The monsoon season has arrived in Arizona (maybe the nation). Characterized by turbulent winds, rain and thunderstorms. Recently a storm hit during the middle of the night, the lightening fierce as the bolts struck their targets. One came down in such a way that the fire alarms in my house sounded, and for a moment – that brief moment between catatonic sleep and subdued consciousness, as I saw the opaque white light my thought was – did North Korea just bomb us?
Before the bluster between POTUS and the leader of North Korea began its assent to climax, we were intrigued by the longstanding and now expanding practice of Russian global interfering in the election process. Leaks, emails, meetings – some remembering that Russia is not his / our “new best friend” prospect. [i] In January of 2017 Senator John McCain of Arizona specifically reminded POTUS and the country of Russia’s history and the “failed attempts” around partnership efforts and why.[ii]
Fast forward to Charlottesville and a POTUS response of “very fine people” interspersed with white supremacists[iii]. By the way should you google this comment, you will find references from places as far away as Nigeria[iv]. While the leader of the free world commented on the fine, good people amongst extreme right protesters with torches in hand, and continues to uphold his statements, there are those around the nation and beyond who wonder, are we headed for a civil war? Likely I’m not the first to contemplate if we are headed to World War III or Civil War II.
When I was a kid I was worried about a couple of things. I was 8 years old on October 26, 1962[v] when President John F. Kennedy addressed the nation on television about the Cuban Missile Crisis. I was at a friend’s slumber party and after seeing some of that broadcast, I didn’t want to slumber I wanted to go home. It seemed to my 8 year old self, and perhaps the rest of the nation, that war was imminent.
I’m from Port Huron, Michigan which is about an hour north of Detroit. I remember well the Detroit riots in 1967. I was 13 years old at the time. There were reports of rioters coming in via Sarnia, Ontario, Canada through Port Huron to then head to Detroit, crossing our Blue Water Bridge because there was less inclination to be turned away. My mother was nervous about the violence she was seeing on television[vi], cementing an already unreasonable fear of people of color.
North Korea. Russia. Charlottesville. Back in the ‘60’s I was a little kid worried about missiles and race riots and a country and world that seemed to have gone mad.
It’s 2017. I’m no longer a little girl and yet again, I’m worried about missiles and race riots and a world that seems to have gone mad. Which are we more concerned about? Will there be a World War III or a Civil War II?
Not much has changed. Or perhaps everything has changed. POTUS to his credit may have reawakened the “sleeping giant” – this time the American public’s intolerance for behaviors in a president that are not remotely acceptable as a beacon of emblematic leadership. While there are those who practice hatred and racism, there are far more people on both sides of the political spectrum who want our country to be the historic leader she has always been. A leader who strives to deal with her problems in a peaceful manner; one that is intolerant of racism and embraces the diversity of the faith practices represented here. A nation who’s canon of belief strives to determine a way to live together within the scope of our differences, and even celebrate the same. A country that seeks to listen, to learn and to believe that our nation will rise above the POTUS doctrine which seems to trumpet make America grate again. Yes, grate[vii]. Perhaps no one delved deep enough into the campaign slogan… Dictionary.com defines grate as: sound harshly; scrape or rub with rough or noisy friction, as one thing on or against another; to irritate or annoy; to wear down. Sound familiar?
Are we as a people committed to an America that extends her doctrine of freedom and equality to all – domestically and internationally? What are we willing to do to see that our freedoms continue, without violence and hatred? That is the question… what are we, what are you, willing to do to ensure a peaceful America thrives for the benefit of all?
World War III or Civil War II? Our choice. And we best choose now.