Why We Should Stand United In America

Why We Should Stand United In America

On the Women's March, its supporters and opponents, and a divided nation.

Some may call it old news (and I wouldn’t blame them for it, what with the frequency of inflammatory developments we’ve seen lately) but I want to take a look at the Women’s March, specifically its opponents, if I’m even justified in calling them that.

The march, however relevant it remains, occurred weeks ago. So why am I returning to it?

I suppose it’s because, well, it makes me sad.

I don’t mean the march itself, no. It’s the people who found in it an opportunity to pick another battle, to call others ungrateful or untruthful, to draw another thoughtless line in the sand — this is the part that makes me sad.

Don’t misunderstand me; I hear you, all of you who weren’t in favor of the march. I hear your cries, your justified insistence that things right now are the best they’ve been in a long time.

I understand that, yes, we have so much to be grateful for here in the United States. We enjoy so many rights; rights that some people have to fight for, and even die for, in other parts of the world. Most of us are fortunate enough to believe, and not too foolishly, that we can do and become anything if we just work hard enough.

But — here’s the but — our nation is certainly not a utopia. Far from it.

There are still so many people who aren’t getting the entirety of what they were promised when they became citizens, people who day after day see our country fall horribly short of the standards we set in our Constitution, in our very name.

We may be better off than those in many places around the globe, but we cannot fall into the danger of measuring our progress against that of the opposite extreme. (Who wouldn’t call herself a good person after comparing herself to Hitler?)

Instead, our primary measure of progress has to be our own; we have to look at our history, more importantly our present, and most importantly our future.

That said, allow me to ask: Were you really an opponent of the Women’s March? Or did you merely feel the need to justify your absence?

If the latter is the case, I am sorry that some of your fellow citizens made you appear to be in the wrong for not marching. Because you really didn’t have to march if you didn’t see a need for it; it remains your choice, after all.

But you also didn’t have to belittle those who saw the need and acted upon it.

Our needs and the needs of others are not one and the same. It’s such a simple thing to state, but it’s one we often forget: we’re all different. That’s the tragedy and the beauty of it.

Finally, let me leave you with this: respect.

I know how easy it is to condemn the people we disagree with, to label them as enemies, to critique them privately as we watch from afar.

But I believe I’m speaking for all sides when I say that anger dispersed among a group of like-minded people does not always have the intended effect.

I say “sides” only because I must. Such a concept should feel archaic to a modern, united nation. And yet it seems we can’t get through a single serious conversation today without picking one or the other.

There are, you see, enough sides carved into these United States already. There are too many of us with word-filled weapons at the ready, and too little of us with open arms.

All I am asking is for us to unite.

Let’s unite. Let’s unite.

After all we've done, let’s just unite.

Cover Image Credit: Omaha World-Herald

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Scriptures: 

James 1:2-4

John 14:27

Romans 16:20

Luke 21:19

Psalm 118:5-6

Psalm 94:19

Romans 8:28

Psalm 55:22

Isaiah 40:31

Psalm 16:8

Joshua 1:9

Proverbs 3:5-6

1 Peter 5:7

Prayer:

Dear Lord, please grant me peace of mind and calm my troubled heart. My soul is like the wild sea. I can't seem to find my balance so I stumble and stress constantly. Give me the strength and clarity of mind to find my purpose and walk the path you've laid out for me. I trust your love, God, and know that you will take this stress. Just as the sun rises each day against the dark of night, please bring me clarity with the light of God.

-Amen

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Winfrey's Words On Sexual Assault Touch The Hearts Of Men And Women

The speech that has the nation talking.

For those of you who missed the Golden Globes on Sunday, January 7, Oprah Winfrey, the first black female recipient of the Cecil B. deMille Award delivered a rather ground-breaking speech on behalf of African Americans and women at large leaving many speculating her potential candidacy in the election of 2020.

In 1952, the annual tradition of presenting the Cecil B. deMille Award began when the Hollywood Foreign Press Association resolved to institute an honor that would recognize an individual's "outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment."

It may have come as a surprise that Winfrey's acceptance speech did not touch on any of her previous achievements as many recipients of the award have in the past. Rather, she took this opportunity to share a movingly vivid recollection of a historical event involving the rape of a young African American woman by the name of Recy Taylor.

As Winfrey shared, one evening in 1944, Taylor was returning home from church when she was seized and blindfolded by six white men who raped and left her on the side of the road. She lived to be 97 years old and drew her last breath in her sleep at a nursing home located in Abbeville, Alabama on December 28, 2017.

Winfrey's speech reflected heavily on sexual harassment and the Me Too Movement. Me Too, or #MeToo, sparked recently in October among several other social media hashtags designed to encourage women to speak out and share their stories of sexual violence.

However, what remains undoubtedly most commendable about Winfrey's speech is the fact that while she clearly stands for women, their rights, and the stand against abuse, she continues to remain an equalist. This is seen through her careful and brilliant use of language. While she spoke of our ever-growing strong feminine power, she did not use concrete words. Words that would suggest men as the inferior. In fact at the end of her speech, she did just the opposite. She brought the viewer's attention to men as well resulting in the crowd—comprised of thousands of women and men—rising to their feet for a standing ovation.

Cover Image Credit: abc NEWS

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