America will no longer allow her people to be made fun of because they dress differently. I believe that Lady America will no longer allow store owners to stare at someone intently because they may be Black or Hispanic.
I believe that Lady America and her people need to be open-minded. Open-minded people will save Lady America. They will help her see that the world can be seen in more than black and white. There is a lovely hue of gray that Lady America needs to see but will be unable to as long as she wears her blindfold.
I believe that when Lady America sees this lovely hue of gray that she will begin to sob. She will cry and her heart will ache and she will mourn all of those who lost their lives because of close-mindedness. Lady America will touch the cheek of every one of her people and let them know that even though they may not accept certain belief, there is no reason to destroy others over it. I believe that Lady America will allow her people to have their own opinions because that is what makes her tick.
The grotesque insides of Lady America will die and she will become beautiful on the inside and out. Lady America will shed her façade and bear her scars to the world. I believe that Lady America will open her eyes wide and allow the light to flood into her brain. I believe that Lady America will no longer have to fake ignorance just to get by. I believe that one day Lady America will remove her blindfold with regret.
But until that happens, the horrid screams of Lady America’s monstrous inside will continue to echo all around us.
In every city.
In every state.
In every region.
In every person
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.