This I Believe

Tyra - Cincinnati, Ohio
Entered on November 9, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50

This I believe that our nation is in a national values dilemma about separation or nation building. This election year directly determined the leaders of the house and senate but, moreover, it was a predictor of our nation’s values to determine how we respond to difference in gay marriage, border protection, healthcare, affirmative action, language, security and war. These topics typically discussed as sound bites to bolster campaign ads are more a predictor how we embrace the people of this nation. As Americans, “what” and “how” we believe is in our votes, laws and social structures. What I have realized that most of my life was spent in conforming, shifting to some irrational form of correctness, normalcy and rightness. As many Americans who hide, cover, and redress themselves, and become accommodationist while living in the most diverse nation in the world are loosing our uniqueness to figment of our imagination. Many Americans walk into work, stores or social events and question has my race, religion, where I live, and/or my gender have an affect on my life and treatment. Where does discrimination end and the citizen begin? An American is never having to prove belonging, commitment to country, and march or petition for equity, yet many of our citizens have to.

I love this country and wish I could say with certainty it loves me. I have traveled the world and in this nation on any given day, depending on location you can encounter a Black, Hispanic, White, Asian, Native American, Muslim, Christian, Jew, Quaker, Mormon, Arborist, Gay, Goth, Gentile, Liberal, Conservative and more. Each and every one of us, despite how we pray, dress, confess, and love are Americans. We all exist under one nation. We need to take steps to nurture difference within our nation so that our children do not learn to continue to segregate, discriminate, and/or evaporate.

A nation by definition is made-up of people whose common identity creates a psychological bond and a political community with a common language, culture, ethnicity, and history. As Americans we have one united history within histories; united language within languages; united culture within cultures; and united ethnicity among ethnicities and ever changing bonds and boundaries. Our nation was formed by people who migrated, immigrated, and came through mitigating circumstances and yet, we still struggle to build community and be communal. Our nation is struggling to harness our differences to build a strong nation and spirit. When the land of liberty assimilates and sets limits to love, marriage, language, race, norms, discipline, and justice all of our freedoms are jeopardized. We cannot build a nation, despite of, and not welcome difference. This I believe that our national health is in jeopardy by determining fitness through plurality, and rightness by consensus. Can a nation be a nation if it is separate, disintegrated, and segregated? I as an American, Black, educated is seeking a solution to begin to challenge our choices before we eliminate the nation we love. This I believe.