As I sit and write this blog, it feels inappropriate to say, “Happy Memorial Day”. Memorial Day is a day to celebrate and honor those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom. I feel a strong sense of gratitude and pride, but I don’t feel happiness for those service members and their families.
I am also extremely unhappy and disheartened when I think of the state of our country in 2018. The divisiveness, anger, and lack of empathy are frustrating and sometimes a little frightening. People died for our right to live in the “land of the free”. But in all honestly, generations of Americans have never experienced true freedom and equality. If we take an honest look at our history, we will see that America was built on white supremacy and racism. Europeans “conquered” the Native Americans and colonized their land. American settlers then accumulated generations of wealth by kidnapping people from Africa, separating them from their families, culture, and traditions, and forcing them into 400 years of slavery. After the Civil War, policies and laws were put into place which are still impacting our lives today. This post isn’t about politics (although I do not approve of the 45th President of the United States), it is about the heart and humanity of our nation. Systemic racism and inherent bias do not reflect freedom and democracy.
- Should you Americans be able to peacefully protect at their place of employment?
- Can we protect our borders in a legal and humane way?
- Should a country built on religious freedom demand that its’ citizens adhere to Christian values?
- Should African Americans believe that “all lives matter” when they have experienced decades of racism and brutality?
- How do we protect both poor and wealthy children in their schools and in their communities?
As last week’s newsfeeds were bombarded with opinions on whether NFL owners should allow players to protest on the field during the National Anthem we were becoming more polarized as a nation. I am not a sports fan. I have never watched football and I will not start now. I am a fan of freedom and democracy and that is what is truly under attack.
As a social worker, I feel obligated to speak for marginalized communities. Because I want to live in the land of the free and the home of the brave, I know that p Political parties don’t deserve loyalty. It is time that we are loyal to a better future for all. As Americans, we can and we must work together if we are to continue to thrive globally and if our citizens are to experience real freedom and democracy.
How will you commemorate Memorial Day?
Nicki Sanders, MSW, is a travel and cupcake lover with a passion for self-discovery and career development. She has a strong background in developing and managing interns and successful internship programs. She is an accomplished manager, professor, coach, trainer, and group facilitator who has packaged her Master of Social Work degree and 20 years of diverse work experience into Packaged For Success, a full service training and professional development company.
© 2018 Copyright Protected. ALL RIGHTS ARE RESERVED.